I’ve read the book by Dr. Dobson. I’ve studied parenting in college due to my B.S. in Family Ministries. I even served as a full-time youth and children’s minister for 7+ years at small churches. But I can assure you that nothing, NOTHING could have prepared me for my new toddler, Jonathan.
Now, before you accuse me of being a naive first-time parent, I’ll point out that Jonathan has an older brother, Thomas who’s recently turned 8 years old. Yet as you can expect, Thomas didn’t have a “terrible twos” phase while Jonathan is full-blown into just such a stage. There are all the hallmarks of the “terrible twos”: temper tantrums, throwing things, masterful use of the word “no” and screaming.
So I’ve got two children. One is mild-mannered and calm. I’ve seen him throw one tantrum, and I’ve never seen him throw a glass of milk across the table. The other child is going through an amazing period of self growth and discovery. Unfortunately this is accompanied by pushing the boundaries beyond the four walls of this home.
I believe there’s a lot to be said about a strong-willed child. I agree with Dobson that if their energy and self-sufficiency can be directed, reigned in, the child can grow into quite an individual. However, that doesn’t make it any easier when it’s 2am and your “individual” isn’t wanting to go back to bed. But I digress.
I’m here to tell you two things: 1) I would do anything for both my boys and love them equally. They both have qualities that I’ve fallen completely in love with. 2) Children are definitely “hard-wired” from birth to have a certain disposition. No one can convince me otherwise.