We all want to be everything to our children. We want them to always come to us for guidance and learning and motivation. But there is one big problem with this. You can only provide your experiences and perspectives. When we limit their bonds with others, we limit our child’s opportunities to gain other perspectives. It’s like handing your child only the green colored crayons. Sure, they can color a picture, but it would be a lot prettier if they were able to use all of the colors.
Your child needs to learn to value different types of personalities. Sometimes this means your child may need to go to someone besides you for guidance. I know this is a hard thing to accept, but it is true. It is also okay. Our children need to be able to form independence from us to be successful. This means forming bonds with other people. Just try to remember, there is no such thing as too much (healthy) love.
The 4 Personalities You Want Your Child To Bond With
The High Expectations Mentor
Every child needs an authority figure in their life that pushes them to be the best version of themselves. This might be a teacher or a coach. Your child may not even like them at first because this person will be hard on them at times. If children are never given high expectations, they may never push themselves out of their comfort zone. It is vital that they have someone who does not let them settle for mediocrity in an area who they can be extraordinary. Even if your child expresses not liking this figure, encourage them to consider that this person sees their potential and to give them a chance (as long as you know it is a person who is not crossing any boundaries).
As a parent, you may also have high expectations for your child. While this is good to a point, your child counts on you to love them unconditionally as well. These roles often conflict. Your child may become scared to disappoint you and it can cause unhealthy levels of anxiety. This is also why some people say you should not coach your own child. You may unconsciously actually be causing your child to not be the best they can be. Allow someone else you and your child can trust to set the high standards instead.
Traits that may be gained: responsibility, determination, respect, refusal to quit when things get difficult
The Over-The-Top Supportive Family Member
Parents support their children, but parents also have to lay down the rules and make sure they are helping their children become functional adults. Due to this, children can benefit from having another family member who is super supportive and available to jump in when your child needs a pick me up. If they have a grandparent that is not responsible for providing a significant portion of their care they may be able to fill this role (this is not a role for a grandparent who provides child care all week). Or an aunt, uncle, older cousin, etc. Someone the child is close to and admires who can be their cheerleader.
Parents often under-utilize their extended family. They don’t want to feel like they cannot provide everything their child needs. But who is better to jump in and offer a different outlook than our family who we know and love? The child already feels safe and comfortable with them. It is a natural fit for a family member to offer large amounts of emotional support to your child. They can do this without being fearful of crossing you as a parent because they know you and where you stand. You already have open lines of communication.
Traits that may be gained: confidence, high self-esteem, relationships building skills, loyalty
The Laid -Back Optimist Friend
Your child will have a lot of different friends throughout their life. Some you will be happy about and some you will not. But be hopeful that your child finds a good friend who is easy going and always sees the great part of all situations. Not only will they help your child have a more positive outlook, but they also will allow your child to be who they are. The laid-back optimists don’t require their friends to always have the same interests as they do. They appreciate each individuals’ differences.
This friend does not feed into the gossip and drama. They are out to live life and be happy. These cohorts are few and far between as kids get older so encourage your child to maintain this friendship if they have found one. The optimists are not always the most popular so sometimes your child may not see the benefits of this friendship without a little guidance. If you teach your child to seek out friends like this when they are young, they will be more likely to seek out these types of people throughout life. This can only benefit them in a world as cruel and chaotic as the one we live in.
Traits that may be gained: positive attitude, individualism, acceptance
The Always There For Guidance Confidant
You have to understand that your child is likely not going to confide everything in you. They may be nervous of the repercussions or just not want to disappoint you. Whatever the reason, they need someone who is a good influence they feel safe going to with anything. This may be someone else in your family, a mentor, or even someone else’s parent. I know that may be hard to deal with, but as long as they are providing your child appropriate and positive guidance, you may want to try accept it.
Often times your child will pick a confidant that understands whatever particular issue they are struggling with. Someone they trust to keep the information they share private and who can relate. It is crucial they get this opportunity if they need it. It is a far superior situation than your child internalizing their concerns. Unless this person is putting your child in harm’s way or in a direction you are entirely uncomfortable with, try not to intervene. They will appreciate that you trust and respect them enough to let them have this bond with someone else.
Traits that may be gained: independence, strong communication skills, trust, compassion and empathy
Children need many personalities in their lives for proper development. Unfortunately, some will be negative and you cannot prevent that from happening. However, these four personalities will provide your child invaluable lessons, skills, and traits they may have not gained otherwise.
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