For all the parents of “challenging” children

One mom's open letter to her difficult child has every parent feeling proud and teary-eyed right now.

Photo: iStockphoto

Photo: iStockphoto

Have any of the following happened to you in the past week?

1. Your child turned a simple request to brush teeth into an epic 45-minute battle of wills.
2. Your child said they hate you and broke your heart into a zillion tiny pieces.
3. You wondered if repeated and prolonged exposure to whining could be fatal.

If so, congratulations, you have a challenging child! Fortunately, Bunmi Laditan, the hilarious mom behind Honest Toddler, is totally feeling you. She wrote a letter to her difficult kid, getting real on how soul-sucking it can be to try to parent someone who fights you at every step.

“You’ve always given me a run for my money. Parenting tactics that worked on your siblings don’t work on you. Where they’d give in, you’d push back. Where they’d say “I’m sorry” you’d say “I hate you.” My parenting self-esteem has taken many hits as you challenge me over and over again. Your will is like iron and bending it takes all of my energy.

I’ve had to dig deep to parent you. I’ve had to follow through and be stronger than I’ve ever been before. To be honest, you exhaust me mentally and emotionally. You’ve embarrassed me in public more times than I can count.”

But if you’re not sure how you’ll find the fortitude to withstand another tantrum, hear this: That steel will is a gift. Today’s sh*t disturber is tomorrow’s revolutionary.

“As you sit in time out, finally calm after screaming and yelling, I want you to know that even though you think I’m the enemy, I’m your biggest cheerleader. You may look in the mirror and see a tear-streaked child with messy hair, but I see a powerhouse. I see a game changer. I see a leader.”

Head over to Facebook to read the whole exquisite thing…and feel fortified to parent on.

Read more:
Kids’ behaviour: 10 things to forgive them for and why
3 tips for dealing with tween moodiness
10 tantrum tamers that actually work

Stay in touch

Subscribe to Today's Parent's daily newsletter for our best parenting news, tips, essays and recipes.