This quote rings in my head most days of the week. Especially the days I spend time with our littlest love Aoibhie. If William Shakespeare was alive in 2016, I have no doubt in my mind that he would agree whole heartedly with me! You’d think I would know how to raise a strong willed child, after all she is a carbon copy of myself – or so my husband has made me believe.
I’d like to think she isn’t stubborn to be stubborn. She doesn’t do it to be defiant. She isn’t mean. We do joke that she is an Irish rebel but I don’t think she is rebellious. Nothing she does is in a malicious way or to prove a point. She does it because it is in her nature. It’s a part of who she is. Just like I’m sure it was in my nature at her age. Perhaps I still have a touch of Sass about me. An ‘Irish Rogue’ my Nana used to say while speaking fondly about Aoibhie. I think Nana had her pegged from day one! The only thing Nana didn’t realise was how this gene was passed down from herself.
Truthfully I understand why she is like this. If I go back to my 4 year old self I can remember feeling the way she feels when doing the things she does. I can remember wanting explanations or wondering what the plan for the day ahead was. Which probably came across disrespectful but it wasn’t intended that way, it was because I genuinely wanted to know why I was being told to do something. I wanted answers all the time and it wasn’t to be nosey or to chat back. I just knew I could help because I had ideas too. Ideas that in my mind were amazing!
I suppose this post came about because Aoibhie came home from school yesterday and said a boy called her ‘bossy Aoibhie!” I tried not to laugh and text my husband immediately as I knew he would find that funny. No one likes to be called names but for such a small strong independent little girl – this really got to her! She felt wronged. We do listen to her often and think the exact same thing. However we try not to use those words for fear she felt she had to own them. She doesn’t and we most certainly don’t want to crush her sassy spirit.
We have to realise those feelings of dissapointment that we feel when we aren’t being heard or acknowledged have to be more frustrating for a little love. When ever my opinion wasn’t heard much less taken into consideration it upset me – It still does. I need to be more considerate of her thoughts and feelings. I need to listen up when she is sharing her exciting news – even if the story goes on for longer then I deem interesting. I need to give her explanations and no matter how many times she says – ‘but why?’ or ‘and then what will we do’ – I need to answer without getting frustrated. It makes her feel incredible to have her choices valued!
Of course I’m so used to being the dictator in our home, so letting her ‘rule her own life’ (so to speak) won’t come easy. I can start by offering her two choices a day- what would she rather do? Which would she rather do first? Obviously in my own habits there are ways I like to do things. Bath, Teeth, PJ’S, Story! Does it really matter in which order they happen? Not really. If this helps her make it through the day feeling like she has some control over her own life then I think doing things differently might help.
Letting go is something I find super tough. I have mentioned it in past posts, so this might not come easy to me. I will try though! The 4 year old in me is excited for her and as an adult I realise the importance of feeling in control and also feeling heard. I also know that all these qualities she has will work wonders for her in her teens and adult life, she is super lucky to have so much sass! For now we won’t kill her buzz but we will tone it down so she learns to share the stage!!
Love, Helly xx