Thursday, February 28, 2013


Jacob is our firstborn. And like a typical firstborn, he's confident, driven, dominant, and intelligent.

He is also stubborn. Very stubborn.

Our struggle as his parents has always been trying to get those characteristics focused in the right direction

From the moment he was born, he has wanted things done his way.

The nurses whisked him away shortly after he was born because of fluid in his lungs. In the NICU, they hooked him up to a monitor. He immediately grabbed one of the wires and pulled it off his chest. Before the nurse could stop him, he grabbed a second wire, and ripped it off too. She was shocked. She laughed and informed him that he shouldn't have been strong enough or have enough control to do that. Leighton offered his fingers for Jake to grasp, and the monitoring continued.    

I could tell stories of the times he sat at the table for more than 3 hours because he wouldn't eat his dinner. And then how he wouldn't eat the next day until dinner time again because he still refused to eat it all day long. Or about the times when he refused to go to the bathroom the entire day because we weren't at home and he wouldn't go anywhere but home. Or how I used to be called out of every single church service because he was misbehaving. Or how he has sat in his room for hours doing absolutely nothing because he wouldn't complete a single workbook page.


Our method has always been to be consistent and more stubborn than he is. No, it has not been easy. It's not easy to cancel your plans or walk out of a store before you're done shopping or sit and listen to your child cry.

But already in 7 years, we've seen huge improvements. Now, he'll eat just about anything and is almost always the first one finished. Now, I have his teachers at church tell me how well he behaves. Now, he'll obey pretty quickly without arguing. Now, there is much less struggling.  

Does that mean he's always compliant, he always does his schoolwork without complaining, he always completes his chores without being told??? No. He's still a child. He's still imperfect. He's still a sinner. But that everything-is-always-going-to-be-my-way attitude has changed. Sure, it still hides deep down and resurfaces. That stubborn trait will always linger as part of his personality. 

And that's ok.

Stubbornness in itself isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's where that stubbornness is aimed is what matters. After all, we want our kids to be stubborn in their stand for what's right. Stubborn in their love for God. Stubborn in avoiding evil. Resolute. Tenacious. Uncompromising.

It's our job as parents to help mold our children into the people God wants them to be. It's our responsibility to guide them in making the proper choices. Not to change their personalities, but help them use their qualities in a positive way.    

Jake is a natural born leader. He has charisma, self-confidence, and assertiveness. Throughout his life, he will influence people. I want to help him strengthen his personality now, so he will have the character later to point people to the Truth.

And I will be stubborn.

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  1. I love this! I have a very stubborn child as well, and the days where I feel like I am fighting a losing battle are the days when I focus on how stubborn her heart is on Jesus.

    1. Those days are hard. Of course, since I wrote this, he made sure I had one of those days, too. Little stinker!

  2. You are such a wonderful person, and mother. Just like your mom.

    1. Aw, that's so sweet of you! My mom is pretty great.

  3. My first born is stubborn too. But the older she gets, the more I see her growing into a lovely young lady.

  4. Praise the Lord for your determination and fortitude. I love how you say you will always be the stronger one. May God bless you and your son greatly, as it is obvious that He already has. Your son is destined to accomplish great things, and God gave him to you for a special reason. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I'm stopping by from Throwback Thursday. I have a stubborn one like that too. But as he's turning into a teenager, I'm seeing hard work with him pay off. He's not always easy, but he's a great kid!