Parent Each Child Uniquely

I have 2 children, Jake and Blair.  Julie and I both remember the day both were conceived and of course the day they were delivered.  Both have grown up in the same household, with the same parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts and cousins.  They both have attended the same schools and in some cases have had the same teachers.  What we have done for one, we have done for the other, including family vacations, friend and family get-togethers, holidays and special events.  And, neither of us play favorites, and so here is the $64,000 dollar, no, maybe today, because of inflation it is the $640,000 question “Why are my children so different”?

I can remember when my daughter Blair was 6 months old I would find her in my wife’s closet, with a purse in hand, trying to wear my wife’s shoes.  When she was able to walk she spent many an early Saturday morning walking around on the wood floors in my wife’s “Heel Highs” as she called them with her lips coated in chapstick (which she thought was lipstick).  Now, she could very well be mimicking my wife, but her affinity for all things “Blair”, her idiosyncrasy’s and her personality are truly distinctive.  She seemed to be coded from birth.  This “Coding” has transcended my children’s personal preferences and has defined their personalities. 

My children each have a persona and character that is unique and distinctive.  Knowing this, how can I parent both of them the same?

What works for one child does not necessarily work for the other child. For instance, “Time-Outs” work for Jake, but we could put Blair in time out 50 times a day and she does not care.  Now, if we take away Blair’s electronics she freaks out, but I could take away everything from Jake and he would not bat an eye.  Here is one: if Jake could, he would have a team of servants on staff to tie his shoes, dress him, brush his teeth, wipe his butt, feed him and perform any number of other activities that he should do himself on a daily basis.  On the other hand, Blair not only does all of it herself, but will not let anyone do it for her even if she can’t do it herself. 

Here are some words to describe Jake: Balanced, Stable, Positive, Peaceful, Dynamic, Caring, and Shy and some to describe Blair:  Strong, Stubborn, Dependable, Solid, Caring, Sensitive, Real, Practical and Efficient.  If you were managing these two people and wanted to mentor both to achieve greatness your strategy would have to be unique for each one. 

Since their personalities, perspectives and motivations are quite different the methods and tactics needed to encourage, promote and support need to be aligned to their character. 

About 8 years ago my company began using personality tests as part of our employee hiring process.  When we first began, every employee on staff, including management and ownership took the test.  After receiving the results, we were astonished at how accurate these tests really were.  With only 50 to 100 questions these tests were able to build a pretty accurate profile of the test taker.  After we had reviewed the results, there were a number of “aha” moments when we were offered a window into people’s characters.  Not that we didn’t know who people were that had been with the organization for a period of time, but seeing it on paper was interesting confirmation.  But, we really did not pursue the personality testing for as much for its ability to reveal the personality of a potential employee, but rather for its ability to help us realize “How” to manage them for success. 

What if your children took a personality test?  Do you know what the results would be?  Do you know what the suggestions would be for mentoring them for success?      

Our children are unique little people with their own distinctive personalities and characters that deserve mentoring, support and encouragement.  Parenting which encourages and promotes their strengths and helps to mentor their weaknesses honors your child’s individuality and uniqueness.    

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top