Thursday, December 6, 2012

When temperments clash..the strong willed

I was frustrated...seemed anything could irritate me. Waking up to another mess the dog had made during the night didn't add a constructive undertone to my morning. Nor did the spat at 7am over waffles and syrup. Trying to breathe some peace into my day I made my mornings coffee and invited each of the boys to sit with me to discuss their progress in their studies. 

Carter was up first. He's very pleasant to talk to. Quirky but agreeable. Our meeting concluded that he has jumped leaps and bounds since August. A for amazing. 

Next up was Cylas. We began by going over his completed units in Math and English. His arrogant tone and lack of participation nerved me, but I went on to point out his successes, which brought him a smile. He likes positive attention. The tides turned thought when we moved onto our goals..as I pointed out his weakness in math, tension rose. He can be utterly difficult. His mind was on one thing, He wants to finish his book that I tore him from, and he doesn't want to put any more effort into math...and when is lunch...and can you take me to the store? My invitation for him to discuss his progress annoyed him. And his response aggravated me. He is very contrary to ideas that are not his own...really a leader in nature, but I couldn't ignore his attitude. So off I went, informing him that if he wanted to succeed in life, he would first off need to learn how to get along with people better, to be more agreeable. To think of others and think positively, optimistic. A team player. Uhh. 

As I am saying these words to my growing son who is trying to find himself I am vaguely reminded of my own attitude on life as a child. Looking at him I saw myself..through and through. If anyone were to understand what was going on inside this boy, it ought to be me. He and I clash...we are each stubborn to the extent that compromise is hard for us. I understand that. He doesn't. I need remind myself of this often. He is finding his way in life, and who better to teach him the skills to use his personality to advance his potential character. He needs affirmations..big ones. Daily I need remind myself that being critical of him only drives him farther into his tendency to rebel. As a mother, this is a learning curve for me too. As much as I think my parents never affirmed my presence, I need to boldly establish my son as a very important and contributing member of the family in the most empowering way. This is the key for him. Carter is different. His needs are unique too, but in such a way that he is much easier to please. My 2 year old is developing into a similar version of the strong willed child. Hopefully by the time he faces the same trials that Cylas does, I'll have a more experienced grasp on things. Poor Cylas, he's really a living experiment. My first child. I make mistakes. We learn. We get better. I know we will be okay. 

As much as this journey is terrifying, emotional, and lifelong I catch glimpses every day of the treasure I have in my children. To see their personalities blossom as they make their way. Seeing how they care for each other. Those moments when I look at them and know that they are the greatest gift God has ever entrusted me with. I am so Thankful. For every moment. The peaceful ones. The challenging. The rewarding. It's all good, we are moving forward.