How to Raise Unique Children
Susie Caron (c) 2/19/16
A friend shared this with me:
Question: “How do you catch a unique rabbit?”
Answer: “U ‘neek’ up on it.”
Question: “How do you catch a tame rabbit?”
Answer: “ ‘Tame ‘ way.”
That’s basically how you raise ‘unique children’. But there’s more to this than just 'catching' and 'taming'.
You have to be tough.
Do you find it really easy to understand one of your children, and not so easy to understand another? This is common in families with more than one child. It worries parents and makes treating your kids ‘fairly’ perplexing because you want to love and treat your kids the same. You don’t want them crying, “That’s not fair” frequently because it makes you feel guilty and you wonder why they can’t see that your trying.
To solve this, it’s important to understand and accept that each child is different, special, unique. That means that each one requires different kinds of care and special ‘handling’. This is true whether they are all the same gender, close in age, and like the same things. Kids are like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. However, parenting decisions and discipline are complex because kids vary widely in gender, ages, strengths, and weaknesses. For example: You may have One child who loves the challenge of homework, while another abhors it and fights you tooth and nail to get out of it.
How can you possibly navigate all these differences and help the kids understand that they love each and every one of them?
You need to be a little bit tough.
That’s right. Put your Teflon Armor on, stand up straight, look them in their wide beautiful eyes and be tough on them, at least a little bit.
I know that’s not what you wanted to hear, so I encourage you to take a lesson from a character, named Ursula. She is the Sea Witch in the Disney movie, The Little Mermaid.
I don’t agree with the messages in this movie, but Ursula said a few things that good parents can adopt as best practice, because they make sense.
Here’ the best one:
“Life’s full of tough choices isn’t it.?”
How many times could you use that one to help your child realize that sometimes they must choose between two things they either want, or don’t want to do. When you say, "Life’s full of tough choices isn’t it?", you help your child to understand that this choice is their responsibility and not yours and that you understand that it may be difficult to choose. So, be tough and don’t make the choice for your child.
While I don’t believe the sea witch said this one, I think she could have.
“Life isn’t fair - get over it.”
Kids really want us to tell them life is fair all the time. But it isn’t and it shouldn’t be. (Ask them if they really want you to be fair and give them exactly identical birthday presents. They will see what you mean.
Kids also want you to demonstrate that you love each of them exactly the same.
So when you hear, “You love ____ more than me.” You can respond with something I liked to tell them:
“ I love you each the equally and differently.”
When you're a bit ‘tough’ on them, you are doing your kids a favor. The world is not an easy place and they will get knocked around by it. So be ‘matter of fact’ about choices and fairness and loving them equally but differently. By being tough you’ll help them learn how the world really works. By being tough you raise them, better prepared to succeed and even lead the next generation.
Twee’ Means You and Me
to Raise Unique & Capable Kids
PS. Picture book I Am Twee' helps kids recognize that being different is a good, because it means they're special with unique gifts to share. But it from Amazon today and read it and talk with your kids (ages 3-9). Click HERE.
Susie E. Caron MA,
Author, Blogger, Podcaster,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, helps build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, book & podcast at a time.
Welcome! I recently retired from combined careers in teaching, psychotherapy, and parent coaching to spend more time writing.
When I'm not busy creating books or articles, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or riding my beautiful horse Apple in the woods and fields of Vermont.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!