Iron Will

I have a very strong will. It’s at times a positive personality trait and at other times it can be a negative personality trait but it is definitely one of the main reasons that I have been able to face adversity and come out the other end ok, better than ok.

Once I’ve made up my mind about something, there is no stopping me. From really life changing situations, like my long journey to motherhood to the simpler things.

My iron will got me through my very long battle with infertility, it was my stubborn streak that saw me white knuckling it, baring down, gritting my teeth and getting on with it.

My iron will got me to submit to an hour-long session to have my tattoo. Despite how some people felt about it, despite how painful I was told it was going to be. I had made up my mind, I gritted my teeth, clenched my fists and I went for it.

I approach my parental responsibilities in the exact same way. I made up my mind a long time ago that I was not into wishy-washy parenting. That Ava would always know where she stood, what was acceptable, what was not. I have very clear idea’s of how I want her raised. I want to keep her a little girl for as long as possible, I do not want to land up with a precocious little miss when she’s 5 years old. I want her to understand discipline but still have the freedom to explore her individuality, I believe this can be done, if one finds the right balance. I want to be an example to her so that when she’s a mother one day, she too will believe and know that she does not have to martyr herself for her family. I want her to know boundaries and to understand and accept that she cannot always have things her own way. It’s important to me to raise a well-balanced child.The last thing I want is an over indulged 3-year-going-on-20-year old.

I believe that by raising her in the way I’ve mentioned above equals a loving upbringing that will create a well-balanced adult who can go forward in life armed with all the right lessons.

So with all of that in mind, last night, it became necessary to exercise some top up sleep training. The simple fact of the matter is that Ava has gotten into a bad habit, she is not crying, she is not sick, she is not cutting teeth, she is not thirsty and her nappy is clean, yet she still doesn’t want to sleep.

It was, surprisingly, not as hard as I thought it would be and I think this came down to my iron will and understanding my child. I knew the screaming/shouting was because she was angry because she wasn’t getting her own way and so I was able to remain calm. Let her cry it out, go in, gently and lovingly shush her and walk out again. Obviously I’m not going to be cruel, so when she did scream till she started coughing, I’d go in and check on her, settle her and leave her. It took an hour and forty minutes of what Walter will call rip-your-ears-off-torture which even caused our little Chihuahua’s to get rather distressed from the noise and eventually…… silence. I waited a couple of minutes, tip toed to her door and listened and all I could hear was the gentle sleep breathing….

The problem is that my iron will may have met its match because Ava is showing more and more of a tendency towards stubbornness the older she gets!

7 Comments

  • Hanneke C

    September 23, 2010 at 10:37 am

    :). Our parenting style is very similar, I’m sure on the outside looking in, sometimes people might perceive it as ‘harsh’ but the results speak for themselves! Keep up fighting/winning those battles and one day you might win that war! (I haven’t got there yet :))

    Reply
  • elna3

    September 23, 2010 at 11:58 am

    I am with you on this one -children need to learn where the boundries are and we as parents need to be consistent with this. She is obviously showing you how she feels. Am sure she will settle in after a few nights. It never stops to amaze me what strong little wills and tempraments they have.

    Reply
  • darylfaure

    September 23, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Good for you Sharon, and don’t you worry, you are doing the right thing. MY LB is incredibly stubborn as well, and the best thing I have done for him and us is to put him in a routine and stick to it. The top up sleep training is very necessary and has to be done every now and then, but it normally works very quickly, as you are just “topping up”, and is so worth it.

    Reply
  • pandoragelb

    September 23, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    I also agree with that parenting style. I think kids need to know they can’t always have their own way. I pick my battles though, as I don’t want to spend the whole day saying ‘no, stop it etc’. But some for things there is no option, its my way or no way. Sounds soooo easy, doesn’t it.
    That said, I had my first experience of an 18 month old child not wanting to be strapped into her car seat! She has never done that before, but you would have sworn I was a total stranger trying to kidnap her! The screaming echoed around the car park, as she held herself stiff as a board and squirmed to get away. Had to bribe her with a banana…

    Reply

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