Monday, October 28, 2013

You Can't Make Me

I have this amazing, unique, & wonderful child who resonates with characters in books like Ramona Quimby, David, & Peter Rabbit just to name a few. He’s the kind child who, all though being well meaning, often lands in trouble with his feet caught on the wrong side of the line.

He loves characters who are full of pluck & courage. Characters who aren’t afraid to do what they think is right regardless of what others think. Characters who can think for themselves & act upon those thoughts. It doesn’t matter if the character lands in trouble, in fact generally this is more realistic & appealing to him. Why? Because it so easily mirrors his own life.

I have a child, that for years, I’ve labeled as stubborn. I’ve often spent countless nights praying for him, worrying over him, & wondering if his heart is in the right place or not. This is the child who, without intending to be rude, will simply state, “Yeah, but you can’t make.” It’s not said in a nasty voice, but a matter of fact way. It’s the kinda of statement that makes me want to rip my hair out & throw my own mini tantrum. It’s also the kinda statement that has landed him in a pot of trouble thicker then three day old porridge.

So when I heard the book You Can’t Make Me, But I Can Be Persuaded recommended to a friend I didn’t hesitate to check out the book myself. I didn’t even do my normal, “don’t follow the link, google it yourself” thing. I clicked right on the link & saw that not only was Amazon offering up a kindle edition, meaning I could start reading right away, there was also a copy available at Audible & I had a stack of credits waiting to be used.

I downloaded the book & was delighted to see it was a short listen, compared to the books I normally listen to. It’s still a 3 hour listen. I was often found, mid chore with my mouth hanging open. Not because of the craziness of the example children in the book, but rather because they mirrored my child exactly.

I drank up every word of the book & took it all to heart. I began using many of the tips & techniques right away. Who knew the word “okay” could make so much difference in how you tell your child to do something?! I certainly didn’t, yet that simplistic little word has stopped our child in his tracks many times & brought a bad situation back around.

The thing is, reading the book, or listening in my case, hasn’t just helped me to find better ways to handle those tough moments or even the every day moments. It’s helped me understand my child better. It’s helped me to understand why he’s said some of the crazy things he’s said to us over the years & why he felt they were so absolutely without any doubt in his mind true.

Mr S hasn’t read, or heard, the book yet, but he’s gotten a whole lot of daily rundowns & updates on what I’ve heard & listened to. He’s listened to my excitement grow as I’ve found that “aha” type moment to help me better understand our child. 

I’m not saying the book is a miracle worker or that it’ll make everything perfect. I’m not saying the book will change your child, because it won’t. I don’t want my child to change because I know he was created in the image of God & that, regardless of how we may feel somedays, is exactly how he’s suppose to be. 

What I am saying is if you’ve got one of those children you think is incredibly stubborn & you feel like you’re always at odds with them it can’t hurt to read or listen to the book, right? You never know, you might find some encouragement & help inside yourself too. You can find the Top Ten Tips printable here.

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