As a parent and an educator my role is often to mold young minds to certain criteria set forth by others who may have never met my children or students and some of whom may have never spent any time molding young minds. A problem I see with this is that no two children fit into the same mold.
My three biological daughters have very distinct personalities though they have grown up in the same home in the same circumstances and very close in age; three years and three days between my first daughter and my third daughter. I have often refered to them as chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry after driving through McDonald’s for shakes one time and literally ordering them each a different flavor.
My chocolate child is a peacemaker at heart, though she often turns into a bully in an effort to keep the peace. Lol. She wants to make everyone around her happy just like chocolate makes us happy.
My vanilla child is very “girl-next-door” with straight light brown hair, and prefers to be barefoot or in flip-flops without make-up or a special hairdo. She actually prefers plain vanilla ice cream!
My strawberry child is a fashionista; she has a more exotic look with dark brown curly hair, as the Costa Rican gene’s are more prominent in her than in her sisters. She is shy, but there is a little something special hidden inside that you don’t know until you spend time with her, kind of like finding the frozen strawberries hidden in your ice cream.
Each one is special in her own way and I would not change that for the world.
As I try to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, I occasionally find myself trying to fit them into one mold; the mold that my heart would have them be. I am reminded again and again that this is not what the Lord would have for them. He reminds me in gentle ways that each of them is their own person and must each walk their separate path.
One of my daughters got her feelings hurt when she heard me say that she was my “different child”. She felt that I was slighting her and saying that this was a bad thing.
What I actually meant was that she has chosen a different path, she is from a different mold than the other two who seem to be following somewhat in my footsteps. I actually think this is a positive thing, not a negative. She is very much her own person with her own thoughts and opinions. She is so creative and has so much potential in ways that the other girls and I do not have.
We each have our own unique identity, but God has molded us in His image and that is what is important. It’s not my place to mold my children to be mini versions of myself. It is important that I give them opportunities to be themselves and follow after the heart of God. That’s the only mold I care about them fitting into, the mold of God’s own heart.
This blog was inspired by http://foreheadlife.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/cookie-cutter-parenting/. Check it out!