In The Shadow
As a parent with multiple children I know that parenting the child and the personalities can be as different and as far from similar as night and day. There can be times dealing with this can be challenging and even difficult.
Still, how do you approach the situation when the personality of one child appears to overpower that of another? How do you know when being in the shadow is by choice or by intimidation?
This is an issue that I have faced with my two daughters. They are sisters to the core and love each other without question or fail. Yet, the differences in their traits and characteristics their strengths and weaknesses tends to push one into the shadow of the other.
My oldest daughter is a very strong-willed and outspoken 6 year old who never has a problem taking the spotlight. On the other hand, my youngest is a shy and often ‘behind my knee’ personality who would prefer to be left in her room with her dollies than in anyone’s spotlight.
There are times that these differences force my younger daughter to feel neglected or even forgotten.
When there is a large social situation she is often lost in the mix as my older daughter takes in all the attention and she fights to go unnoticed. Here is the question, how do you encourage and support a child who seems to fade so easily and willingly?
I have found that despite her shyness and lack of need for attention the one thing that will draw my youngest daughter from the shadow is the need to protect, support or encourage my older daughter.
If her sister needs her she is there no matter what. It is amazing to sit and watch her drop her wall of protection and completely become the stronger personality. This is when I begin to wonder if her residence in shadow is merely one of preference and choice.
The Approach is Key
So ‘how do you approach the situation when the personality of one child appears to overpower that of another?’
I have found that the answer is to simply support each child in who they are individually. Whether that is the center of attention of the support system waiting in the shadows.
I believe as each child knows that they have the love, support and approval of their parents no matter what their personality type they will grow into the person they are meant to be.
Do you have an opinion or experiences you can share below?