In my last blog I listed some people whom your child was not. I also listed some people whom you and your spouse were not. I will now list a very important component of this exercise.
Your child is not any of their siblings.
This is one of the hardest lessons to learn. DNA is a freak thing. How can children be so different from one another? I tell people all the time, "Siblings are not opposites of each other. It's more like a color wheel. Think of each one as a complementary color." If you think of your children as opposites, that can be dangerous too.
And yet, even though we know that they are not the same, we attempt to treat them the same. Even worse, we get upset with them because we are afraid they will make the same mistakes as their siblings. Or we compare them with their siblings and wonder why they cannot do things the same way. Sigh. What a mess!
So before you start any conversation with your child, remember this is a brand new person. They are unique. They are not like anybody else on this planet. They have different things that motivate them. They are going to have different things that interest them. This means that when you are trying to communicate with them you are going to want to know what their "triggers" are - the good ones and the bad ones. I reiterate, you are the adult. You may wish you were not the adult. But you are! Which means, it is your responsibility to conduct this conversation in a civil, constructive, and instructive manner.