My sweet bloggy friend Julia is doing a Linky Party called Mama Loves. She's found that she's learned so much from other Mama bloggers that she felt she wanted to create a place for us to all share the items that have helped us the most. I think it's a fantastic idea.
I'm a pretty independent person. I do things my own way. My mother loves to tell the story about my first day in Kindergarten where all these kiddos were clinging to their mommies crying and I looked her in the eye and said: "I can do it myself." She went back to the car in tears. My teenage years were probably worse from her perspective. I often heard the ultimate mother-curse: "I hope you have one just like you."
Well, fortunately for me, the egg split into identical twins and I have two... with portions of their personality just like mine.
Aeralind is the independent, do her own thing, I-don't-want-your-snuggles-right-now-thank-you-very-much portion of my personality. But she also hates discipline. She'll do just about anything not to receive a scolding or a spanking. Generally, she's pretty compliant, though she has her moments.
Bronwyn received the full measure of her mother's strong will (and I think some of her Aunt Kaykers' strong will, too). Bronwyn's single goal in life is to discover where the boundaries are and then to push them just to make sure you'll enforce them. But she's also the snugly please-spend-time-with-me baby.
In any case, we're entering the 2's and 3's where some of their behavior and a lot of their boundary testing needs to be answered with a heaping portion of parental control and another heaping portion of parental love. They need to know both that we mean business and that they're never going to lose our affection.
Enter James Dobson's The New Strong-Willed Child (as well as Dare to Discipline). These books are helping me to both find and maintain that delicate balance so that I can help them learn that boundaries are for their good while also keeping from crushing their delicate spirits. I can't recommend these books enough... especially if you have a strong-willed child (and you know if you do... trust me :-p)