How To Parent a Child That's Different Than You

As if raising a child doesn't come with enough complications, one of the most challenging things parents seem to bump into is having a child that is clearly very different to them.

Imagine this with me. A couple of parents who have a preference for logic have their first kid, and she begins to show a clear preference for listening to her feelings/values. For these parents, it's wise for them to listen to their logic most of the time. It's the smarter part of them and has proven to be more accurate in making good decisions than their feelings. As they see her beginning to make "illogical" decisions, they try to guide her more toward her logical side since that's what they know to be best from experience.

This can range in responses from the child between resistance and trauma. In some cases, the child can turn out perfectly healthy. Having some resistance to who you really are can sometimes be exactly what you need to figure out who you are because it highlights what makes you different.

In other cases however, it can be traumatic to the child because the parents are trying to force the child into the mold of their own personalities.

It is a dangerous thing to assume that everyone else thinks the way you do. The weird thing is, most people know by the time they're old enough to have children that everyone is different. The problem stems from the fact that they don't know how they're different.

Type is an incredibly powerful tool in my opinion because it puts language to how we're different. If a parent is struggling to understand a child who is different from them, understanding the cognitive functions can be extremely helpful because they can talk through each of them with their child and begin to get a clear picture of how the child's brain works.

I've seen some parents (especially moms of NiTe sons) get a reassuring revelation that their kid's behaviour is actually quite normal for their type. Many NiTe boys in their early teens can be very downcast, rebellious, and introspective. A pattern I've seen a lot is one in which they constantly reply to everything with "I dunno..."

When an NiTe kid in this state it seems almost impossible to connect with them! This can be quite painful for the mom who feels like she's losing her son. They also tend to have concerns that there is something psychologically wrong with their child.

In working with these moms, I've been able to highlight where they've done well in their parenting, and what areas they should work on. I can show them examples of NiTe men who've gone on to pursue things with passion and to be successful in their pursuits. I also help them find ways to finally connect with their son. (They often have trouble because they've made the assumption that their kid should be like them or like other boys they know.)

In the future I plan on developing some basic teaching material that helps parents understand the different personality types and in turn helps to remove some of that fear that they're bad parents or that there is something wrong with their child.