I love her so deeply it hurts.
She is so passionate.
So full of life.
Such an individual.
So her own woman.
So much older than her three-year-old little self.
But I have made it no secret that she has been my fiercest challenge. My first three children, as most of my friends will tell you, were almost a bit unfair. They were all truly easy. Of course no child is perfect, but I really didn't face any major issues figuring out how to direct and discipline them.
But God did decreeth: "Wendi shall be humbled."
And Wendi was.
And then it was the seventh day and I rested.
'm still parenting.
Last night Hannah and I had a conversation while she laid in bed. It went like this:
Me: "Hannah you are going to change the world some day."
Me: "I think you are going to be the President of the United States."
Hannah: "No I'm going to be a mom."
Me: "You are?"
Me: "How many kids will you have?"
Me: "What are their names?"
Hannah: "I don't know their names."
Me: "Is one going to be Ginger?"
Hannah: "No, that's a silly name. They are going to be Cinderella, Snow White, and Belle."
We are constantly having conversations like that. She's always coming up with something new.
Hannah is biologically my oldest child, and she acts like a firstborn. She is a leader. She is strong-willed.
And she could care less about discipline.
A spanking? She does thus scoff at spanks.
A time-out? She finds a way to play in all situations. Even in an empty, boring space. And she truly doesn't seem to care that she's in time-out. It's almost a goal of her's to get there.
So ... I brainstormed and reached out to some friends and decided to completely change strategies the fourth time around.
We went to Yoder's. She picked out a favorite candy. And I decided to simply reward her anytime I caught her listening and obeying the first time.
It has worked very well. I wanted to take a moment to document and update my Blog with this small success for anyone else parenting a strong-willed child. I'm not saying I do not discipline her. I still have to do that. But instead of going to war with her every time she doesn't listen, I've started saying something like:
"Oh, are you going to listen right away? If you do, I think I'll have to reward you with a gummy bear?"
And she has started saying, "Mommy could you ask me to do something so that I could be a good listener and get a gummy bear?"
It's working. For now. Baby steps!