In the ’70s a popular book entitled, “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” became an extenuation of the “me” generation, fostered in the ’60s.
Over the years, hundreds of books were written meant to uncover why adults acted as they did. They touched on what motivates us, how we should view ourselves, what’s our sign and discovering what type of personality we have: Type A, B, and so on. It was all about “self.” These books were written, reflecting how people should view themselves. Everyone got placed in a box and tied with a brightly colored ribbon. It became the discussion in many a social situation.
What a diversion toward self-centered thinking! Usually we are a combination of many personalities because God created each of us uniquely. That alone makes us special. For example, my husband and I respond differently to different stimuli. I’m more impulsive, my husband’s more methodical. I need to talk it out, he needs time to think it through . . .
Through it all, authors studied adults profusely and forgot about the children. Have you ever thought that perhaps the way we treat our children shouldn’t be the same as we treat an adult acquaintance? Our children are as individual as we are. Each child has a distinctive personality and a separate need for recognition, discipline, acceptance and approval. No child should be placed in a box!
It’s extremely important for each parent to discover their child’s “Love Language.”
One child is more analytical, another is a bookworm and studious. These children desire stimulating conversation even more than hugs. Praise and respect them for their curiosity and dedication to studies (and of course hug them anyway!)
An emotional or affectionate child would respond better to physical rewards such as a hug rather than a toy as a reward. He wants to know he is worth more than “things.” No amount of materialism can purchase this child’s love. He needs to be assured that he is more than simply another possession or he’ll turn to food or drugs for unfulfilled comforting emotions.
Sometimes a child only wants time with their parents, but rarely finds it. Sometimes the parents are so busy keeping up with the ‘Joneses’, working sixty-hour weeks in order to reward their child with “things” rather than what their child’s soul longs for; attention. This creates a chasm between relationships, perhaps even one which will never fully heal. This child could grow up to be introverted, placing a protective shell around his heart to avoid hurtful relationships or perhaps become another workaholic. He might want to sit and enjoy a movie, snuggling with his child, but that’s considered unproductive time. So he continues to strive for his parents approval through hard work.
We are God’s child but perhaps we fail to see that He accepts us as we are, faults and all. Our Lord understands our Love Language! If we simply want to spend time with Him, wrapped in prayer, He’s always available to us. If we encounter challenges, we can rest in our Father’s Arms, finding comfort rather than criticism. If we are analytical, He’ll provide knowledge and wisdom through His Word so we can go on to teach others. God’s always attuned to our needs even before we know them ourselves.
Begin to teach your child the ways of our Lord early, remembering that most children first identify our Heavenly Father with their earthly father. Therefore, appreciate each child as the blessing from God they truly are!
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3 John 1:4)