Larry Hagner is bringing us a personal account of a conversation he had with his 13-year-old son about cutting the grass. When his son questioned him on it, Larry responded in a way that he wished he hadn’t. After apologizing to his son, he realized that it wasn’t the fact of mowing the grass; it was that he didn’t explain to his son why he wanted him to mow the grass.
Having a stubborn child can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because your child has a gift; they challenge the status quo and stick up for what they believe in. On the other hand, their stubbornness is also a curse because they are willing to argue with you if they don’t understand something. In the case with Larry’s son, he mowed the grass because his dad asked him to, but with a poor attitude because he didn’t understand why he had to mow the backyard too. Once Larry explained to him why he wanted the backyard mowed, his whole demeanor changed. He then understood that there actually was a purpose to mowing the grass.
A strong-willed child means they have a gift. They are not willing to budge on their beliefs because they hold true to their values. As fathers, we are leaders in our household. If we teach our strong-willed children that if you challenge the status quo, be respectful about it. If they aren’t respectful, it’s our job to course-correct that behavior, so it’s not ill-received. Challenging the status quo is how people change the world. Yes men don’t change the world because they are too afraid to say no.
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