We don’t get to select our children, although, sometimes we wish we could. The goodness of fit impacts our ability to feel connected, generous, and present with our children. You may be a parent who is affectionate and nurturing, while your child is reserved and wards off physical affection that wasn’t initiated directly by them. You may also be a parent who is uncomfortable with an intensity of emotion, and prefers to avoid conflict, while your child may be the quintessential drama queen or king, and is experienced as willful and argumentative. These disparities can be unnerving, even to the most open and caring parent.
There’s always a yearning for closeness and connection between parent and child but these significant differences can lend to conscious or unconscious anger, frustration, disappointment, and acting out behavior toward one another. It becomes quite challenging when a parent feels the need to nurture their child but would rather not and/or doesn’t know how to.
When speaking about the element of fit, I’m referring to appearance, personality, temperament, emotionality/level of emotional intelligence, and general impulsivity and reactivity of behavior. There’s a necessity to assess and distinguish whether it’s a matter of fit, or whether your child is neglectful of themselves in some significant way, or is participating in destructive behavior that may be putting him or her at a disadvantage.
For example, if your child is neglecting their self-care, namely, showering or brushing their teeth, it may result in them being socially isolated or in compromised health. In these instances, it’s not a matter of “fit” and them just being who they are, but direct actions that he or she is taking that is compromising and self-destructive. These issues obviously need to be addressed, but in a highly sensitive, caring, and mindful way, to avoid coming across as judgmental, harsh, and unsympathetic.
Regarding the fit, take a moment to ask yourself, if this were someone else’s child, would you “like”, feel connected, feel compassion toward, or desire to have him or her in your life? Further, you may observe that you feel more connected and have preference for one of your children over the others because of the goodness of it. The child that is less-preferred, you may feel intense negative feelings about, you may act differently or negatively toward, and/or you may judge him or her more harshly than the rest of your children.
Blog published via Huffington Post.