Hi there, it's Finley 👋🏼 and Happy Friday.
Today's story takes 3 minutes to read... plus I've finally finished a new 3-Part Framework I'd love to send you when one friend joins this newsletter with your unique referral link.
Look Back: I've been sending this Family Friday newsletter for 11 months now and you can always revisit the entire archive here.
Who Are They?
My daughter left for college 9 months ago. Only now, do I feel like I understand her sense of humor since she's moved out of our house.
Kids can be hard to unlock and guess what? They are always changing.
Knowing how each of your children are wired and unique is one of the great privileges of being a parent. It is also one of the most challenging.
The nature vs nurture argument is longwinded and in my opinion not helpful.
Here's what I do know about each of your kids... no matter how they are each unique, who they are should be known and loved by you.
Knowing each child individually helps create a beautiful bond between you both.
But first, some of the challenges you're likely to face...
- every child is different and requires original engagement.
- speaking their heart language at each stage is difficult.
- some of your kids you will "get" easier than others.
- kids desire to be known but not studied.
Personally, I loved the special pieces that made up each of our kids. Life is challenging and growing up is tough. But ...
Knowing that my oldest daughter loved being in charge made it better when it was time to do chores.
Knowing my son was harder on himself than I was after a game made the drive home smoother.
Knowing my youngest daughter has my same addictive personality made our conversations more vulnerable.
So how do you pursue knowing each of your kids? Plus, what about the child that is the most different from you or toughest overall?
Let's take a quick look...
Truth 1: Early observation pays off later.
So much of your kids personalities and hard-wiring can be seen by the age of 5 or 6.
The more time you can spend around your kids in the early years, the more situations you will get to see. You'll begin to pick up on ways they want to connect with you. Is it reading books, helping you shop or playing games?
Begin to notice: When is my son or daughter living with the least amount of friction and most joy?
Truth 2: Sharing stories with your spouse is a shortcut.
Sometimes a different set of eyes or a kid translator can help.
Moms and Dads see their children differently. Certain parts of their internal code makes sense to different adults in their life. Are they slower or faster paced? Do they trend towards people or projects?
It's easy to talk about the frustrations each child brings into your life but don't neglect celebrating their strengths through shared stories.
Truth 3: Putting specific words to their wiring is helpful.
A mentor long ago taught me something I've never forgotten. He said, "reading makes an educated man and writing makes an exact man."
You don't have the margin to become a child psychologist, but you can continue educate yourself about your kids. Finding words that can anchor who they are for a season can bring some helpful clarity. If you can fill in the blanks for each of your kids that describe their current orientation it may help.
My child's best time of day is [when].
My child is proudest of themselves [here].
My child's favorite way to recharge is [this].
My child feels the most needy [when they are].
My child gets in trouble the most [because they].
Truth 4: Your most difficult connection needs grace not a grudge.
To be honest, I've had an internal grudge against all my kids at one point or another.
I just couldn't figure out what was going on inside of them. It seemed like there was an alien in my house. The baby I'd held in my arms had turned into a complete stranger and I was not happy about any of it.
As a parent you must hold this in tension; your kids are both changing and already set.
It is a lot like a new sidewalk that is being constructed. It has a general direction, but the concrete hasn't hardened yet. Learn about your kids and shape what you can.
This is why the whole household needs grace, because change is the only constant. Be a brave parent who seeks to know all the beautiful thoughts, traits, quirks and -isms for each of your kids.
It creates a beautiful between you both.
To Be Determined
Myla, Parent Coach
"Let's reframe some childhood characteristics for adulthood.
An obstinate child may be a determined adult.
A defiant child may be an adult who speaks up.
A distracted child may be an adult who thinks deeply.
A difficult child may be an adult who leads with passion, focus and a strong will.
An emotional child may be an adult who is empathetic, compassionate and giving.
A dangerous child (ie. tree climber and playground explorer) may be an adult good at risk assessment.
A bad sleeper child may be an adult who has thoughts that will stretch the world in a wonderful direction.
No one believes that parenting these characteristics is easy, but one day they just might turn into amazing adults who do great things."