Dear Difficult Child,
There have been many times I have watched you, the fire burning in your eyes as you tell your siblings to back off.
I have to admit; I was not fully prepared for just how differently you would react to things than they do.
While I am aware that all children are different, I was not ready for just how different my parenting strategies would have to be with you.
If I tell your sister to go to time out, while she huffs and puffs and shuffles her feet all the way there, she goes and sits and serves her time.
When I tell you to go to time out, a battle ensues.
It is never quite as simple as just a time out.
There is always pushback and a lot of it.
I have spent a lot of time reflecting on how I have parented you, beating myself up, wondering where I am going wrong, agonizing over the fact that I feel as though I am failing you.
The truth is though, I will never give up.
I will keep pushing forward.
I will continue to try my absolute best to parent you in a way that works for both of us.
One thing I do not have try though is to love you. That just comes naturally.
While you have embarrassed me in public several times, the school has called me for direction over and over and your grandparents have questioned my parenting on more than one occasion, believing they know better, I will always love you.
I will always love your spirit.
I will always love your determination to fight, especially when you feel as though you have been wronged.
I get it, you are navigating childhood and trying to find yourself and that can be hard.
You, my dear difficult child, are a superhero in your own right.
These characteristics and personality traits that make you “difficult”, “bossy” and “stubborn” in the present, will one day give you the strength to change the world.
You will be a leader.
You will grow up with the determination you need to achieve your goals. You will be a force to be reckoned with.
I want you to understand though, that it is my job to guide you in a direction that allows your abilities to be used for good rather than evil.
I have to do my job as your parent to teach you right from wrong, and the correct way to harness those traits.
While they can seem negative to some, when used properly they can be incredibly positive.
So, in conclusion, my beautiful, strong, determined child, I get you and I love you and I am excited to see what amazing things you do in the world.
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