The Challenge of The Challenging Child

The Challenge of The Challenging Child

Challenging Children Challenge. Ok I know all children are challenging and parenting is a challenge and there comes a time when every parent has to dig deep within themselves to parent etc etc. I know. But please allow me the  luxury of saying that I do have a child that is that little extra challenging from the time he was born to 4 years 8 months old (at the time when this post is being written.) He was a dragon spitting fire and still is. I have two boys; both little fire balls of energy, both headstrong, both very in need of attention and energy from – you guessed it – me. But there is no way that my older child can pass of as just a headstrong, high energy, fiery boy.

In the past I have resorted to labeling N from Spirited to highly sensitive to many things in my quest to find answers. Today I know it looks like I am adding to the labels by writing challenging but I really do not want to do that. I don’t want to label nor add to his list of accomplishments. I want to look at the positives of challenging.

He has rocked my world. I know every baby does. But he has forced me to read like nothing else, research, find answers and most important CHANGE!

I got in to lactation support thanks to him and babywearing consultancy too. My next post is going to be reviews of many many parenting books I have read that have given me so much insight. I actually had a conversation with a parent recently (a hands on parent at that) who mentioned that their 2 year old has not changed their life much or challenged them at all. It really gave me food for thought.

Because I have changed. I have been challenged to the core, I have become a whole new person and I have been forced to grow as an individual and for that I will always be grateful.

Here are some of my experiences:

  • Parenting a challenging child forces you to take a very hard look at yourself and dig out pieces of yourself that are deeply buried in the past, pick them up, brush them off and shake hands with them. Acknowledge them and shed a tear or two for the child that was you. Because a lot of your past or your fears may manifest themselves in this child who is a piece of your heart which makes the whole situation more challenging.
  • Parenting a challenging child will make you have to face your own fears. He will remind you of someone from your gene pool you really really disliked and force you to woman up to the challenge that you are solely responsible for your beloved child not turning into anything like that person you despise.
  • Your challenging child will bring out the very worse in you and hold a mirror to your soul. And give you an opportunity to turn you into someone you could be proud of one day.
  • Your challenging child will be everything you hoped your child will NOT be. And you will find yourself loving and accepting them as they are anyway and knowing that you could not have asked for anything more.
  • Your challenging child will challenge your every human interaction and force you to change them, from getting angry, to being rude, to acting out of impulse.
  • Your challenging child will be a personal therapist in that you only have to take the lessons he is handing out to you in your stride for you to turn into a whole new person.
  • IF you do rise up to the challenge, the depth of the connection with this particular child can be something parents can only dream of.

At the ripe old age of 36 I am learning everyday from getting challenged in this way. The life lessons I have learnt with this pint size human being are more soul nourishing than what I have learnt in my whole life so far. I do love him enough to meet his challenge head on.

On another note, many really challenging children come with qualities we as a society value in adults. Perseverance, never say die attitude, non conformism, treating every no as a challenge to experiment anyway. We look down on these things in children but applaud adults who are anything but ordinary.

Many placid children do not have qualities that we applaud in adults. They can’t say no as children so how will they say no as adults? They are unable to push back, they conform, they become one of the herd etc. but we value these things in children, we hold them up to a pedestal of perfect child behavior.

With a child like mine I have found it far easier to create an environment where he can just be, and just do with minimal adult intervention. This has really helped us all keep our sanity. This way we don’t have to say no much and he doesn’t have to butt heads with authority figures a whole lot.

In my next post I will review some of the books I have read that have deeply helped me in my journey and quest to make my beautiful boy a whole person and be the parent he deserves.

Stay tuned and do say hi in the comments! Do you find you have such a child and what do you do to keep your sanity.