My daughter is already showing the signs of a strong willed person. At 6 months I don't have to work very hard to figure out what she wants. Her cries are distinctive, her body language is direct and often forceful, and she grabs my face when she wants me to look at her. She is stubborn when she isn't tired and has no problem inching her way back to the side of the blanket that I have moved her from a dozen times because she wants to grab the table leg.
She is stubborn. And I admire that. I am also relieved because I don't think that being strong willed is something you can teach a child. They are either okay with someone taking their toy from them or they aren't. I think you can teach children to be thankful, imaginative, respectful, and obedient but I do not think you can teach that dogged determination that gets you what you are going for. I am relieved because being strong willed as a woman is a huge asset. She will be less likely to be taken advantage of, succumb to peer pressure, or need affirmation from the wrong places. Hopefully she will go after what she wants just as much when she is 15 as she does now. I think my daughter is going to be a strong amazing woman.
My job as her mother will be to make sure that strength of hers does not end up destroying her life. I need to teach her to be kind so that she doesn't walk over other people. I need to model respect for Grant, the church, my friends so that she learns to be teachable. I need to teach her how to apologize- and forgive- so she does not expect perfection from herself or others.
I know exactly where she gets it from. Grant and I have laughed many times that stubbornness is not a recessive trait in this family. She didn't have a choice, really.