Perspective by Elizabeth Flora Ross

Today, I’m very honored to welcome and present to you my first guest author, Elizabeth Flora Ross. Elizabeth is a stay-at-home mom rediscovering her passion for writing. She has been writing professionally and personally for close to 20 years. As a communications and marketing professional, Elizabeth wrote for some of the biggest names in business. She self-published her first book, Making Friends With Pain: Learning To Live Well With Chronic Illness. She is currently working on her second book, Cease Fire: A Call to End the War Between Women. Elizabeth is also the creator of The Mom Pledge, a movement to eradicate cyber bullying among moms. Please grab your coffee mug and enjoy Elizabeth’s wonderful post. Be sure to visit her blog at The Writer Revived.

Sweetness of Life & Motherhood - Elizabeth Flora RossI have heard from many a mom that three is a very challenging age. My daughter’s third birthday is at the end of this month, and as if on cue, she has transformed in the past few weeks from a sweet child to nothing less than a monster.

My hubby and I are amazed by how different she is. And my days have become very, very long. She fights me all day long. Defies me at every opportunity. Dares me to discipline her and lashes out like a wild animal when I do.

Her behavior can be so ugly at times, I want to crawl into the corner of my closet, get in the fetal position and cry.

I know it is normal for a young child to test the boundaries and push for independence. But no one told me how hard this was going to be. Or how much it would hurt.

I have not been enjoying these days. And the sense that there is no light at the end of the tunnel has really had me down. But then a moment took place the other day that changed my perspective.

I was picking up my daughter up from speech therapy. I stopped by the ladies room first and ran into Miss Laurie, one of her therapists. She told me how proud she and the other therapists have been of SB’s performance recently.

“We just love that feisty little girl,” she gushed.

“That’s a good adjective,” I replied. “She certainly is full of spunk. She’s giving me a real run for my money lately.”

Miss Laurie smiled a knowing smile. “It’s a quality that will serve her well,” she insisted. “In fact, I don’t think she would have come as far as she has this past year without it.”

“She is an extremely determined little person,” I agreed.

“It’s a good thing; it will take her far in life,” Miss Laurie told me earnestly. “The challenge for you and those who work with her will be to help her direct that energy in the appropriate ways.”

“You are absolutely right,” I said. And she was.

My daughter is feisty. And that IS a good thing. It is a quality we share, and it has indeed helped me in life. It’s gotten me in trouble, too. But I have learned to direct it appropriately over the years.

I don’t want her to lose her spirit. It will help her reach for the stars and make her dreams come true someday. My job is to teach her to work within the boundaries. She’s struggling to discover where they are.

With firm, loving direction, I can show her the way. It’s a path I have already traveled. I know it well.

There is a sweetness in knowing I am raising a strong, independent little girl who will grow to be an amazing woman. Someone I will be proud of. And I will laugh then when I think of the almost three year old who put her hands on her hips and told me, with all the attitude she could muster in that tiny body, “No!”

The world is going to try to beat her down at times. And I want her to show it the same character.

  • Elizabeth Flora Ross

    Thank you so much for having me! I’m honored that you thought of me, and hope your readers enjoy the post! :)

    • Kelli

      It’s my pleasure and my honor to host such an excellent writer. Thank you for being my guest, Elizabeth!

  • Lindsey

    So sweet! You’re absolutely right. My youngest, Joshua, is ‘feisty’. It honestly drives me up the wall some days. Thank you for the lovely gentle reminder that having a little one that’s so very passionate and quite the individual is a very good and precious thing :)

    • Elizabeth Flora Ross

      It’s funny (as in strange, not Ha Ha); we want our children to be passionate and individuals. But when they are. Aaaah! It really can make us nuts at times. We need to balance their need to be independent (and our desire for them to be so) with a need to get along well with others. It’s not easy. But will totally be worth it! Thanks for your comment!

  • martha brady

    elizabeth, i love the topics of both your books:) also the topic of your post!

    when we were raising our children, the issues you are describing were called the “terrible twos”. we loved the stage of 3 b’c some of those issues had gotten resolved…somewhat.

    we had strong-willed daughters too. but one in particular seemed to know how to “push my buttons”. she turned 2 around the time james dobson’s book THE STRONG-WILLED CHILD came out. there wasn’t the plethora of child raising books around like there are today. i grabbed that one and ran. it was very helpful.

    in the family where i grew up, there was a lot of chaos, yelling and fighting. i knew i didn’t want that in my family. learning what to change to bring that about, was not easy. my default behavior was not helpful!

    having this outside help (realize that i don’t agree with every author on everything!), my husband’s perspective…always different, usually in a good way, and wise counsel for older friends in church (those are the ones who give counsel when asked for it).

    structure is always helpful, consequences that are meaningful to the particular child are great! learning to choose your battles and when you get into a power struggle, you MUST win (whether you chose to be in that power struggle or not!) simple things like apologizing to your child when you are the one who messed up will go a long way in making you seem real and genuine. (they know you messed up, the question is whether you will admit it!) most important: pray for them and with them! and teach them about God and how He has provided a way for them to be forgiven. they tend to be aware of their guilt earlier than we realize.

    enjoy them! their strengths as well as their corresponding weaknesses. they are a delight!

    • Elizabeth Flora Ross

      Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words, Martha!

  • Missy | Literal Mom

    Just beautiful. And I love the title – because it does all depend on how you look at things. Hard now will be amazingly independent and resilient later.

    • Elizabeth Flora Ross

      Thank you, Missy! I think I am going to have to keep reminding myself of this, though. ;)

  • Jenn

    A very, very good way of looking at things. Thanks for sharing :) I hear 24 is a walk in the park compared to 3! ;)

    • Elizabeth Flora Ross

      LOL! There have to be some good years in there between 3 and 24. And if not, nobody tell me! Seriously! ;)

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