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Are They Persistent, Competitive, or Just Plain Stubborn?

There is a consistent and constant struggle always taking place at our house. I often wonder if our boys are persistent, competitive, or just plain Stubborn. Here are the definitions according to Merriam-Webster:

  • Persistent:  continuing to do something or to try to do something even though it is difficult or other people want you to stop
  • Competitive: having a strong desire to win or be the best at something
  • Stubborn: a. refusing to change your ideas or to stop doing something; b.difficult to deal with, remove, etc.

There  are struggles at our house every day. Someone is always pushing the limits, debating their point, asking for something (while we are on the phone in an active conversation), wanting to do something, wanting to do something at the least convenient time (like ride their bike or tractor when we are rushing to get into the car), or just sharing what they know (that they know all of the answers and solutions). Here are a few examples from today of what I am talking about:

  1. On our way to Max’s first T-ball practice this morning, I asked Max if he liked the cereal he was eating. He responded, “no one would feed me.” When I told him he was eating cereal (he was actively eating cereal), he said “no, you didn’t feed me anything. You don’t let me eat.” This went back and forth for a minute until I just gave up as I watched him continue to eat his cereal.
  2. Remember the legos? We are still working on those sets. I think Madden and I finished step 10 of 1000 on his set last night. This morning he wanted to continue. I couldn’t help because I needed to get ready for all of our activities today (Tball practice, flag football games, and baseball practice). For the next 30 minutes, he relentlessly asked me to help him find a piece. In the middle of his flag football game (when he sat out to rest), he asked if I would help him build the set after his game.
  3. Miles played offense during his flag football game. When his team was on defense, he came out of the game to rest. He was frustrated because he wanted to stay in the game. He said with sweat running down his cheeks as he came off the field, “I never get to play.” I reminded him that he just came off the field and he pointed out that he didn’t as he grabbed Max’s umbrella causing Max to scream. I instructed him to get it back, but he didn’t. I decided to chase him around the chairs as if we were playing ring around the rosie. I finally had to tackle him to get it back and luckily got him to giggle and laugh really hard.
  4. After Max’s Tball practice, Madden’s flag football games, and Miles’ flag football games, we had time to rest at home for a little while (or a few seconds). Mariah decided she would put Max to sleep and gave a valiant effort, but eventually asked me to help so she could go shopping for Max. She said she would take Madden and Miles with her. However, while she was trying to get Max to sleep, Madden and Miles decided to help each other build their lego sets. They were playing so well together that Mariah decided to leave them here with me while she went shopping. Once I got Max to sleep, I walked downstairs to check on Madden and Miles. As they heard my footsteps and before I came into their sight, they both asked if I would help them build the pirate ship. OMG, they never give up.


Our boys can be exhausting. If you really want to understand what I mean, let me know and you can spend some time with them. You can learn their methods, feel our pain, or just laugh at our comedy show. I promise it will be entertaining. They are a barrel of fun – or rather more like a barrel of persistence, competition, and stubbornness.

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