You get the kid you are given.
People arrive already pre-loaded with a personality and a neurology.
You can encourage happiness and health, vigour and vitality, but essentially you are working with the piece of marble in front of you.
Some people are lucky and are gifted with compliant kids who throw up few challenges or spanners in the works.
Other people are lucky and are gifted with non-compliant kids who occasionally throw in a happy and problem free day but challenge the adult to learn, grow and develop.
If you are kind, and if you are actively a decent person doing the best they can with parenting, nothing you did or didn’t do made your kid the way they are.
It is not unheard of for families to raise a happy and compliant first child, then do the same thing with the latter children only for the child to respond differently.
It’s like gardening.
Nobody I know can make a chili plant seed.
They can take a seed that’s been identified as a chili plant and provide the right environment for it to grow and develop.
But they cannot take the atoms at the present time and create a chili plant seed.
Sometimes people identify the chili plant seed but it turns out to be tomatoes.
The gardener didn’t do anything wrong, it’s just slightly different than anticipated.
You cannot pat yourself on the back for having good and compliant kids.
You cannot berate yourself for having challenging and non-compliant kids.
They came to you as a human, with their own wants and wishes.
It’s your job to make the best of the situation.
Make hay while the sun shines.
Dig in, stand firm and love harder when the difficult times come.
But don’t be patting yourself on the back, you’re reaping a harvest that was not of your making.
And who knows, next time you may get a tomato seed.
The trick is, how do you make the best of everything placed before you?