Most parents tell me they raised all their children in the same fashion. These parents are confused and perplexed about why their children are so different in their personalities.

When I help such parents dig deeper into their confusion, it turns out they raised each child differently, but are not consciously aware of doing so. Quite unconsciously, a parent may identify with a child and raise that child to be like him or her. It does not matter if it’s a girl or boy or if the parent is man or woman, two women or two men. That child will be shaped or conditioned to have a personality like that parent.

Another parent, male or female, will unconsciously raise a child to be different from that parent. This involves emotionally conditioning that child to be a type of person the parent wished he or she was but is not. Such a parent may be shy and inhibited and want his/her child to be outgoing and gregarious. Or, the parent may be irresponsible and uncaring toward others and desire a child who is very responsible and considerate of others.

This process is all unconscious. Parents are not at all aware of what they do in emotionally conditioning their children so differently. As a result one child may be similar in personality to either parent. The same parent(s) will condition a sibling differently. Parents often unconsciously raise siblings to be very different by this process as the children are born at different times and under different circumstances in the family. Even twins and triplets, born at the same time, are reared differently by the same parents.

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