2 In Personal

INTENSEly Wonderful {Jonah, Age 5} #parenting #notfortheweak

If I had to choose one word to describe Jonah, it would be this:

And honestly, it sums him up perfectly.

He is Intense. In every sense of the word. He feels every emotion to an exponential degree….nothing about him is underwhelming.

Sand in his eyes

He reacts intensely, feels anger intensely, feels frustration intensely, feels sadness intensely {he SOBBED uncontrollably in Frankenweenie. true story}, and any other emotion comparable to these – he feels INTENSELY.

Crazy Hair Day!

But the beautiful thing about this…about him is that he also feels LOVE intensely, hope, trust, faith, laughter, empathy, excitement, pride, joy, and more.

And THIS is the side I want most to nurture.



Nobody, but the parent(s) of an intense child can understand and appreciate what a challenge this can be. But it also means you can’t appreciate how rewarding it is either. And that is a real shame.

Jonah is 5. He is loud, obnoxious, busy, frustrating, and sometimes plain outta control. But he is also incredible, awesome, fantastical, and seriously magnificent. He is kind, smart, sweet, fun to be with, loving, passionate, and so so funny. This child has challenged me in more ways I ever thought possible. And parenting him has come with numerous days – and nights – filled with confusion, loss of sleep, tears {oh so many tears}, and lots and lots…and LOTS of talking to figure out how to best navigate this journey.

So much fun!

I haven’t always done the right thing I’m sure. I haven’t always parented in ways that others approve of. I have been criticized on more than one occasion for the laid back approach {ie minimal to no time outs, not spanking}. Or what may look to others like a lack of discipline. But let me tell you my awesome readers, parenting this child has been nothing short of calculated. Nothing has come without HOURS – seriously, HOURS – of prayer, reading, emotion, reflection, and a deep desire to help this child magnify those feelings of love, hope, joy, and self worth in himself. I try my  best to respond to him in these ways so that this is what he projects back into the world.

Pure Magic

Sure, there are situations I can look back on and see I should have shown more of an awareness, put more effort into the correcting IN the moment, and put the energy into personally redirecting him. But I am learning too…and I’m not willing to live with the guilt of those times. I REFUSE to parent with insecurities….and will instead learn from each experience as it comes and do better as I know better.

Lucky for Jonah, I understand more than he probably realizes. I, too, was an intense child. And in lots of ways, I am very much an intense adult. So I feel like I have a deep and clear understanding of how his experiences and feelings impact him. How he sees things, feels things…why our time making memories together is SO meaningful to him. Why positive reinforcement is so important and parenting *out of* the moment yields, by far, the best results. And why I don’t parent for others. I parent for Jonah.

We are happy

And what I am seeing is so remarkable. The child who might throw a tantrum {yes, still at 5}, lash out and scratch/hit/bite because he is THAT frustrated and hasn’t yet learned exactly how to appropriately manage his emotions – Is also the child that will be notably saddened when he’s calmed down and realizes he’s hurt someone – hurt feelings, and hurt an arm/leg, etc. When he has a moment to reflect on how his actions or words have affected another person – it breaks his heart. He is genuinely sorry and genuinely tries to do better.

Baby Blues

I see a child who I only received ONE phone call about during his 2 years at preschool. And it was only because he was grumpy during music time and threw a toy. I see a child whose amazing Kindergarten teacher pulled me aside just to tell me how IMPRESSED she is with him. How considerate he is of his classmates, how willing he is to do what is asked, how happy he is to participate, help, etc.


2 1/2 – 4 was an incredibly difficult time for me as a parent. Don’t get me wrong, this last year leading up to 5 has been met with several difficult situations as well – but I’m seeing it. Progress….proof that maybe, just maybe, I’m doing something right.

This child…this magnificent child…brings so much INTENSE joy into my life. I seriously adore him. And I LOVE him and love parenting him. The challenges don’t come anywhere close to the blessings.

Beach Babe

This is Jonah. In a Nutshell – he’s INTENSE. And you know,

I wouldn’t change a thing.


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