Monday, May 13, 2013

How Could THIS Happen? by Sandra Timmons

“How did This Happen?”
If you are the mom of two or more children, I’m almost positive that this thought has crossed your mind more than once:  “How can two children who were created by the same two parents and parented the same way be so different?”  (And if you have adopted children, don’t say, “Whew” and think that just because you have pulled from two different gene pools instead of yours and your husband’s that you have skipped out on this delightful aspect of parenting.  If you haven’t already discovered it, God has a sense of humor when it comes to pairing up adoptive parents and their adopted children.)
One of the biggest mistakes we can make as parents is thinking that all our children should be treated, disciplined, and reared exactly alike.  Hopefully, as an adult, we know that children must be reared and disciplined differently.  But if we treat one child differently from the other, the one might think that he’s being “picked on” and that we don’t love him as much as we do his little sister.  And then, Heaven forbid, that little darling will let you know in no uncertain terms that he hates you and that he wishes you weren’t his mother!  If we’re not careful, we will allow our hearts to be wounded by the words out of that five-year-old’s mouth because we love him,  we want the very best for him and we want to be “Mommy of the Year.”  My advice to you—Get over it!  Not gonna happen!  He’s five (or whatever); you’re the adult in this relationship so act like it!  I hate to tell you this, but the role of a mom is not to be the best bud to her child. (Gasp!)  Our role is to get to know our child(ren) well and then go about rearing him/her in the way that he/she will benefit the most.  (That’s why we often develop such an awesome prayer life!)
Okay—back to the question:  Why do children of the same parents reared in the same environment turn out so differently?  Well, the most basic answer to that question is to look at the two parents.  Does the statement Opposites attract ring a bell? That’s true for magnets  and people. Take a good look at the father of your children; is he your opposite?  Ta-da!  There’s your answer.  Your child has some of you and some of his father in his genetic makeup; therefore, he’s a totally different creation.  And he will grow, learn, and flourish better if he is treated as the different creation that he is.  Treat him exactly as you treat his little sister, and he probably won’t do as well.  That is because we are all created differently; we’re “wired” differently according to the way God put us together, and that is the definition of the term temperament. 
Florence Littauer, author and international speaker, and Tim LaHaye, of the Left Behind series, did separate studies and wrote separate, but similar, books on the temperaments.  It is fascinating information, and I wish I had known about the temperaments when our daughters were growing up; it would have made our family life so much easier.  Before we discuss the four temperaments, it’s important that we know three definitions:
            1)  TEMPERAMENT—the combination of traits with which we were born
                        --These traits are based on hereditary factors which were arranged at the
                        moment of conception.  Six people contribute through the gene pool.
                        a) Two parents
                        b) Four grandparents
2)  CHARACTER—our “civilized” temperament
                        --Combines our TEMPERAMENT with training, moral values, beliefs,
                        and habit patterns
                        --The net result of ALL the influences and religious commitment on our life
                        --What we REALLY are when there is no one else around
1 Peter 3:4—(AMP)—But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the
                        hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a
                        gentle and peaceful spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
3)  PERSONALITY—the “face” we show others
                        --The outward expression of what one WANTS herself to be
                        --May or may not be the same as a person’s CHARACTER
                        --Is often a pleasing façade for an unpleasant or weak CHARACTER
1 Samuel 16:7b,c—For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the
                        outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
A person’s TEMPERAMENT (the way God put him together) affects every aspect of his life, from the way he is as a child even to, as an adult, the way he drives a car, keeps his checkbook, and does yardwork.  And that is why it’s important that you know your child’s temperament.  (It will also help you understand your spouse!)
We will be going through the temperaments, and hopefully, you will be able to see your child(ren) in one or two of them. If you have questions, please feel free to post them because if you have that question, I’m sure another mother will as well.

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