I was late to the game with Solomon’s “Far from the Tree,” a runaway bestseller for a year when I met him Wednesday night at a Family Action Network event. (By the way, if you live in Chicago or its northern ‘burbs and you haven’t been to a FAN event, you need to get to one. One of the best speaker lineups ever.) But the message is evergreen—accepting your children for who and what they are is key. And if you as a parent find yourself asking, “How do I fix my kid,” you should probably be asking yourself “Should I?” first.
In his book, Solomon posits that there are both “vertical” and “horizontal” identities. Vertical identities are those we inherit from our family—things like our ethnicity, hair color, and last name. Horizontal identities are those established outside of the family norm—everything from health issues not already established—like a deaf child of hearing parents, or perhaps sexuality—being the gay child in a straight family.
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