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In a previous post, I began explaining a couple possible reasons for the difficulties we can have with our children. If you haven’t read that post yet, I would suggest you do then come back to this post and it will make more sense. 🙂
What To Do With a Difficult Child – Part 1
So now that we’ve explored the ideas of there being people who are primarily Thinkers, and people who are primarily Feelers, and what can happen when a Thinker mom has a Feeler child, let’s explore what can happen when a Feeler mom has a Thinker child…
What happens when a Feeler mom has a Thinker child:
A Feeler mom whose heart gets so hurt by the behavior of her Thinker child, that she rather unconsciously, or even sometimes purposely, withholds affection or acceptance from that child.
A Feeler mom who dumps her emotions onto the Thinker child trying to get them to feel.
A Thinker child who figures that there must be something wrong with them because they don’t see things the way others do.
A Thinker child who gets labeled as a tyrant or bully or uncaring because of how others see him.
In my family, everyone is a Feeler except my oldest son. He’s about as pure of a Thinker as they come. I could not understand him for the longest time! I was so hurt by things he would say or do, and his younger sibling would often come crying to me wondering why their older brother treats them that way. Man, to say I was exasperated is a total understatement!
It wasn’t until I began to look into these personality tests and learned he was a Thinker and I am a Feeler, that things began to click in my mind! Ohhhhh!!! That’s why he behaves the way he does! That’s why those behaviors hurt me and the other kids! A-HA!
When I began to see my oldest son’s behavior through understanding eyes of who he was and how he fundamentally operates, it REALLY helped me choose how I reacted to him better, and how I dealt with things. It turns out that he’s incredible! There was nothing wrong with him! He’s being who he was created to be! And he’s darn good at it!
I’ve had to learn that when I’m around a Thinker, that they are not trying to hurt my feelings, that they are not trying to discount me or my way of being. Their thoughts and motives are based on logic and reasoning rather than feelings. It’s just who they are!
When my oldest son was about 10-12, we had chickens in our backyard. One morning we found that most of the chickens had been killed by a dog or something, but there was one left alive.
It was then this son’s job to take care of this lone chicken, to feed and water it. It was a super hot summer that year, and one day I looked out to find that this chicken was dead, having not had water for a couple days.
I took my son out there to see what he had done, and I was stunned. My emotions were high, and I was so distraught at the neglectful death of this chicken. I explained things to my son and saw that he had ZERO emotions about it. None. Zippo. It seemed as if he didn’t care at all.
I was so concerned… doesn’t this boy have any feelings? Doesn’t he get how serious this is? That he was responsible for a life and could care less?
I gave it all I had as a Feeler mom, trying to evoke some sense of ‘life’ out of this boy, some sense of caring. But he just stood there, apathetic.
I was completely exasperated. Fearful that my son was dead inside, and would never be able to connect or show emotion to anyone.
Well, I look back on that now, and as I talked it over with him recently, he doesn’t even remember that instance. He said he’s sure he was thinking, “Yup, I blew that one. That was not good. I’ll do better next time.” And was done.
Yes, he cared. But not in the way I thought he should. Yes, he realized his mistake and vowed to do better. It just didn’t seem like it to me.
So what’s a Feeler mom to do?
If you’re a Feeler mom who has a Thinker child – you need to accept that your child isn’t trying to hurt you or others, or that they aren’t totally insensitive beings who have no place on this planet. 🙂
There is nothing inherently wrong with your child. There is value in logic and reasoning. You need to really seek to understand, and validate your child for who they are, just as they are. Even if you don’t understand or you think they are totally insensitive beings!
I asked my oldest son who’s now 26 and is a Thinker, what he would suggest for Feeler moms who have Thinker kids. His response was, “Do way less than what you think you should.”
Yup. That was it. Short. Succinct. Logical. To the point.
As a Feeler mom, I had to pry to get a little more info to help me understand. 🙂 The gist of what he was saying is that oftentimes a Feeler mom has sooo much to say, and with sooo much feeling, that to a Thinker child they are wondering why in the world mom has to dump so much on him just to get one simple point across.
So, when a Feeler mom is communicating with a Thinker child, they need to reduce the emotional context and increase the logical and reasoning context. Be to the point, don’t hash and rehash things to make sure you’re understood.
Also, a Feeler mom needs to VALUE their child’s ability to BE logical. Give them their space to do things their way, and appreciate them for their contribution. Allow them the freedom to not be emotional.
Of course, we need to help our Thinker children learn to be able to relate to Feelers. To not reject people who don’t see things the way they do. To appreciate people who feel things differently than they do. To allow people their space to Feel. This can be challenging for a Feeler mom to do, but it can be done.
Your child’s logic and reasoning are VALUABLE. They are not to be simply rejected because that’s not how you operate. Both Thinkers and Feelers have value. BOTH have important places in our society and in our families! The trick is to gain skills in the area you’re weak in so that you can be much more effective, so your child can flourish in their God-given ways, and so your family can be happier and run more smoothly.
It can be hard to accept that there is value in someone being different than how you are. But here is a question I would ask – What is the Savior? Is He a Thinker or a Feeler?
I would suggest that He is the best of both.
And so, perhaps that should be our quest, to learn to embody the best of both. And allow our children their path to learning them as well.
Have you noticed the dynamic of Thinkers and Feelers in your home?
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