Parenting a Child with a Stronger Personality than Your Own


My daughter graduated pre-k in May. She is five-years-old and is best described as a firecracker. It seems every day is the Fourth of July with her. You can guarantee there will be sparks a flyin’ when she is around.

The teacher gave each graduate a personality award, and my daughter was awarded, “Most dramatic and high energy.”

I laughed when we heard what she was being awarded but then I thought about it later that day.

Should I be proud? Or offended?

Pre-K graduation

If you know my daughter, you know she is these two things… very, very much so. And not only is she dramatic and full of energy, she has an extreme determination in her. A stop-at-nothing attitude until she gets what she wants.

And she has been this way since birth, scratch that, since she was in utero. Because I remember when I was pregnant with her, she kicked my ribs all the time if she was in an awkward position. She was very active in utero, was a colicky baby – never slept, and has been in fast-forward mode since infancy.

In fact, I don’t remember her much as a baby. She went from crawling to walking in what seems like a few days. I am sure that’s not exactly how it occurred, I just remember her excelling fast at new skills and acting annoyed as a baby. Annoyed she couldn’t do more. She hated being restricted in her car seat and she made sure everyone knew that. I mean everyone. The most memorable was an hour drive home from a family function. She was outside most of the day, and everyone said, “Oh, she’ll fall fast asleep in the car.” I didn’t have high expectations and of course, she proved me right. She wailed the ENTIRE drive home. A loud, piercing scream. It is a memory ingrained in both my husband and me.

When she was a toddler, she used to plunge from her crib (head first) just before the age of two and was put into a full-size bed a few months after her second birthday.

The boundaries we have tried to create for her; for her well-being and also just our “house rules,” seem to always get pushed, and pushed, and pushed some more.

If she falls and gets a scratch, no blood – just a scratch, you can guarantee the neighbors will know. I tell her often that someone is going to call the cops because of her screaming. But, she doesn’t seem to care. Parenting her is hard. A lot harder than I imagined it to be.

And yet, this same child, who is difficult in many ways – does leave a little sparkle everywhere she goes. She lights up the room with her energy and zest for life.

Never a dull moment in our house.

Her personality is strong. Stronger than my own, I’ve come to realize. Plus, she’s a kid and innately has more energy than me.

Yet with all of her mightiness, she is a sensitive soul. She feels things more so than the average kid. She is super detail oriented and will notice anything new in her environment instantaneously. She is also pretty organized with her toys.

She is a leader. She has to be first in anything.

She is competitive. She always has to win.

She is cautious and reserved, and avoids things most kids like (face painting for example). She doesn’t just go with the flow, she makes her own flow.

When she was four-years-old, we took her to get her ears pierced. I thought we were going to leave with just one side done. It took her almost 45 minutes to get the second ear pierced. Thankfully, the lady piercing was patient, but she did give me the look like, “what the heck!” Because my daughter was so hysterical about the pain.

This child of mine will go places. Far more places than I ever have just because of her will. I know it.

To ask myself should I be proud or offended by her award?
I am proud. Darn proud. She is five and she is mighty.

While parenting her has and probably always will be challenging. She is incredible. She has the type of personality that will be good for this world. She will fight for what she believes in. She will lead.

She is amazing. And she is mine.

Are you raising a strong willed child? Any advice? 


  1. I love this! In so many ways, it was almost as if you wrote this about Miss Tenley. She is exactly as you describe. God sure blessed us with our spitfires. ❤️

  2. I love this. We give them the floor and we don’t compare them to us. Tap into their strengths and let them soar as they get us out of our comfort zone. Please peek at our website/blog and see what we do to make every occasion a special occasion at Everyone has had at least one of them. Thanks, Michelle


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