Sorry, I couldn’t find a good image for three blind men, so three blind mice are standing in for them! There’s a fable about the three blind men that I’ve included in Raise the Child You’ve Got—Not the One You Want. It involves villagers, blind men, and an elephant…pretty dang compelling, right?
I use the fable to point out that we don’t always have as full a picture of our children as we think we do. To lead with acceptance, we start with the Child We’ve Got, and then widen our perspective to understand “the rest of the story.” From the book:
Although we have not literally lost our sight like the blindmen in the fable, we might as well have blinders on sometimes.It seems to be human nature. How often do we ignore things that we just don’t have time to deal with, or try not think about things that make us uncomfortable, hoping that they’ll go away if we don’t pay them heed?
A useful example is the “golden child.” When children have been an absolute delight to raise, they sometimes get the message that they need to continue to be perfect. Then, when they experience normal anger, insecurity or sadness, they are reluctant to show it to their parents for fear of tarnishing their parents’ high opinion of them. If (or when) the child acts out their anger, insecurity or sadness, the parents feel blindsided. They have no idea where it all came from.
What parts of who your child is might you be “blind” to? What would it take to get you to try to understand “the rest of the story”? Please share your questions and comments below.
Raise the Child You’ve Got—Not the One You Want is available for pre-order here!