The Final Rebellion of a Strong-Willed Child Is Shame

Boy at a old abandoned playgroundAs a young-adult most of my stubbornness had been defeated [1] but there was still one rebellion I refused to give up.

Whenever I made a mistake my first response was to lie about it. This meant I ended up lying a lot, and unfortunately got really good at it.

My parents as you can imagine became very frustrated by this [2] and after a lie eventually caught up with me would ask, “why didn’t you just tell the truth?”

My response would be to shrug my shoulders and tell them I didn’t know. Of course this did little to make them feel better, but the truth is I had no idea why lying had become such a large part of my life.

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The Motivation of a Strong Willed Child is Attention

Image Courtesy of http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Strawberry

A few weeks ago I was running with the A team (fastest) on a Saturday morning instead of the C+ team I usually train with.

About a mile in one of the men turned and asked if my name was John Wilburn. When I told him it was he said excitedly “hey we went to school together!”

At first I thought we were classmates in High School till he said ”people used to call you strawberry didn’t they?”

Strawberry was the nickname given to me by fellow students in the fourth grade at the height of my run as “the greatest class clown that ever lived”


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The Rebellion of a Strong-Willed Child Is Subtle

pity party
Image Courtesy of   /blog/ valley-girl-brain

Last week I helped some friends build the scenery for a Christmas outreach over the weekend. My role was clearly stated as that of a “hey boy” [1] because the other men had lots more experience building.

On Thursday I instinctively handed one of them a sledgehammer so he could drive a stake into the ground but instead of doing so my friend encouraged me to hit it in.  After trying to get out of it I proceeded to give five of the weakest strikes known to man [2] and then handed it back to him.

When he asked why I hadn’t finished the job I explained it’s better to let someone who had more experience do it, he countered with my need for more experience, which led to my giving three more strikes [3].

There is nothing wrong with this of course since none of us enjoy doing something we aren’t good at (particularly when others are around) and there are things I’m better at than these men (I do things in children’s ministry that would make them run home to mommy). However this experience reminded me of the strong-willed rebellion in my earlier years

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The Confession of a Strong-Willed Child is Done On Their Terms

Image Courtesy of /the-candy-cane-story/

My brother Michael loves to tell embarrassing stories about me when the family gets together (it’s a form of male bonding). We have spent many hours laughing hysterically about stories that always start with the words “hey remember the time John.”

One of his favorite stories to tell (and is referred to almost every time we are together) is what we call “the stick candy story.”[1]

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The Moment I Discovered I Was A Strong-Willed Child

In the corner
http://primitiveheartstrings.blogspot                .com/2012/08/in-corner.html

My father used to tell people sometimes in his sermons that he had two sons. One that in earlier years could be disciplined with a look…another that required a more “direct” form of punishment.

Almost every time he used that illustration I would ask him, “dad which one of the sons am I?” This question usually went unanswered, but one Sunday afernoon he resonded with “son you don’t want to know.”

At first the idea of being a stubborn seemed incredibly funny to me, but then I realized my dad wasn’t laughing.


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