This morning we had our annual Women’s Conference in church. I taught the class on Teaching Kids about Work and Money – Empowerment not Entitlement. I learned so much from teaching and from all the comments and insights from class members. Then I attended a class about how to have a healthy body image. I wanted to attend since I am raising so many daughters. Some insights I gained was to limit negative media exposure, keep a strong relationship to God, avoid comparisons, and to value the amazing ways our bodies are blessings to us. I also believe as women we should not constantly comment to each other about how we look and what we wear, rather focus on the whole person.
Another class today taught about valuing each of our children for their individual qualities and strengths. It is based on a book called The Child Whisperer. It talks about four different personality types — the sensitive child, the serious child, the determined child, and the social child. By identifying and understanding our children in this way, we can honor their styles and love them and nurture them in those different ways. I believe in that way of viewing individuals, but it is easier said than done. I want to read this book.
This evening we gathered for our cousins’ book club and talked about this book.The book describes some boys in an alternative school for kids with behavioral problems. As the boys struggle to get along in school, the main character discovers each of the boys’ hidden talents — reading minds, foreseeing events, etc. The boys decide to use these “problem” areas as hidden strengths by harnessing how they use them. The main character has the ability to sense people’s weaknesses and make comments that point those out and hurt their feelings. His rude comments antagonize the people around him, especially the teachers. As he discovers his ability to sense people’s sensitive areas, instead of being rude he begins to learn how to tell the truth in positive ways. I felt like this character described me in my teenage years and early 20s. I could give the sarcastic zinger that would make people uncomfortable. I hope I have learned to channel that by instead being sympathetic and understanding of what people are going through.
I have had the chance to read, learn, and have insights today and this week during study and active listening. I love the idea of having our difficulties instead be looked at as gifts that just need to be directed in a positive, empowering way. I want to view my children in this way. Even if we have a different approach, both can be valid and used for good.