There is a lot of talk about unconditionally loving our children but perhaps not enough about how important it is to like them. As our sweet bundles grow and test boundaries and stretch our patience, it can become all too easy to fall into the insidious trap of looking at that child through a negative lens. Because we only see what it is we are looking for, we begin to only see the testing, the misbehavior, the whining, the aggression, the child who just will not go to sleep. Then ever so slowly, without us mindfully realizing what is occurring, we begin to feel a pang of resentment – of dislike. At this point, it becomes very difficult to notice the good, to see beyond the faults into the heart of that child which beats with goodness and love and purpose. Resentment is blinding.
While it’s true that children need our love to thrive, what we’ve generally swept under the rug is that they need us to like them, too. They need us to see them, see who they are, and to like what it is that we see, because this ultimately is how they come to see themselves. Therefore, it’s essential to the well-being of our children and to the peace and contentment within our homes that we learn to see through a positive lens, even through times of trial.
If you’re struggling with feelings of resentment or not liking your child right now, could one of these be the cause?
1. You were expecting/hoping for someone different, easier, more like you, more like your spouse, a better sleeper, not so intense, etc.