Recognizing Each Child’s Individuality

By Sarah McDonald

One of the most amazing things about parenting is getting to see how different and special each of your children can be in his or her own way.

I know that each one of our children is so very unique in so many ways from personalities to likes to talents to even the ways they need love expressed from us as parents. It is one of those humbling parenting skills to recognize and celebrate each of them for who they are and learn from them.

I find I need to put this specific set of parenting skills to the test most with my middle baby. When this little man is sweet and kind, he is the sweetest and kindest boy God could have ever created. When he’s not, he’s really not (think Bruce Banner and the Hulk).

I am so often inspired by his capacity to love and empathize that sometimes when he displays the opposite emotions I do not know how to react. His gentle little heart needs verbal affirmation and physical affection. When he feels that is fulfilled, though he has the quickest temper, he is the first among my children to apologize and truly mean it. He is also usually the fastest to forgive (except perhaps when it comes to his older sister).

My middle boy teaches me so much every day. He is a lesson in patience for me and an example of unconditional love and forgiveness.

I thank God that he has entrusted me with the special gifts that are my children. There is not a classroom where I could learn more nor a project that could give even a glimpse into the profound love God has for us, his children.

I pray each day that I am the parent that each of my children needs me to be, and, I know that for each of them, that will look different. Hopefully, that will instill in them a true respect for individuality and love of neighbor because that is how God calls us to live.

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