Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Parenting Your Opposite

I just read this great post over on Steady Mom
Parenting Your Polar Opposite

I can so relate!  Not to say my boys are nothing like me, but the oldest has definitely been harder to "parent" thus far.  I have conciously and deliberately looked for the good in our relationship and the positive attributes his personality brings.  (And some days that is hard work!)
When dealing with a child who is so different from yourself, it is easy to label their way of doing things as wrong.  (Because our way is the right way, no?) 
Fortunately I have years of practice as my DH's personality and temperment are very different from my own.  I have learned that different does not equal wrong.
Different can even be good sometimes as you are forced to stretch and grow beyond your comfort zone.

This part resonates with me:
She is going to be who she was created to be; it’s up to me to see that in all the ways she is different from me, I can find a powerful invitation to stop anticipating and just experience life together.
When I first became a parent I had a lot of ideas of how my choices would factor into this new baby's life.  Now I realize that I am only part of the equation.  A very important part of course, but my little guy is not a blank slate that I can write upon. 
He is who God created him to be, with all his quirks and imperfections.  Always wishing he lived up to my expectations of what a "good" baby/toddler/child should be, is damaging to us both.  I can't say I don't wish he was easier to parent.  But "easy" is so far gone from my vocabulary these days! :)

To love him unconditionally means to accepting him right where he is.  To show him respect by not belittling him when he is struggling or complaining about him all the time.  To model grace and compassion as I teach and guide him.  That whole "doing onto others as you would have them do unto you" has never been so challenging or so important.

 "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."  Matthew 7:12