When Your Strong-Willed Children Bring You to Tears

This morning, I knelt down to pray in tears.  I have some strong children.  Yesterday, one of these children absolutely refused to do his half hour of reading.  He had chosen the book, it’s at his level, and I even offered to alternate reading paragraphs, but I was getting nowhere with him.


A hearty crew, they are. Aye! Aye!  

This morning, I had another little fracas with this same son, and after I dropped him off at school, my heart was pounding.  It’s the worst feeling for me to be at odds with one of my children.  Because that like hardly ever happens:)

As I was praying, something the prophet Brigham Young said about the children of Ephraim came to mind.  (If you remember, I sometimes post from a Mormon perspective on Sundays).  I didn’t remember the exact words so I looked it up online.  Before I share the quote with you,let me tell you about the children of Ephraim.


For those of you unfamiliar with the Mormon church, we believe that we are of the seed of the great prophet Jacob.  Jacob was promised that his seed was be as numerous as the sands of the earth.  Many of us believe we are descendants of Jacob’s grandson, Ephraim.

Ephraim’s family were fierce.  They rebelled against their king (the grandson of King David) and moved to the north.  They were fighters!  I am of this tribe, and my children are definitely of this tribe.

This quote  from Brigham Young gives me a little bit of perspective.

We are now gathering the children of Abraham, who have come through the loins of Joseph and his sons, more especially through Ephraim, whose children are mixed among all the nations of the earth.  The sons of Ephraim are wild and uncultivated, unruly, ungovernable.  The spirit in them is turbulent and resolute . . . and they are upon the face of the whole earth, bearing the spirit of rule and dictation, to go forth from conquering to conquer.  They search wide creation and scan every nook and corner of this earth to find out what is upon and within it.  I see a congregation of them before me today.   No hardship will discourage these men, they will penetrate the deepest wilds and overcome almost insurmountable difficult to develop the treasures of the earth, to further their indomitable spirit for adventure.

Whether or not you are member of our church, I hope the quote will still offer some perspective.  With an unruly child comes an indomitable spirit.  With an ungovernable child comes a child who will not be discouraged by hardship.  They will conquer (hopefully their own weaknesses and not other people).  Hopefully I can channel their energies.  ?

I do know that last night I had the most wondrous reading session of A Wrinkle in Time.  This same strong child begs me to read more and more and more to him.  I finally have to insist that he must get some sleep.

I asked him why he hates reading so much but loves to be read to.

“It’s the expression,” he said.  “It helps me understand it.”

Maybe I need to spend a little more time trying to understand my son.

Have you gotten your children to read?

Hopefully, I can help them channel these strengths.


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