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If you think about it raising children it is very similar to growing orchids or dandelions. They are both planted in a fertile beds, nurtured and in time flourish. The plants for the most part are a lot easier to raise taking only a few weeks to blossom. Children on the other-hand are in their motherís womb for nine long months. The babies are not in full bloom, not able to take care of themselves, until sometimes they are 30-40 years of age.

According the journal "Development Psycotherapy" there are at least two kinds of children. The Orchid child and the Dandelion child. Letís start with the latter, The dandelion children who have learned to survive and even thrive in whatever circumstances they encounter. They are psychologically physically resilient to a poor environment. Throw the "weeds", the tough kids, into a rocky hard environment and with little care they can survive and do well in spite of the many obstacles they encounter on a daily basis. They have a "Me do it" mentality not needing anyoneís help. In Russia the parents teach their children: "What does not kill you will make you a whole lot stronger."

The orchid children on the other hand too often see themselves as victims. They are highly sensitive to their environment especially the quality of the parenting/teaching that they receive. If they think that they are being neglected the orchid children may wither. If they are nurtured they not only survive but instead can flourish. An orchid child is like unto a beautiful fragile flower in need of constant care.

I remember a young teen who told me that her new step- father was a very rich man who spoilt her. I asked her : "What would you do if your father lost all of his money?" She glared at me and told me that; "Her mother would get another rich man right away."

In a perfect world it would be great to have a blending of the orchid, dandelion child all rapped up into one child. Like a Sabra , a child who is born in Israel, they would be similar to a very prickly pear who is tough on the outside but oh so sweet on the inside.

Orchid or Dandelion all of our children are different even though they are identical twins born/raised in the same home environment. In time they will show us who they are and what their future has in store for them.

For the most part their genetics (DNA) is where they came from but who they are is all about their priorities.

I believe in tough love to help raise/guide our children. When I was a little boy when I fell down the stairs my father would tell me: "Len come to me and he would pick me up;" I always ran over and was rewarded with a hug and very wet kiss. My dad taught me that I had to learn to survive and then I would thrive.

Question: Which one of your children is the orchid dandelion?

Len Lesser is an education career counselor.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com