I love the scene from the movie, The Help, that Teri discussed yesterday. It’s so important to use kind/encouraging words with children. Here is another characteristic of a healthy mother:
Characteristic #2 A Healthy Mother Doesn’t Pick Favorites & Knows They Need to Love Their Children Differently
Mother’s know each of their children are separate individuals, each with their own separate emotional needs, talents and abilities. While your 1st born may have been a very special and unique and separate experience from your 3rd or 4th born, a healthy mother does not show favoritism toward any of her children.
Each child has the same household rules and consequences to abide by and to receive. However, it’s a balancing act when it comes to loving them differently. Although you have the same rules for each child, and punish/give out consequences equally between them, the way you show love will be dependent upon each child individually.
A healthy mom knows each of her children’s strengths, and understands they each need love in different ways. She knows one of her children is more contact/physical touch oriented, so she knows to play outdoors with them, versus making them stay inside with her. She knows her other child prefers to use their imagination, so she’ll build things, watch movies, and have figurine wars/tea parties with them. If she has an intellectual child, she’ll read with them, and actively listen to the things they find interesting. A healthy mother embraces their differences and doesn’t try to make her children act like each other.
If her children are complete opposites (as generally happens in a family), their differences are celebrated and the children are not compared to one another. To do so would create jealousy and inadequacy in the children.
I think this quote by Albert Einstein sums it all up: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Thank you for reading! Please come back for more Characteristics of a Healthy Mother.
Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC, LCAC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.