How to stop fighting against the personality differences of your child
It has been amazing to watch the change that occurred in the life of our boy since that moment we had our first counseling session concerning our 5-year old a month ago. He has made a huge amount of progress in his whole being.
He didn’t “change”. He still loves to wash his hands, feels strongly about his own mistakes and needs our company for going to the toilet. What changed is that he got so much more relaxed, happy and spontaneous.
What made such a dramatic change possible?
1. Accept the differences of your child to your own personality
The personality of your child may blow your mind, because it can be so much different to your own. In fact, your child may be a collection of all those traits in your spouse, which you have the most trouble to deal with.
I am an adventure type of person and pride myself for it. I love the outdoors. If there is dirt, that certainly won’t stop me from having fun. I would even go as far as calling this not only my own personality trait, but rather a credo of mine. I am also the easy-going type of person. If something is not perfect, that certainly won’t stop me from enjoying life.
For too long I had put so much weight on this, I had difficulties to comprehend and understand people who need more excellence to be able to relax. Yes, these kinds of people exist.
Now, my 5-year old is just like that. He likes to be clean. He likes to be excellent (just like Benny).
But since I would have liked to take pride of myself and my descendants for having an “uncomplicated way of life” I had a really had a hard time to relate to the needs of my son. Thus, I couldn’t find empathy for his preferences of doing things and would have rather wanted to bring him up to adapt to my own ways. I thought his behavior would have more to do with his upbringing instead of his personality. So I constantly tried to educate him by approving or not approving his behavior.
When, a couple of weeks ago, I had finally started to accept and even cherish his personal traits and actually support him in living them out, I had a different person in front of me within a very short time.
So instead of seeing intricacy in his behavior I started to see his own beautiful character in it. I started to connect his behavior to his personality strength. This gave me a completely different focus. I started seeing the gold in him. Instead of comparing him with my own standards, I started to accept him the way he thinks, feels and reacts in the daily situations of life. And suddenly it became easy to support him with his own unique character.
Of course, personality traits can show themselves in a more favorable way at one point and less favorable other times. There is a flip side in everything. But after all, it’s the same thing with grown up adults. Professors can be distracted and amazing artists can live in chaos.
3. Love your child unconditionally
The whole process gave me a new love for my son. He is such an amazing young man. Focus on the positive can really open things up and make it easy to pour your love into the life of a child.
Ross Campbell, in his great book “how to really love your child”, shows us through many examples how a child is like a mirror to who we are. How they don’t respond as much to our way of trying to raise them, our way to be that parent we think we should be…. But by who we are and how we are capable (or not so capable as I experienced with my five-year old) to show them that we dearly love them, that they are important to us and that we want the best for them.
My aim is to show you why I believe that there is gold in every one of our child.
With some, one needs to dig more. With others, it’s a piece of cake as they are charming and make us feel good and capable parents.
But fact is:
Every child wants to be loved. Every child needs our full appreciation, longs for to be celebrated and known for who they really are. This is why I am persuaded of the fact that it is always a fatal error to label our children.
You see, I could have labeled my five year old “stubborn” or “complicated”. I could have looked for some diagnosis like hypersensitivity, for example.
I could have tried to fix him through some elaborated ways of teaching him to be less sensitive.
I didn’t do that, because I knew that there is much more to it.
I didn’t know how to change that situation. I had no clue in what possible way I could do it differently.
The beautiful thing is, that today, our situations have changed dramatically. I have a new love, appreciation and admiration for who this little guy is. I can look at him and I start to see the gold. He is much more relaxed, happy and free to be himself. I know that by understanding what I described in the last article, our relationship changed in a very positive way.
Isn’t this beautiful? It is a marvelous thing to discover ones children more and more, to get to know them and to accept and love them for who they are. It will really set them free to excel in their personality and to be who they are meant to be.