Raising a Wild Child
I’ve got one kid who loves following instructions and rules. I’ve got two that respect their elders’ opinions,although it does not mean they obey us all the time. Then I have that one kid that really just does whatever they want.
And that child is my daughter.
I blame it on her dad, because although I love him, he lets her get away with everything. But deep down I know he is not the only culprit. The rest of us are just as guilty, even if we aren’t as obvious as he is about it. I like to think I have some semblance of authority with her, but my parents would probably laugh in my face if they heard me say that. Although they would just as freely admit that they don’t discipline her either.
In other words, I’ve got a wild child.
I love her curious spirit. Always wondering “what would happen if?” or “why is?” She treats her life (and everything around her) a little more like a science experiment than I would like, but I think her inquisitive nature is going to pay off someday. She’s the type of kid that you can believe will invent something amazing or maybe she’s going to figure out some crazy way to do something that is safer for the environment, cheaper, or just more awesome than anything anybody has ever thought of before.
There are some things that I have learned about raising a….spirited…child, and here they are:
- Life is going to be messier. These are the kids that are going to take stuff apart before they can remember how to put them back together. They’re going to poke things, mix things, and collect things—just because they’re curious about it all. Your job is to encourage responsibility in these matters.
- They’re going to drive you crazy with their different interests. My daughter has been interested in just about everything already. She goes from ballet to softball to guitar without batting an eye. You have to learn how to get them to follow through without stifling their natural desire to experience everything.
- Let them make mistakes. It’s hard, as a parent, to watch our kids fall on their faces. But, and this is true for all children, it is the best way for them to learn sometimes. Lessons can be painful, but we discover a lot about ourselves along the way.
- You’re going to get a lot of pushback. These are the kids that are going to challenge your patience on a regular basis. Unfortunately, since you’re the adult, you have to rise above it. Set a firm line in the sand and then stick to it. Don’t be a pushover.
- They’re going to fly way before you’re ready to let them. Their curiosity is going to push them to go faster than other kids their age. You have tofind a balance between satisfying their desire to leave the nest and your urge to keep them under your wing.
Good luck. I’m struggling with mine, but I know I wouldn’t change a thing about her even if I could.