Strong-Willed Kind-Hearted Daughters.


Sometimes I feel like I'm raising a monster.

I mean, not like a Frankenstein type monster but more of a Sully - you know..the one who puts on a scary front but deep down is the ultimate cuddle monster?
That's my Lucia.


I took my kids to Disneyland last month and while every day since we've been home they've mentioned how much they miss California, the sunshine, the rides and the new friends- it was not an easy trip on the parenting front.
Lucia just told me yesterday that she misses Lana's husband, clue why? :)
Don't get me wrong, they're great kids and yes, they may be cuddled on the couch next to me right now before they head out to school and my daughter may be serenading with a tune she created that kinda sounds like Leonard Cohen's Halleluia with "I love you mom" as the lyrics instead.....sure, they are showing me a bountiful amount of gratitude and appreciate for the memories created on their trip- but let me tell you, it didn't feel like it was going to be that way while we were there.

My 8 yr daughter was the most difficult she has ever been on that trip. 
She was an absolute disaster.

Now, that is completely my perspective and while I was absolutely mortified and embarrassed every time she yelled, screamed and gave attitude- my friends, my wonderful new friends probably just saw a spicy little girl.
I guess we just expect the best?  And I should have been prepared- I have been here before with my son, I just never had to deal with it while standing in line for rides and trying to enjoy the "happiest place on earth" (which honestly, by my definition would be Nordstrom's- not Disney). 

But alas, it wasn't my happiest place, per say, but a very expensive happy place far away from home that I really wanted my kids to enjoy.  And don't get me wrong, she obviously enjoyed it was painful during the trip.   I found myself wanting to curl up in a ball and cry; I was out of strategies and didn't have the tools to deal with the meltdowns and constant attitude. 

This has been a struggle for me as I am working to rewire my instincts to react with rage and anger and to replace them with firmness and you know..what better place to test my new skills out than in Disney- far from home, my husband and surrounded by shiny, happy people.

When I take a step back of the situation and realize that her meltdowns aren't about me, but rather about a growing girl who is grappling with her emotions and ability to express herself, when I remember that I am there to help her and guide her, not berate and embarrass her- then it is much easier to deal with.

In our recent podcast on parenting, Abbie shared something that she had read which our friend Shaunacey had shared and man, does it ever hit home when I think of that trip.

Your kid isn't giving you a hard time, they are having a hard time.

Isn't that true though? So many times I get caught up in the moment and it becomes about how my kid is wrecking my day. Man, it is so hard to remember that I'm the adult in the situation and that I need to be the one teaching her how to deal with these feelings without hurting someone.  I mean, she is a mini-me in all senses so I should be able to emphasize with her.

I have to come to terms that I'm raising a strong-willed daughter.

She is a girl who is unafraid to wear her heart on her sleeve, and to be honest, if she isn't enjoying you, she won't be all sunshines and roses.  Lucia is not fake, nor is she a people-pleaser.  She will also not be a pushover in life.  She has inherited my resting awesome face, so there's that...... 

I want her to be strong, to be a force, to be a voice, to be a friend- I just also want her to be caring and respectful in expressing those emotions.

My daughter is absolutely amazing.  Yes, she is spicy and explosive, but man she will love you whole-heartedly and she will be your friend until the end of time.
And while I was none too thrilled with how she behaved in public, I can be proud that she's becoming a strong-willed girl, one who will use her super powers to change the world.

Cheers to raising strong girls on this International Women's Day.

You can listen to our podcast on parenting here...I would love to hear some tips/feedback/suggestions for dealing with those strong-willed kids!

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