Holly prefaced her email with, "Tears are falling as I write this, but I need to tell you something. For the last couple of years my daughter, Allison, climbed on the school bus each morning wiping away a flood of tears. I repeatedly exploded with anger and frustration because Allison was too slow and disorganized. Our school mornings were war."
Holly continued, "I heard you speak about two weeks ago and was stunned when I learned about the personality information and how it affects relationships. I read your book, "Personality Insights for Moms" and realized that I always expected Allison to act like I do (fast, organized, and charging out the door).
"Allison's personality style, on the other hand, needs plenty of time to adjust to each new day by waking up slowly. She requires lots of hugs and reassurance.
"I actually resented that because I'm NOT that way. However, after understanding our personality differences, our school mornings changed dramatically! I now know that I'm a 'D' and Allison's an 'S.' I've been a drill sergeant and she's been crushed! No wonder our relationship has struggled. I didn't understand her and she didn't understand me.
"How could I have been so hard on her and not understood that it's okay to be different? This information has changed our lives! I feel so bad for all our fights and misunderstandings, but I'm going to make it up to her from now on."
Holly went on to say, "For the FIRST TIME EVER, Allison left for school this morning happy and with a smile on her face!
"And so this morning, I'm the one with tears - tears of sadness for all the happy times we've missed - and tears of joy for the happiness that we now share. Thank you so much."
Needless to say, after reading this email, I too, shed tears. There's no greater joy then when you impact someone else's life - in a positive way. And we ALL possess the opportunity to impact lives - one way or another.
Do you understand your children's personality style enough to know why they do what they do? Are they allowed to feel accepted for their unique personality style - or ostracized for being different?
The child you impact may be at home, school, church, daycare, or in your neighborhood, but opportunities exist around every corner to help others feel accepted and appreciated for who they are - just the way they are - and to feel understood.
If a child feels being different is wrong, then he or she may develop poor self-esteem or lack confidence to pursue goals and dreams. But when a child feels understood, a child feels loved.
Do you experience a "war" in your home each morning before school - as Holly and Allison did? Do you have a child in your life (in your classroom) whom you experience conflict or clash with quite often because of differing personality styles? Choose to appreciate your differences and relate to one another with admiration and respect. Establish guidelines, systems, and methods for success.
Let your loving smile of affirmation and acceptance be the last thing you give your children each day when they head out the door for school.
Assure your child that he or she is the "apple" of your eye.