In my experience of having 2 sons I have discovered first hand that each of our sons is uniquely designed to fulfill the Lord’s purposes and plans for their lives. In fact, I have spent the last 16 years praying one prayer over and over, “Lord, help me be the right mom for Alex and the right mom for Mitch”. Early on I realized these were 2 different moms and it was my responsibility to adjust as needed. As a result, I am acutely aware that Alex and Mitch have different needs in several areas:
- Academically: We have homeschooled, private schooled, and public schooled our boys. They learn differently and what may be great for one is not so great for the other.
- Spiritually: Our boys respond differently in their relationship with Jesus. How Todd and I motivate them spiritually will be different and we need to take the time to pray through how we can best set them up for moving their head knowledge of Jesus to heart-felt conviction that will guide them in making wise choices.
- Relationally: One of our boys is just like me and one is just like Todd. Guess which one we each relate to with ease and which one is more of a challenge? As parents again it is our responsibility to understand our children, how they think, feel and communicate.
- Emotionally: We are emotional creations for sure. Some are driven by emotions, some are driven by logic and facts. Understanding how our children respond to any given situation is taxing but again, as parents we need to pray through our responses to them as they grapple with life’s circumstances and challenges.
If we approach parenting with one set of plans and expect it to work for each child in the family we miss the amazing opportunity of allowing our children the space and safety to express their God given uniqueness. We miss who they really are and attempt to force them into a mold that frankly is easier for us to handle than actually stretching ourselves to understand and learn about the uniqueness of each personality. Often this will result in some form of rebellion. When a child feels misunderstood they will try to do anything to make you see them, more often than not their attempts are not in line with your preference of behavior.
Free Online Personality Tests:
- Free Enneagram Personality Test: similarminds.com/test.html
· Free Myers-Briggs Personality Test: personalitypathways.com/type_inventory.html
Read: The Five Love Languages of Children and/or The Five Love Languages of Teens
Question: Do you have a child who is hard for you to understand?