Sunday, November 14, 2010

Connecting with my daughter

Whitby is nothing like me (except physically what with her being exactly like me).

She's precious and I feel like I have a pretty good relationship with her. However I often fear that since we are so different, I may be wounding her unwittingly.

I have figured out that her primary love language is "quality time" with "words of affirmation" as a close second.
This is interesting for me because my top two are "gifts" and "acts of service". I for sure know I need to have more one on one time with her. I have taken her on mommy/daughter dates and it blesses her so much. Not sure why I don't do it more often...

She's highly competitive. I'm somewhat competitive, but when I lose, I get over it. She hates to lose - even gets nasty so she won't have to.

She's emotional. She gets angry easily. These are things I don't understand - things that I don't have compassion toward.

She's driven, determined and calculating. All these things are good. But since I don't share such characteristics, I sometimes don't know the best way to shepherd her.

She's an INTJ (Myers Briggs personality type indicator), or at least that's my guess right now. I am an INFP. We are both introverts. We are both future oriented and meaning makers - intuitive. So in that there are a few similarities.

But she is a Thinker and I am a Feeler. She is a need-to-know-everything before she starts, closure person. I am a spontaneous, curious open-ended person.

This girl is amazing. I think the world of her and want nothing more than to know how to connect with her. I guess I just haven't really taken the time to work on it. I need to become a student of Whitby - so I can learn how to love her the way she needs to be loved.

I could really use some advice on this right now.


Elizabeth said...

I think perhaps Whitby and I are long lost sisters. The way you describe her is much how I would describe myself! Maybe she and I should hang out!! :)

Just the fact that you're thinking through this makes you an incredible mom. Keep watching her, figuring out what makes her tick, and telling her what makes you tick, and you will be far more connected than you even realize.

Andrea said...

Ian and I took a class once called "Blueprints for Parents" and it talked a lot about the things you bring up here. Sadly, I believe the person who taught the class is no longer teaching it.

The books she recommended were "Personality Plus" "Personality Plus For Parents" and the Love Languages and Love Languages for Children books. They can be big helps in learning how to parent kids with different personalities, especially when their personality and yours are so different. It has helped me parent Faith a lot- she is SO different from me and we have butted heads a lot. (I probably need to re-read those books... I'll fit that in to all my spare time. Ha!)

It really sounds like you're already on the right track though. You have identified the differences and are working toward meeting her in her zone. Keep that up!

Lori Cousino said...

It sounds like you already ARE a student of her. I am NOTHING like Sophia, and sometimes I just sit back and watch her in awe. I believe God has called us, as parents, to continue to foster our childrens' strengths and help them to know how to bare their weaknesses before Him, allowing Him to cover them. Even if we are different than our kids in terms of personality, we can model a life that celebrates the unique qualities God has given us while allowing His GRACE to cover our weaknesses. You certainly model a life of gracefully resting in and celebrating who you are in Christ. That's what is so beautiful about you. Love you!'re an introvert, for real?

ziondreamer said...

Thanks for your insight, girls. Things have been better these past couple of weeks. I have been more intentional about having one on one time with whit. I have done little things that let her know I am thinking about her (a note in her lunch, saving the red plate for her, coloring with her after dinner...etc). I think I was just kindof freaking out a little because she and I were not seeing eye to eye for a while there.

Lori - why yes I am an introvert. Creighton and I both fall on the fence of E and I (on MBTI), but I fall just on the side of introvert and he falls just on the side of the extrovert.