My wife and were reading through Proverbs together at night after we put the kids to bed. When we read chapter 27 I had to stop and re-read verse 7.

“He who is full loathes honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.”

The catch 22 of parenting has never been more succinctly stated.

“He who is full loathes honey” helps me understand my daughter, “but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet” helps me with my son.

My daughter has received much love and affection from birth. As a result she is very independent and secure. I remember kissing her one morning when I put her into her car seat and she proclaimed that she didn’t need my kisses as she wiped them from her cheek. –

My son, by all accounts, was not the recipient of much love and affection for the first four years of his life. He has since been loved on constantly. He will engage in poor behavior when he is not the center of attention. Sometimes I feel like he tries to fail at certain things. When he does something right or learns something new he is praised. When he does something wrong we work with him and try to help him get it right. The equation in his mind is success = praise BUT failure = attention + interaction. If attention is what he seeks then he knows how to get more of it – “But to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet”

My feelings are not hurt when my daughter wipes my kisses off. I rejoice that she is wildly independent. I would not want it any other way. I believe that parenting is about raising the children that God has blessed us with to be the people He wants them to be.

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