Our Little Hulk Parenting a strong willed Kid

This is something that has been on my heart for a while to share, but as a mom and a parent, I’m never going to be truly 100% comfortable putting out there.  This is something that is incredibly personal and makes our family vulnerable, but I know we aren’t the only ones out there that experience this!

I know we aren’t the only ones that question ourselves and I know that if MY family is experiencing this and if I can share my story, then maybe someone else who is also experiencing this too might be able to benefit or at least say HEY… oh my gosh me too!

Our son Lincoln is a pretty amazing kid… most of the time!  He is wild and spunky and has a thirst for life that is just magical to watch!  He is super excitable and he wakes up each morning ready to greet the day with as much joy as he can muster!

Linc is also incredibly strong willed and I don’t say that lightly!  He has his own ideas and opinions about things and if you say the sky is blue, he will argue you with you like an experienced lawyer with sound thoughts and ideas that the sky is indeed devoid of color which makes you only think the sky is blue.

He likes to form his own choices and doesn’t like to be given choices by authority.  He likes to try things out for himself and that means we go through lots of natural consequences in our house.

He also likes to push the boundaries on just about everything and when I say push the boundaries that means test out his limits on every single rule, limit, consequence possible.

As parents, we try our best to pick our battles with him but sometimes, we have learned, you just have to be a brick wall that he comes up against.  This leads to what we like to call Hulking out.

All kids have tantrums, some kids have  tantrums worse than others.  Linc has Hulk outs.   Our tantrums start pretty normal but then he just see’s red:  he lashes out physically and if you know the hulk you can pretty much imagine what I’m talking about.

The sad part is, Linc has no control over himself.  It’s almost as if he blacks out during these Hulk out sessions.  He goes into fight or flight mode and it not only scares us but it scares him too.

I thought we were completely alone in this and ya’ll…. I never would have shared this ever (to be honest for fear of judgement) but after talking with several of my girlfriends who have boys similar ages to Linc, I’ve found out, we aren’t alone!  Ya’ll, how crazy is it that those three little words, you aren’t alone can bring on a real whoosh of relief over your entire body!

After talking with several other boy moms and even some girl mama’s out there… this seems to be a somewhat common theme among strong willed kiddos and even some NOT strong willed kiddo’s and this is why I wanted to share this post today!

If you too have a kiddo that has HULK like outbursts, seriously physical tantrums, or just plain see’s red when they get angry.. guess what friend ME TOO…  WE AREN’T ALONE!

I feel like when we were younger, most of us were all people pleasers!  So it’s hard for us to understand this kind of super physical behavior!

Plus for me, it’s kind of scary to see someone so little, whom you just love so much act in such a physical way! I’m always in the moment at a loss for what to do and how to help him because it’s just so foreign to me.

As Linc has gotten older (he’s 5 now) we’ve seen a decrease in these type of super physical outbursts, which I’m incredibly thankful for!  But if he’s tired or overwhelmed, I can almost predict when one will hit!

I always asking myself after these episodes “what did I do wrong?!” and I try to figure out what I did or pin point the exact trigger or moment to explain WHY my kiddo acted this way or that way.  I try to explain the reason why he is so different from all of my other friend’s kiddos!  In my mind, his friends seem so normal and calm and perfect.

But here is the thing friends:  Parenting is an evolving, living and growing being. We are always changing and our kids are always changing and so are their needs.  So our parenting is constantly growing and changing.  There aren’t truly ever going to be reasons “why” our children do the things they do.  Sure their might be certain “triggers” but in all honesty, we can’t control every little thing, we can only control how we react and how we teach and guide them after!

I’ve learned that the best thing that I can do for myself and for Linc is to focus on the present moment and identify what I can do right in the here and now to help him!

I’ve also learned to give myself some GRACE!

Talking with other’s has helped me to see that I’m not alone and that it’s OK to share my story and see that we all have our struggles as parents.  No parent is perfect and no child is perfect!  We are all learning as we go!  Every child and every parent has their own personal struggle.  It might not be that their little one hulks out but it could be another struggle they have and that’s why every parent deserves a little grace.

Our children have so much pressure and expectations put on them these days!  They live in a different world than we did when we were growing up.  Their world is a world of instant gratification and that can be incredibly hard and confusing for a child when one minute you can have exactly what you want downloaded anywhere you want when  you want it, and the next second you parents tell you NO, STOP, WAIT, BE PATIENT and you are expected to understand.  Their world is a world of constant stimulation and activity where our world was a world of play and down time.

It’s no wonder they have strong personalities!  These personalities will take them incredibly far one day and I can’t wait to see what they will do and become.

I think it’s important to remember sometimes, that with strong personalities come strong reactions and maybe we just have to be patient with them while they work through them!

 


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