Trees of Transition

Planting seeds of hope throughout our world through sharing photography and thoughts on teaching, cooking, and life transitions.


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A Teacher’s View of the Book: The Strong-Willed Child

img_9443Strong-willed children grow into strong-willed adults who can either create beauty and lead others to greatness or let their strong spirit hurt and squash those around them. The beginning of the road to greatness or ruin lies with the choices the parents make in teaching the child how to use that strong will.

My parents had to stand up to me many times because I’m one of those strong-willed people. I’ve gotten a taste of what they went through during my years as a teacher, especially a year and a half ago. I had one especially strong-willed student who was leading the whole class toward being rebellious. With God’s help and courage, I took him on, and he eventually left the school. I couldn’t change that student, but I could let him receive the consequences for his behavior.

The New Strong-Willed Child

Receiving appropriate consequences for behavior is how strong-willed children learn, according to Dr. James Dobson in The New Strong-Willed Child. From my personal experience (I hadn’t learned how to submit well to female authority (I was fine with male, but always wanted to buck females) until I got fired a few years back, so I had to learn the hard way) and from teaching tough, inner-city students, I see that it takes persistence and a ferocious will to keep standing up to a child who just wants what he or she wants and always is pushing for that.

Reading The New Strong-Willed Child gave me so much encouragement about how I handled my classroom: I stood up to those children because they wanted to see if I would let them get away with disrespect, cheating, and laziness. Dr. Dobson tells many stories of children who want to see if they can get around what their parents were asking them to do, and I was surprised by how much ENCOURAGMENT came through the book.

Dr. Dobson draws from being a classroom teacher, a child psychologist, and a parent of a strong-willed child himself to share solutions and advice mixed with much care. He does not want to see parents bewildered by their children, and he knows that parents CAN parent strong-willed children well.

A strong-willed child makes the parents (or teacher) look bad by not being able to control the child. If the parent had a compliant child, the parents would look normal and like great parents. The strong-willed child gives parents a test of their leadership, their authority, and has so much energy to keep on doing it. These children like to take on the authority figure to see if they can break the adult and get what they want. Dr. Dobson encourages parents to just keep on standing up to these children, molding them, teaching them to listen to authority. It takes so much energy to stand up to a little one who is pushing the limits every day, but the child will learn if the parent is consistent.

Reading The New Strong-Willed Childmade me thankful that I held strong when teaching and that my parents held strong with me. It is exhausting, but worth it—the children learn that they must listen to you. And strong-willed children become amazing strong-willed adults who change the world.

This book is worth reading. Check it out: 🙂


The New Strong-Willed Child

Peace!

~Mary Hope

P.S. Thank you for stopping by! I insert affiliate links, such as from  Amazon, into my posts to share interesting books and products. If you buy something or start a registry, I receive income (at no extra cost to you!), for which I am thankful. So…..

— Use this link to shop on  Amazon

–shop at my Etsy photo card/notecard/art shop: Trees of Transition Art & Design

–keep on reading this blog.

Thank you again, and peace to you and your family!

~Mary Hope

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Four Books that are Helping Me Learn How to be a Mother

Pregnant with your first baby or just want to know of some knowledgeable books to have on hand while parenting? Four that I have been dipping into recently include one on breastfeeding (that I read before the baby arrived and now have been looking up different sections for reassurance about different topics), a step-by-step developmental guidebook, a book about sleeping (that I read while my baby was just a couple of months old) and a book about eating. Continue reading


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Sweet Times with My Dad

My Dad will be 81 on June 4th, and I’m pondering my favorite memories of him…here are a few:

Let’s start with some food memories (since Dad and I both love our food!) We had a huge hickory tree next to our driveway, and each fall it would drop thousands of nuts—at first they we insulated in 1/2inch thick covering, that would fall off in quarters as they dried, then leaving the small (about the size of a blackberry) nut that also had 1/8-inch of shell. My dad made me a “Hickory nut cracker” –a strong contraption that would break through that heavy shell. Once when I was around 10, I took the time to crack a lot of hickory nuts and then I baked them into cookies. They had a strong, pecan-like flavor. I took some out to Dad working in his shop, and he liked them. Continue reading


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Celebrating 40 Years of Marriage

On January 14th my parents celebrated 40 years of marriage! My Dad didn’t talk much, but he knew who we were, and he ate a chocolate eclair to celebrate and shared it with Mom. Then he fell asleep.

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Bittersweet Shift

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The word to describe yesterday would be bittersweet: In the morning, the reality of my Dad possibly passing away soon hit home. I’m thankful for tears and the release they bring. Then I switched gears to party preparations for a party for my fiancé passing a huge test that advances his career. I went over to his house, turned on a funny movie and got chopping: white chili, finished the red chili, fruit salsa… Continue reading


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Hope’s Swirls

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My family is going through a hard time with my Father’s health, and yesterday making this lemon pie calmed me down. Dad had wanted a piece the day before, so I took it to him. He was not up for eating any, but I’m glad I did it. Our family could use your prayers right now. Growing old is a hard transition, especially if a person hopes they will just be fine until they die.
Here’s a few more things that have been life-giving these days: Continue reading