Raising a strong-willed child takes a strong will

Marisca looks at the ways to bring up a strong child and why it might be a good thing

Strong-willed, stubborn, determined, a head-strong child, whatever you want to call it, I’ve got one.

My four-year-old will either destroy the world or rule it; I just have to figure out how to harness her power for good and not evil.

I should have been prepared for her. I knew I was having a strong baby girl when I was pregnant with her even though my husband and I decided not to find out her gender.

Before she was even born, she was showing her personality. A couple of weeks before her due date my doctor, (actually a different doctor because mine was on vacation) told me she was breech, meaning she was head up and not in the ideal position to give birth naturally.

Last week’s The Sticky Files: Staying healthy and happy over the holidays

I did everything I possibly could to try and encourage her to flip. I sat on my head, did every possible yoga pose I could think of, exchanged my office chair for a ball and slept in a different position. Nothing seemed to work. Shortly after, another doctor (because mine was still on holidays, where was she? I know she deserved a break but I trust her with my life … literally and I needed her) told me that he could try to manually flip her from the outside.

There weren’t any doctors in town who would perform a vaginal breech birth so I’d have to travel in order to have her naturally or I would have to have a C-section.

I didn’t love either of those options so I decided to go with the doctor’s recommendation and have an external cephalic version (ECV). This basically means the doctor applies pressure to your stomach to turn the baby from the outside. This was also a scary option, but I decided to try it.

Long story short, it didn’t work. I’m not sure if the doctor was upset because I wrecked his success rate but he told me I was having a stubborn girl and wished me luck. Turns out I did have a girl and he was right, she is very stubborn.

But is that a bad thing? Maybe right now it is as she challenges me on everything, but I think these qualities will serve her well in the long run.

She won’t bend to peer pressure in high school and there is no way she will let anyone walk over her in college or at her first job. I just need to not lose my mind for the next couple of years .

I’ve read every book and mommy blog on raising a strong-willed child. It’s not for the faint of heart and little tricks like asking if she wants to wear the red or the blue shirt in order to get her dressed don’t work.I have to make her want to get dressed. It has to be her idea.

Read more from the Sticky Files:

Don’t let kids prevent you from travelling

What’s in a name? A lot

As her mom, I also need to be her wall. I need to be firm, yet quiet and gentle, soft but never give in. It’s a balancing act and one I’m still figuring out, but I think it will be a good thing in the long run.

If not, there’s always wine.


@MariscaDekkema
marisca.bakker@interior-news.com

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