Julia was a spitfire. When she was a tyke, she was ready to take the world by storm. All who knew her mom, Maggie, knew of this little one’s intensity. Creativity, exuberance, a ferocious snuggle instinct, and excellent vocabulary were sometimes difficult to enjoy amidst defiance, meltdowns, sleep issues, and definitely a plan for how she wanted to run the family, even as a pre-schooler.
Maggie wrote, “Julia, you are a little firecracker. You know what you want and how you want it done, and have always been able to communicate that.” Maggie, also a horse trainer, carefully navigated how to train this feisty “filly” in a way that captured her heart and didn’t break her spirit. It wasn’t always easy, to be sure.
Her mom recently wrote to her daughter on her fifth birthday: “I just wanted to take this chance to tell you that many people hope to someday meet their hero. I’m lucky, I gave birth to mine. You face all the challenges in your path with a resiliency that I cannot fathom. I am in awe of you. One of my teachers says, “The hotter the fire, the stronger the steel” and I think that is true for you. You are facing immense challenges, and you are overcoming them. God made you an overcomer!”At age four, Julia faced a challenge that could have broken her spirit – leukemia. But that intensity served her well in facing this intense challenge.
So the point of this short tip is – If you are raising a feisty spitfire – cool! Be aware that their intensity just may be the raw material to overcome something significant and impact the lives of many people in the process.
When you parent from a vision for how God can use the life of your intense child, it gives a passion for guiding and developing, instead of opposing and controlling. It’s holy work.
What’s your vision for parenting your intense child?
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