Valuing Each Child
Long before we knew anything about DNA, God said that He took the exact genes that He wanted and put them in a specific order forming our individual DNA molecules. There is no DNA exactly the same. Read Psalm 139.
When we were born, certain personality traits were already imbedded in our DNA. There is no changing the nature of what we really are at our core. Nature vs. nurture has proven that nurture plays a part in a child’s development; the encouraging, caring, guiding, equipping, and cultivating which a parent and environment provides. But there is also a nature part of a child’s development; it’s his or her individual nature and personality. We can nurture our children and train and equip them all day long, but there is a natural characteristic to them that we must accept; their personality with their strengths and their weaknesses which we should value and appreciate.
It’s a great feeling of anticipation when your children are born; especially when it’s your first. You and your spouse try and imagine what the child will grow up to be like. You might imagine him growing up with the bright outgoing personality mirroring the mother and the great organizational skills of the father who wakes up early and gets things done. You imagine she will be a little version of you and your spouse’s personalities combined. Then, all of the sudden to your surprise, the new addition to the family is not anything like the two of you! Not only is getting used to a brand new personality and temperament a challenge, but when you have multiple children, the complexity grows even larger!
God formed our children with a plan and a purpose, and part of fulfilling that is their unique personality. Part of parenting is simply to unwrap the gift that God has given us.
When we help our children see the good of their personality and help them draw out their strengths, the more confident they become, the greater their self-esteem and the more likely they will feel special about themselves.
Our personality types affect all aspects of our life. How we react to stress and opposition, how we deal with conflict, how we give and receive love, what we choose as a profession and what our interests are.
It’s not one-size-fits-all when we parent. As responsible parents, we should do our job and study what works with our children and take the time to fully observe and understand them. After all, God has entrusted us with the gift of parenthood.
You don’t have to have your PhD in parenting to be the best parent. But one way to start is to value each child for the person they are. Take the time to make them feel unique and special for who God made them to be.
If you have more than one child, it doesn’t take long to realize each child’s different personality and temperament; like a snowflake, each and every child is different.
Each child has a different personality and temperament.
- With my children, I have one child who is an extrovert, talkative and bubbly. I have another who is an introvert; we have to draw out her thoughts and feelings.
- One child is very creative, another isn’t.
- I have one child who is always happy and another child who is melancholic. She feels things deeply.
- One is driven to succeed; one is easy going and laid back.
- One obeys without any restraint, another questions everything.
- I have a child that is a natural leader. She is independent and self-sufficient. I have another child who is a follower. She is cautious and tentative and wants lots of help.
Each child has a different set of gifts and talents.
- Growing up, my siblings and I were good at athletics, but my children have a passion and gift for music.
- I love math and physics, but my son loves medieval literature.
Not only is each personality different, but each child has different ways they receive and express love.
- I have one that crawls up in my lap and lets me hold her.
- One loves to spend quality time with me.
- Another gets her emotional love tank filled up when I buy her gifts.
In addition — throw in the difference of being a male or female!
- My girls are graceful, proper and well-behaved.
- My son jumps off the coffee table and tackles anybody that walks by.
Then, just when you think you have them figured out, they go through puberty and change again!
What does this mean to us as parents?
- We need to appreciate our children for who God made them to be.
- Try not to change someone that God said is marvelous.
- It means we can’t parent each child the same. Although this tends to make it harder on us as parents, we are raising our children for the glory of God and helping them to be the best individual they can be.
- It means we can’t compare children. We can’t say things like, “I wish you were more like your older sister”. That can really hurt our children’s self
- esteem, emotionally wound them and stay with them for years.
- It means we can’t play favorites just because a child is easier or more like us.
- It means our job as parents isn’t to make our children into who we want them to be, but we have to help them become who God made them to be.
Our job as parents is to recognize, accept and appreciate the unique way God has created each child.
So tell your children and show them that you love and appreciate them just like God made them. When you do, it conveys incredible worth and value to them.