Raising the strong-willed child can leave parents not only exhausted but puzzled. Why would a child which you have sacrificed for, want to treat you with such disdain? What is the motive of a child, to talk disrespectful to the parents that have loved and nurtured that child from day one?
Dr Dobson describes it this way, “Yet the tough-minded kid goes through life like a runaway lawn mower.” “He’ll chew up anything that gets in his way.” (Pg.109)
“Deep within his or her spirit is a raw desire for power. We can define power in this context as control or control of others, control of circumstances and, especially, control of ourselves.”
Dr Dobson talks about how adults also seek this power to be in control, but that it “varies only in degree”, between individuals.
All of my life I thought, at meal time, you selected what you wanted to eat. The cook found out what you liked and catered to your taste buds. Until I was married. I watched my wife with our children during meal time. Oh yes, she made an attempt to give them something they liked within healthy limits. For many, many meals there was a power struggle. She was determined to teach them to like healthy foods. They were determined to eat what they wanted. It seemed much easier to me, to allow them to have something they wanted versus something they needed. But she pressed on even when she was considered the bad guy mommy. I can tell you without a doubt today, the 2 older kids enjoy eating healthy foods. They got what they needed, not what they wanted.
So based on his description, that we all have a desire to be in control at varying degrees, but some kids desire to control is beyond the norm. Couple that with their immaturity and you have an out of control possibility.
If we have built 1 an altar for ourselves to turn back from following the Lord by making 2 burnt sacrifices and grain offerings on it, or by offering 3 tokens of peace 4 on it, the Lord himself will punish us. Joshua 22:23