Monday, September 29, 2008

JUST THE WAY THEY ARE


From TODAY, Voices
Monday September 29, 2008

By Dr James Dobson

Sometimes even the best of parents have a hard time accepting their children just the way they are.

Parents of a child who is extremely shy, for example, will often ask me how they can pull him out of his shell.

At home he may make profound statements, he may share his observations about life and the nature of the universe, and he may even tell the funniest jokes. But in public his tongue becomes wedged to the side of his cheek and his head drops as if glued to his chest.

Why is Benny so introverted around strangers? It could be because he’s been hurt or rejected in the past. But it’s more likely that he was born that way. No amount of goading or pushing by his parents will make him outgoing, flamboyant or confident. His shyness is just a function of his innate temperament.

My advice to parents of such a child is simply this: give up trying to make him something he cannot be. Go with the flow, accepting him just the way he is made. Then look for those special qualities that give that boy or girl individuality and potential. Nurture him. Cultivate him. And then give him time to come into his own, as a unique personality like no other human being on earth. You, as a parent, will be less frustrated by this acceptance, and I guarantee you, so will junior.
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