Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

Parenting a Strong-Willed Child

“Could you share some parenting advice for raising my enneagram 8 daughter? She is very headstrong and persistent, but has a complete disregard for rules and regularly challenges authority. As an enneagram 5 (and people pleaser), I do not understand the way she thinks. We have gone around and around and I’ve tried to get to the heart is the issue. But it seems her bottom line is she is going to do whatever it takes to get what she wants. How do I help channel her perseverance and tenacity in a positive way? She is only 8 years old. -a podcast listener”

When I got this email in my inbox, I could relate so much — because I remember being that 8-year-old girl with a very strong personality. And truth be told, I think “headstrong” and “persistent” are two words that can still describe me as a 38-year-old woman!

Oftentimes, we hear people talk about their “strong-willed child” in a way that makes it seem so negative… as if a child’s will needs to be broken and replaced. But that’s like trying to strip someone of their God-given personality.

I believe that the character qualities of persistence and determination can be such a gift — to your home, to your community, and to the world. That’s why I want to encourage you to stop trying to stifle a child’s strong personality and instead embrace the strength that it can bring.

In this episode, Jesse and I share encouragement for parents who are raising strong kids. I share from the perspective of being a strong kid growing up and we both share from the perspective of raising a child who has a very strong personality.

In This Episode: 

[02:26] Why Swaddle Sacks have been a life-saver recently.

[04:53] I came down with mastitis on Tuesday, so here’s what’s been saving my life.

[07:59] My experience getting a Coronavirus test (Spoiler… it was negative!)

[10:59] A book update on Get Out of Your Head.

[14:07] We’re chatting all about raising strong-willed kids.

[16:21] It’s okay if you can’t relate with your kids, but seeking to understand them is so important.

[17:16] Why rules for an Enneagram 8 are very restrictive.

[19:29] Change your mindset and see the desire for independence as a blessing.

[21:03] Stop using negative labels to define your kids.

[22:07] How studying personality typings can be so beneficial.

[24:26] Celebrate their strengths because they really are gifts.

[26:11] Say yes as often as possible for your child.

[29:45] Don’t overly protect your kids from struggle and failure.

Links and Resources:

How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show

The podcast is available on iTunesAndroidStitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player here. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.)

Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app.

Gretchen’s $82 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan


1 pkg Frozen Chicken Breasts – $5.59

3 lbs Ground Beef – $7.19

2 Half & Half – $1.55 each

2 dozen Eggs – $1.09 each

2 lbs Butter – $2.66 each

1 pkg Taco Seasoning – $0.39

1 Sour Cream – $0.89

1 lb Ground Turkey – $1.89

3.10 lbs Red Grapes – $2.45

2 can Tuna – $0.68 each

1 pkg Flour – $1.15

1 gallon Milk – $1.69

1 can Refried Beans – $0.75

1 box Cinnamon Crunch Squares – $1.39

1 container Organic Yogurt – $2.69

1 box Fruit & Grain Bars – $1.35

1 can Black Beans – $0.48

1 pkg Romaine Hearts – $2.19

1 pkg Hot Dogs – $0.79

1 Italian Dressing – $0.89

1 can Mushroom Soup – $0.49

3 pkg Chunk Cheese – $1.45 each

1 pkg Mootubes – $1.55

1 pkg Flour Torillas – $1.25

1 bag Baking Potatoes – $2.59

1 pkg Chocolate Chips – $1.69

1 pkg Sliced Almonds – $2.75

2 Cucumbers – $0.49 each

1 box Snack Crackers – $1.59

1 box Cheese Crackers – $1.49

1 bag Tomatoes – $2.19

1 box Mac & Cheese – $0.33

1 bag Tortilla Chips – $0.89

1 canister Raisins – $2.89

1 bag Gala Apples – $2.79

1 bag Spinach – $0.99

1 pkg Hot Dog Buns – $0.75

1 pkg Bagels – $1.49

1 loaf Bread – $0.95

Total: $75.73


1 bag Broccoli Cuts – $0.77

1 bag Sweet Peas – $0.84

1 bag Cut Green Beans – $0.77

3.97 lbs Bananas – $1.55

1 Pet Ice Cream – $2.94

Total: $6.87

Total for both stores: $82.60

Menu Plan for This Week


Cereal, Bagels, Eggs, Spinach Smoothies, Yogurt, Oatmeal


Mac & Cheese, Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Turkey Sandwiches, Hard Boiled Eggs/Cheese/Fruit, Salad Bar, Leftovers


Spaghetti, Toasted Buns (leftover from last week), Green Beans

Sour Cream Enchiladas, Cornbread, Steamed Peas

Taco Bar, Chips & Salsa, Refried Beans

Grilled Chicken and Hot Dogs, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli

Cheese Pizza, Breadsticks

Ground Beef & Gravy over Rice, Banana Muffins, Steamed Carrots

Barbecue Meatballs, Twice Baked Potatoes, Biscuits, Tossed Salad, Ice Cream

10 Goals for This Week (plus an update on last week’s goals)

Well, last week didn’t quite pan like I had planned… I ended up getting mastitis on Tuesday and was pretty much bed-ridden Wednesday through Friday. Because of this, I didn’t get as many of my goals finished this last week as I had hoped. But that’s okay, my body needed to just rest!

Here’s my update on last week’s goals:

Last Week’s Goals

Personal Goals

1. Take 5 morning walks in our neighborhood. (I took 2 walks.)

2. Finish The Librarian of Auschwitz. Read 3 chapters of Show Up for Your Life. Read 6 chapters of Get Out of Your Head.

3. Do pelvic floor exercises at least four times. (I did these two times.)

Home/Family Goals

4. Read 3 chapters of The Giver aloud to the kids. 

5. Go on a date with Jesse. 

6. Spend one-on-one time with each of the three older kids doing something they love.

7. Help Kaitlynn with prep for her birthday party.

Work/Blog Goals

8. Work on my final book edits before I turn it into the publisher on July 1.

9. Work on content for my Mastermind live coaching sessions this month on building your email list and creating a welcome series.

Word of the Year Goals

10. Attend an outdoor Night of Worship as a family.

Above: Kaitlynn getting everything set up for her birthday party (a full post with details is coming soon!) Can you spot Champ in the photo??

And here’s my plan for this week… I’m so grateful to be feeling pretty much back to 100%! But I promise I will still get plenty of rest and liquids. I definitely don’t want to get sick again if I can help it!

This Week’s Goals

Personal Goals

1. Take 5 morning walks in our neighborhood.

2. Read 5 chapters of The White Rose Resists. Read 5 chapters of Show Up for Your Life. Finish reading Get Out of Your Head.

3. Do pelvic floor exercises at least four times.

4. Prep for leading youth group Bible study on Wednesday night.

Home/Family Goals

5. Read 3 chapters of The Giver aloud to the kids. 

6. Go on a date with Jesse. 

7. Take Kaitlynn out on a date for her birthday.

Work/Blog Goals

8. Work on my final book edits before I turn it into the publisher on July 1.

9. Finish content for my Mastermind live coaching sessions this month on building your email list and creating a welcome series.

Word of the Year Goals

10. Start watching a new show together as a family.

What are YOUR goals for this week? Tell me in the comments! I’d love to hear and be able to cheer for you!

Brigette’s $81 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6

My older sister, Brigette, shares her shopping trips and menu plans every week! You can go HERE to see all of her weekly menu plans and you can go HERE to read all about her family!


2 64-oz cartons Orange Juice – $3.18

1/2 gallon 2% Milk – $0.74

1 gallon Whole Milk – $1.24

3 cartons Strawberries – $2.97

2 cans Green Beans – $0.76

1 pkg Grape Tomatoes – $1.49

2 bags Red Grapes ($0.79/lb) – $3.22

1 bunch Bananas – $1.01

1 large jar Unsweetened Applesauce – $1.95

1 16-oz bag Mini Cucumbers – $2.19

1 bag Spinach – $0.49

4 bags frozen Broccoli Florets – $3.36

1 10-lb bag Russet Potatoes – $3.99

1 large tub Organic Spring Mix – $3.49

1 Cauliflower – $2.19

1 2-lb bag Brown Sugar – $1.29

1 24-oz carton Cottage Cheese – $1.59

1 family-size box Crisp Oats – $2.69

2 pkgs String Cheese – $3.96

1 bag Nacho Chips – $0.75

1 pkg Turkey Bacon – $1.89

1/4 Sliced Ham – $7.04

1 10-lb bag fresh Chicken Quarters, reduced – $3.30

1 can Chicken – $1.99

1 16-oz bag Shredded Mozzarella Cheese – $2.75

2 16-oz pkgs Shredded Cheddar Cheese – $5.25

1 pkg Sliced Cheese – $1.33

1 bag Pecan Halves – $5.29

1 pkg Tortillas – $0.95

1 loaf Sandwich Bread – $0.67

1 loaf Sprouted Grain Bread – $2.99

4 individual cartons Greek Yogurt – $2.36

4 dozen Eggs – $2.68

Weekly Grocery Total: $81.06

Weekly Menu Plan


Everyone is responsible for making/cleaning up their own breakfasts. Choices include:

Oatmeal, Cereal, Smoothies, Scrambled/Boiled/Fried Eggs, Veggie Omelets, Fruit, Yogurt


Baked Potato Bar, Cucumbers, Applesauce x 2

Deli Meat/Cheese Sandwiches, Strawberries, Broccoli x 2

Macaroni and Cheese, Tossed Salad, Bananas

Leftovers x 2


Burrito Bar (Seasoned Ground Venison, Chopped Romaine, Shredded Cheese, Salsa, Tortillas, Black Olives, Chopped Tomatoes, Chopped Onions), Chips, Grapes

Chick-Fil-A (using gift cards someone gave us)

Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Turkey Bacon

Grilled Chicken, Tossed Salad, Grapes, Homemade Biscuits, Grilled Cauliflower

Venison Roast in the Crockpot, Baked Potatoes, Broccoli, Strawberries

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Green Beans, Fruit Squeeze Pouches (my husband and older two will be gone, so a simple dinner it is! :))


My Favorite Non-Coffee Drink

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Looking for good non-caffeinated drinks or trying to stop drinking coffee? I’ve tried many coffee alternatives, and this have become my favorite non-coffee drink that I make every single morning! It gives me energy naturally, lets me continue the ritual of savoring a hot drink while prepping for my day, and it’s oh-so delicious!

{Psst! You might also like this Decaf Chai Tea Latte Recipe!}

My Favorite Caffeine-Free Coffee Alternative

I stopped drinking coffee almost four years ago. And while I love drinking decaf teas (see some of my favorite decaf teas here), I’ve also had fun coming up with some other creative non-caffeinated coffee alternatives.

coffee alternatives idea

One of them that I concocted last year was a mix of The Morning Motivator and Dandy Blend. I had purchased both of these from Amazon since people told me that were yummy and great substitutes for coffee.

When I tried The Morning Motivator by itself, it tasted too chalky to me. And Dandy Blend tasted too strong by itself. But then I had the crazy idea to mix them together — and I fell instantly in love!

prepping a morning beverage

This is sort of like a fancy mocha drink — that’s packed with nutritional value AND it’s caffeine free! Here’s how I make it…

scooping dandy blend into cup

Add 1 to 1 1/2 generous teaspoons of Dandy Blend to a large mug.

scooping maca blend into cup

Then, add 1 heaping teaspoon of The Morning Motivator.

stirring coffee alternatives together in a mug

Mix together.

creative coffee alternatives

Pour boiling water over.

stirring morning beverage in a mug

Stir until blended.

half and half with morning hot drink

Top with a very generous amount of half & half (if you’re a cream person like me!)

Morning Coffee Alternative Drink

Stir and enjoy!

Crystal Paine with coffee mug

This is the perfect morning or afternoon pick-me-up drink!

sweet foam to top off morning drink

Want to make it really fancy? Top it with whipped cream (and maybe chocolate shavings?) or go all gourmet and use Reddi-Whip Sweet Foam! (Note: This whipped cream is really sweet… so if you don’t like sugar-y things, you won’t like it.)

mug of hot beverage with whipped cream on top

P.S. Want to know more about why I stopped drinking coffee? Read this post here. You might also like this Decaf Chai Tea Latte Recipe or this list of My Favorite Decaf Teas.

How to Save on Snacks: Minimize The Cost Per Serving

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Does your family love snacks? This is such a simple tip to save money on snacks!

{Psst! Check out how making your own snacks can save you over $100 per year! And read about how we afford snacks for our kids on a tight grocery budget.

save money on snacks

Guest post from Margaux of A Momma and Her Flock:

We are a snacking family. Typically, we find a way to squeeze four snacks into the lunchboxes on top of the main lunch item.

But a healthy snacking appetite can be bad news for the grocery bill. That is why I started calculating the cost per snack serving, so that I could try to find cheaper alternatives.

The True Cost of Snacks:

I like to believe that I am reasonably thrifty with my grocery spending, but some snack habits can catch me off guard.

For instance, grapes and Honeycrisp apples both cost $2 per pound, but my husband eats more grapes at a time than the equivalent of a single apple.

To calculate the ‘cost per serving’ of a snack, I base it on the actual amount I or my family would eat in a sitting. A “serving” is what fills up the person eating the snack, not necessarily the recommended portion on the box.

One snack my husband likes to devour after his morning workout is hard-boiled eggs. Since he eats three eggs at a time, I divide the cost of 12 dozen eggs to get $0.37 per 3-egg serving.

My personal rule of thumb is to keep any individual snack under $1 per serving. The closer to $0.50 or less per serving, the better!

Berry Healthy Snack

How to Minimize the Cost per Serving:

If you can minimize the cost per serving on snack foods, you can save quite a bit of money!

With this cost per serving goal in mind, here are 3 ways I satisfy my family’s “snack tooth” without breaking the bank…

1. Find the most filling snacks.

Occasionally I find myself munching through an entire bag of chips. Some snacks are not as good at satisfying hunger.

I search for snacks high in fiber and protein that will still appeal to our taste. When comparing items in the grocery store, I ensure there are at least 150 calories and 3 grams of protein per serving.

Nutritionists recommend pairing proteins with carbs for the ultimate filling combo – like grapes and cheese, or apple slices and peanut butter.

When I eat denser and more filling snacks, I find that I need fewer snacks throughout the day — which ultimately saves money.

Pre-Packaged Snacks

2. Avoid pre-packaged snacks.

Many foods are now available in snack packaging, but the convenience comes at a high markup. Think of mini hummus cups, snack cracker packs, pre-cut cheese squares, and more.

The difference in cost is striking in the example of homemade versus pre-packaged peanut butter snack cups.

JIF To-Go peanut butter is priced at about $0.40 per 1.5-ounce cup. If I make my own to-go cups by spooning out 1.5 ounces from a full-size jar of JIF peanut butter, each serving costs only $0.24 for 1.5 ounces. And if I use store-brand peanut butter instead of JIF, the serving cost drops to $0.14 for 1.5 ounces. (Note: These prices are based off what I find in my region: $3.19 for an 8-count pack of JIF To-Go, $2.39 per full size jar of JIF, and $1.50 per jar of store brand peanut butter.)

You can easily make single-servings on your own by dividing a regular size item into individual containers.

For reusable containers, I like the Rubbermaid Brilliance storage containers. Alternatively, disposable containers can be purchased in bulk from a store like Gordon Food Service.

If you are unsure about finding time to make your own snack packs or wash the resulting containers, try starting out with one of these simple solutions:

  • Cut your own cheese slices or cubes from a block
  • Slice your own salami or pepperoni from a large roll
  • Dish out peanut butter, hummus, yogurt, or crackers from a full-size container

Peanut Butter and Strawberry Snack

3. Mix in cheaper substitutes

I go through seasons where I eat primarily dairy-free, and the challenge is that the dairy alternatives are more expensive.

The way I justify purchasing dairy-free yogurts, ready-made snacks, and other items above my target cost per serving is by mixing in low-cost substitutes.

For my husband and daughter who enjoy Greek yogurt, I find that cottage cheese is less than half the price for the same calorie and protein content. So sometimes we forgo a day of yogurt and eat cottage cheese instead.

Also, consider swapping out these pricey snacks:

  • Almond butter -> Peanut butter
  • Greek yogurt -> Cottage cheese
  • Berries -> Apples, Bananas, or Oranges
  • Bell peppers -> Carrots or Celery sticks
  • Rice crackers -> Tortilla chips

Start Saving!

I recommend doing a personal snack-spending inventory this week.

Calculate the ‘cost per serving’ of the most popular snacks in your household. Do not worry if the cost is higher than you thought. Set a cost target and work on lowering snack spending gradually.

Want a jump start on snack savings? Try these ideas:

Margaux is a full-time mom, wife, and engineer who firmly believes there are not enough hours in a day. She is a fan of schedules, to-do lists, and mom hacks. Above all, she tries to keep God at the center of everything. She writes at A Momma and her Flock.

Cut your grocery bill!

Psst! Crystal here! Need more help saving on groceries? Go here and sign up (it’s free!). I’ll send you my 10 Easy Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill By $50.