As children grow, they receive information about who they are and their purpose in the world. When children and teens feel good about themselves, their behaviour improves.
If children move through life and do not receive the message;
‘I am worthwhile and I belong here’, then where will they go to find that much needed feeling of personal power and significance?
Children and teens are very clever at making connections within their environment. With an innate desire to belong, they look within their immediate environment to find their place and learn about themselves.
Children are, in part, products of their home environment, and are often unintentionally sent messages from parents that ultimately do them a disservice.
These messages are usually repeatedly embedded in responses to unwanted behaviours, such as:
‘You’re too much for me to handle’;
‘I’ve had enough of you’;
‘You’re driving me crazy’; or
These responses do not separate the child from their behaviour and will inevitably result in a sense of shame. Shame does not change behaviour; it makes it worse.
Children, who feel a sense of shame for who they are, feel unimportant and misunderstood. I believe this is an unseen and yet to be recognised contributor to our country’s alarming youth suicide statistics.
It is not uncommon for a child to think the following:
‘I’m not loved until I behave myself’;
‘I need to be something more’;
‘I need to be more like my brother’; or
‘I am worthless’.
When these thoughts are present, a child will unconsciously think it is not safe or worthwhile to be themselves, so they will try to be someone else.
That someone else I call their ‘second nature’.
Decode your child's Nature here
A child’s second Nature often presents itself as a dysfunctional version of that Nature, meaning you will see the challenges of their second Nature appear more often than the qualities.
For example, if a child’s dominant Nature was Social and their second Nature was Structured, you would see the challenges of the Structured Nature emerging such as, Resistant to change, Mood swings, Indecisive, Judgmental, Pessimistic, Bossy, Disconnected, Anxious, Stubborn, Critical, All or nothing, Despondent.
What Nature is your child? Are they living in their second Nature?
Get the Book - The Nature of Children for Parenting Strategies based on your Child's Nature.