On Raising a Difficult Child

Oh I really don’t want to label D. But I must be honest. He’s difficult. With a capital D. He’s 16 and his favorite word remains “No.” Easy-going, laid back, lassie faire ….yeah so not D. Over his lifetime I have learned much however. And though I am far from an expert, I can offer these five tips/recommendations/suggestions when it comes to raising a difficult child.

  1. Leave your ego at the door. By all means do NOT go head to head with a difficult child. You know where that leads you? In a screaming frenzy-blood boiling-blood pressure elevated-crazy state of mind. Trust me. I know.
  2. Don’t ever give up. As hard and as challenging as a difficult child can be, don’t quit trying. We have a sign in my office that reads “The kids who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving of ways.” Know that being difficult can sometimes be a cover for something deeper. Have compassion. Maybe even some empathy.
  3. Continue to create opportunities….even when you know it’s fairly certain the response will be “No.” Perseverance, gentle perseverance. Lead the way.
  4. Always, always challenge the difficult attitude with love. Cliche I know. But it works.
  5. Be grateful. Yes, grateful. Why? Because raising a difficult child is an opportunity for you to become a better parent. Every situation is a chance to strengthen your parenting skills – albeit challenge your patience as well!

I have been blessed with a child who is difficult and a child who goes-with-the-flow. Both amaze me with their strengths. And, yes, they both have their weaknesses. After all, we all do. But how lucky am I to be their mom!

Do you have any more tips to add?


2 thoughts on “On Raising a Difficult Child

  1. Lyme.Co says:

    I like your tips. Especially the one about not going head to head. My son is 13 and in full teenager mode. I’ve often thought that the worst thing you can do to a child is to give up on them. And yet recently I have felt like I wanted to just leave him in a large basket on someone’s doorstep. I guess it’s a little late for that. The only tip I would add is having time apart. My son’s other parent took him for a week and by the end of it, I was somewhat ready to deal with him again. Thanks for your post.

    • butterboop22 says:

      Oh I completely agree…thank you for adding that one! Time apart is so healthy. Really for any type of relationship. Taking pause definitely helps to restore some energy. It feels like D can sap my energy at times. But knowing when to pull back and when to calmly proceed helps to create a much better balance.
      Thank you for taking the time to respond! 🙂

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