I love the scene from the movie, The Help, that Teri discussed yesterday. It's 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 first-born may have been a very special, unique and separate experience from your third or fourth-born, a healthy mother does not show favoritism toward any of her children.
Each child has the same household rules and consequences of which to abide. However, it's a balancing act when it comes to loving them differently. Although you have the same rules & 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 believe 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 Portee 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.