Teach Me My Child
Linda Wechter-Ashkin PhD NCSP BC-TMHC ADHD CCSP
I have gone through lots of school. As a matter of fact, to be precise, 13 years after high school. You would think I must like school, but I do not at all. I do like to learn things that I like to learn about. So I know a lot about a little and nothing about a lot. I have opinions, but on most topics not very strong ones. If I say I know something I probably do, otherwise I probably won’t tell you I know. Dave has also been through a lot of school, and he knows a lot about a lot and is very happy to tell you what he knows. He is confident, his opinions are strong and pretty much fixed. If he doesn’t know he will figure it out where when I don’t know I call someone to help. It is funny to watch how our children came out. Alex knows a great deal about what he knows a great deal about. He has a photographic memory and an incredible ability to synthesize what he had learned. He speaks with authority about what he knows or comfortably says I don’t know. For the most part he trusts me to make my own decisions and won’t feel bad if I make the wrong ones. Now Rikki knows a lot about a lot but does not have the confidence of Alex. She is quick to share her opinions and is pretty much fixed on what she believes, and if she doesn’t know how to do it she will figure it out. She feels responsible for everything and everyone, especially me. One of our family jokes is that if you want to know what I want ask Dave or Rikki, not me.
Our kids are very different but so are Dave and I. They have a little of each of us. Rikki has my compassionate heart and Dave’s independence and need to know. She unfortunately carries my lack of confidence and Dave’s tendency to anger quickly. Alex has my softer personality and Dave’s confidence. Like me he needs someone to look after him or he wanders, and like Dave he can be hyper-focused and lose sight of everything else. As a parent I needed to learn how to parent the parts of my children that were not like me. See I understand lack of confidence, but it is hard for me to deal with anger. I understand a wandering spirit but not the tendency to hyper-focus. It is our job to nurture every part of them even when that part is hard for us to understand. I pray that you will see the differences in your children as opportunities to grow. I promise if you let them, they are here to teach you as many lessons as you are here to teach them.