Have you ever felt like pulling out your hair? Don’t! There’s hope.

My parents considered me difficult to raise. I don’t recall why although I know I had a tendency to want the opposite of what they asked me to do.

Let me explain. Our family loved apple butter, so mother would buy large jars. However, those jars had a tricky lid. It screwed on with two twists. One would hold but two closed it completely.  And my father had a bad habit of picking up jars by the lid. Even as a child, I believed that tendency odd. After all, picking up the entire jar worked better.

One day, I put away the apple butter [I didn’t leave a mess], but I gave the lid a quick twist, just making the lid stay on. After supper that night my father decided he wanted to have toast for desert, so he got in the frig and grabbed the jar–by the lid. It held until he closed the frig door, and then it let go. The almost-full jar hit the kitchen floor and apple butter splattered all over the room: the ceiling, the door, the floor, the walls, the curtains, the window. Ugh! Years later when my mother painted the room next to the kitchen, guess what she found. Dried apple butter.

My father lost his temper, and he preached a loud sermon about screwing on jars. Of course, I said nothing since I had no desire to be yelled at. Besides, I still thought it wiser to pick up the jar with both hands.

Mother often said if she ever got us raised, she wouldn’t have sense enough to come in out of the rain. I used to wonder what she meant by that. After I had my own children, I grasped her emotional distress.

Today Teresa Knight, homeschool mother of nine, is my guest. Teresa offers tons of tips about the strong-willed child.

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