My wife and I, we have four kids in total: three sons and a daughter. My oldest son came from my wife’s previous marriage, but I always considered him my own son. I never made any difference between my children, I loved them all equally.
I might have disagreed with some of their choices, and not liked some of their friends, but that’s part of a parent’s role. Whenever we found ourselves at odds, I never imposed my will. I tried to make them see things in a different light, and gave them the freedom to decide what was best for them. Or what they thought at that time it was a good choice.
Most of the times, this strategy worked in my favor. I presented them the outcome; let them decide the path and I showed them that making mistakes was fine. It was all part of the learning process of becoming an adult and being independent. Therefore we encouraged them to follow their dreams, to be persistent in acquiring what they wanted and not fearing failure.
For three of our children, this approach gave great results. When it came to our youngest, it didn't apply to her. Different people, different mindsets, right? Well, let me start by saying that our beloved daughter has been a rebel from her youngest days.
When she was about three or four years old, two of her brothers teased her with a nickname which lasted until the present. They called her “devil in disguise” and they used to refer to her as “naughty DID”, whenever she was having a tantrum, or she was trying to have things done her way.
When I look back at those years, I wonder if there was something that I could have done differently. Obviously, she was young and her cuteness bought her way out more than once. But years passed and she became a wild rebel. She always had a never ending list of complaints about school, family, friends, you name it.
Her teenage years were quite challenging for all of us. Countless nights we feared that we would get a phone call from the police saying she had an accident, or that they found her dead on the Alberta asphalt. She loved to do the opposite of what we asked or said. Many times things went out of control while she was out with her friends. Some of them even got arrested.
Luckily those years passed and she became a bit more mature and selective with her friends. Though she is still very hard to please. She is constantly discontented with everything and everyone. We worry that she would end up alone all her life, unless she would find someone enjoying being bossed around and criticized daily.