I was talking to Frank about his 7th grade daughter after a recent workshop. He said, “Emily’s enthusiasm and excitement about making snow globes to give her friends for Christmas was contagious. Now the holidays are over, and the jars, glitter, and figurines are jumbled in a corner. Never would I have failed to complete a time sensitive project. I get frustrated by how different Emily is from me.”
I nodded, and he continued. “Emily’s extraordinarily creative, but her clock is arbitrary. The thing is, eventually she completes every thing she starts.”
“Really?” I asked.
“Emily made a model of the Alamo for her Texas History project. After baking stones with flour, salt, and water, she constructed the walls and used brown Legos for the windows and doors. I was fascinated watching her.”
“Do you have a picture of her Alamo?” I asked.
He showed me and smiled, “Here’s the thing. Emily wasn’t bothered that she lost 15 points for turning it in late. She was proud of her masterpiece.”
“You understand her, Frank,” I said.
“I’m constantly nudging myself not to nag her. I like her fortuitous and whimsical nature. I don’t want to overpower her or force her to be someone she’s not.”
“Then you won’t,” I assured him.
How can we support and empower our child who’s rhythm, talents, habits, and interests differ from ours?
We can we set expectations for behavior, school performance, and participation based on their individuality to give them structure and confidence.
We can spend time with them to learn what makes them tick so they know they are understood and that we have their back.
And we can celebrate their strengths and values so they feel our acceptance and love.
Thank you for raising your child with care and kindness. They will thank you later. If I can help you along the way, shoot me an email.