• Valerie Bryant Felder

3 Ways to Honor Annoying Differences in Your Children (Part 1 of 3)

Updated: Dec 28, 2017

Routine Chaos. That’s what you get when you have 11 different people living under one roof and each one lives for themselves. As a mom of 9 children, I remember times when we would have what felt like nine children, but 55 personalities to live with. How do you manage with so much difference in your midst. Let’s face it, sometimes you don’t even need to have more than two or three children before you are faced with so much variance.

Still, regardless of family size, the question becomes how a parent can fashion a home where so many different types of people can live in peace – with, not just around, one another. Teaching your children to honor one another starts the tough work of parenting. This is where your role to govern and love becomes one of modeling acceptance and even individual honoring, where it can be done. This then means more than simply teaching your children them to share their toys. It is about sharing and regarding the uniqueness of one another.

I as a parent must be careful not to negate the good and tolerate the damage that even I can bring into family relationship. As mothers, we must especially understand the power we are afforded to positively or negatively shape attitudes within our family. Rightly noticing, analyzing and regarding attitudes in the home is a critical step towards mutually honoring one another, even as we consider each other’s acceptable imperfections. If you negatively define your child or their world, so will your other children. This eventually serves to disregard the gifts each member of your family carries and truly negatively damages the uniqueness of your group. As a parent, you must be the one to teach honor notions within your home by modeling how to accept traits and tendencies of your children that are different, yet ok. In the next 3 blog posts, I will take time to share how I have had to do this with several of my own.

Here is the tale of the first of three of my progeny personalities:

Mr. Busy Eyes


When we ever go grocery shopping and get to the check out, everyone has a job. Most of the children are excellent at switching between jobs until every item is on the conveyor belt or strategically placed in bags in the shopping cart. One of my sons; however, is almost always found to be moving in slow motion, with bag in hand slothfully transferring bags from the cashier carousel to our cart. Initially, I would stop and bring him back to the reality of the task. It annoyed me to no end as I watched him transform into what appeared to be a person most readily distracted. And then there came a string of situations where he saved me from committing some very serious mistakes of personal oversight.


One rescue of came as I was driving away from a bank teller, having been serviced - having adroitly repositioned their tube. "Mr. Busy Eyes" gave a sudden yelp to me to stop the car. I did so and turned to see why. My son's busy eyes had noticed I had failed to remove my driver license from the tube. I was mortified at the thought of the agonizing this would have placed upon me. I couldn’t thank him enough.

Other incidents of oversight eventually occurred where I hadn’t noticed a critical aspect of something having gone wrong - whereas he had, and all because of his “busy eyes”. I came to understand his gift of being the one child who studies situations to a benefit, noticing scenarios I and the rest of my family would have normally missed. My job then was to acknowledge his “busy eyes” as a benefit rather than a bother – and I speak it to him in front of the other children to undo the negative stigma I had given to him before I could understand. I do still caution him to be careful not to stare or to lose himself in noticing too many details everywhere. He must learn how to turn that part of him on and off. Still, it is a significant part of who he is. The family, through my lead, has learned to honor him and the wealth in his “busy eyes” that do save us from definite distress.

#honoringthechild, #parentingdifficultchildren,

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