Most of us would agree that red and pink clash.  The truth is that green and green don’t look that good together either.  In family life we may have a child who is unfathomably different to us; or a child who is eerily similar to us.  It is inevitable that a parent will have better ‘chemistry’ with certain children.   Surely the whole spectrum of colors in one family can produce a rainbow?

We all gravitate towards certain personality types, consciously or otherwise.  We unwittingly avoid some people because we struggle in our interactions.  But we can’t exactly avoid our children (and if we have been we must stop NOW!)  The practical management lies in our attitude.

The first step is to consider which child this may be.  (We do not have to convince ourselves of a problematic relationship but we may find that there is one that could do with some strengthening).  If we are choosing between two children who we clash with, it may be wise to choose the one who tends to receive less attention.

Once we have chosen the ‘child’ it is worth spending a few days jotting down descriptions (positive and negative) of him or her.  Our thoughts should flow freely.  As we know, every middah has a positive and negative side.  Therefore, a ‘lazy’ child is probably ‘laid-back’ too.  An ‘explosive’ child is probably very ‘passionate’ too.  Truthfully, we could convert our entire list into a thoroughly positive prose.

We have to focus on that positive list constantly and appreciate the strengths that our child has.  Every child has to feel unique in their house and we can discuss their maalos with the whole family, not just with the child him/herself.

We should be extra careful with the child we ‘clash’ with before we accuse them of something.  These children need an extra dose of benefit of the doubt.  In general, we should try to increase our positive statements to them.  We may even need to recruit our spouse (who hopefully does not also clash with this child) to help us along.

A parent should and could be spending quality time with their child, having a 1:4 ratio of negative:positive, physically affectionate etc.  But if a child doesn’t feel that their mother or father holds of them, a child cannot blossom to his full potential.  Our children give us an opportunity to accept and tolerate all types of people and realize the Hashgacha of each child that lives in our nuclear family.

With a focus on our child’s positive characteristics we can feel the sun constantly shining on them.  With our constant tefillos, HaShem can shower us with Brachos.  And if we combine the sun, and the rain you don’t need my chemistry lesson to tell you what this formula produces – none other than a beautiful, colorful rainbow, in which each color merges with and compliments the next, a phenomenon HaShem created at the climax of Creation.










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