Stubborn Women

There are times in my day I see my daughter just as she is- a strong, independent, unique girl. There are other times I catch a glimpse of my husband, of myself.

But my glimpses pale in comparison to the person, truly unique person, that she is becoming. I know that she gets some of her strength from me…but I don’t remember having as much as she has.

Maybe it’s a childhood sense of entitlement that allows her to sit on a rock in a playground and declare it’s “closed” to all other kids.

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Maybe it’s her lack of fear, because she knows Mom and Dad are there, that pushes her to wrap a ribbon around the staircase and attempt to propel down a few feet.

And maybe, it’s the glimpse I catch of my husband in her that gives her the courage to go toe-to-toe with her Mom over a cookie at 8pm. Yes, I invoke my husband on purpose…because I’ve never felt as stubborn as she seems to be. I also haven’t been on the receiving end of my own head-strong ways, so maybe we are one in the same.

God that scares me.

Of course I want her to be strong. But the thought of her being strong against me is frightening.

My son is so very different. He’s happy to please me and do what Mom says. Even when angry he will be the dutiful son and clean up as he’s told.

But my daughter. Oh…my daughter. It’s a battle of the wills and she will change the game just to make it appear as though she’s won. Can’t have that cookie? She really didn’t want it anyway, actually she really did want those grapes…she was only tricking me.

One of the most frequent pieces of advice I get with my daughter is to “break her will.” Tempting. Very tempting on so many levels. But also the very last thing I want to do. She NEEDS to be this way in order to compete in the world. She NEEDS to be stronger, smarter, even more stubborn than I ever was.

While I do not enjoy butting heads with her, while I take no pleasure in what is to come in 5, 10, 15 years…I want her to remain just as stubborn as she can be.

She will never grow weary of battles with her mother, I expect they will only increase in time. I already am weary, but as the Mom I’ll never give in. Or give up.

Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I need to go for the jugular and force “submission” and allow her to fear me.

But I know, in my heart, I’m not crazy. You see, there’s something more than stubborn streaks and independence. There is also a heart of gold and a compassionate nature. There is a smile that melts the opponent and a sweetness and intellegence that makes her wise beyond her years.

No…I want her to remain exactly as she is. Strong, stubborn, and wonderful. I want her to close all the rocks in all the playgrounds and demand every cookie in the world. She’s not a mean girl, she’s a strong girl.

And there is a difference.


  1. I know that girl, I am that girl and my oldest daughter is too. I’ve been *cough* blessed with a child just like myself. She’s stubborn, will not give in and will never admit defeat. It’s hard not to try to squash that “for her own good”, but I agree with you. What is best for her is to remain a strong individual with her own opinions. She too has an overwhelming sweetness within. However, I will also have quite and adventure on my hands in 6 or 7 years.

  2. My daughter was just like that. She is now 12 and she has blown the door down on adolescence. Just so you know, that compassionate, tender and beautiful young girl stills comes out a lot which makes the experience easier to live through. I just try to remember that I went through it as well and my mother wasn’t very understanding and I try to do a little bit better.

  3. I agree with you Q of S. Forced ‘ submission’ is never worth it and maybe in 15/20 years time you’ll have a loving[albeit stubborn] friend.

  4. Brava! “Submission” might make the toddler/preschool years easier, but when she becomes a woman it will leave her nothing to fight with. Stubborn women are the ones that make history. 🙂

  5. She’s so beautiful and she’s yours in the end her smile makes everything alright no matter what.

    Blessings and strength as you battle the minds…

    Dorothy from grammology

  6. I remember vividly the conference I had with my daughter’s eighth grade advisor, who asked me to encourage my daughter to be more like everyone else and easier to get along with. I said that if she thought my daughter was hard to deal with at school, she should try living with her at home. And no, I would not ask her to change because she needed all that independence and stubbornness to make her way in the world. My daugher is now 29 and halfway through her second year of residency as a doctor of osteopathic medicine. It wasn’t easy but I wouldn’t change a thing.

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