I guess I was just ignorant or maybe just naïve when I became a parent, no one told me that my children could come out total opposites. There were no set rules, no one thing worked for both children. This was diabolical! The only thing I picked up from Mom was that all children were a gift from God which needed to be loved… I agree – but some gifts are more challenging than others; that’s just a little detail she left out. Dad was all about keeping everyone in line, no matter what kind of kid, all kids were created equal. So I suppose this is where I got the idea that children were born loving little creatures with no individuality.
My oldest is a girl who would bend over backwards to please everyone. Always obedient, always thinking of others, always doing whatever she can to make life easier. My son was born seven years later, and I was seven years older. I was not in the least bit prepared for what changes this child was going to make in our lives. I expected a carbon copy of his sister. Not even the book titled “What to Expect when You are Expecting” would have helped me.
I was in new territory and on my own because my husband didn’t seem to be puzzled by this at all. He would just say things like “That’s my boy”! Some days I’d say, “He’s yours alright, look what he’s doing!” My world was turned upside down and I didn’t know what to do about it. Please don’t get me wrong, I was totally in love with my adorable tow-headed little son! He was and is funny, bright and full of life! I just had to come up with a new style of parenting.
I found out one thing real fast, you had to keep moving with boys, you can’t take your eyes off them for one second. They require a certain amount of animation on your part, lots more noises, horse play and excitement. They like to build things just to tear them down… did you know that? You would think having two brothers that I would have been prepared for a son, I guess I only got to know them when they were older, and I never saw what all Mom had to go through to get them there.
I finally got the hang of it but it was exhausting. I had to get on a fitness regimen just to keep up with my son. Thank God my daughter was seven years older and helped me out; sometimes we took shifts and then passed him to Dad when he got home.
There is a point to my story. I learned to cherish both of my children for their individuality. A thing that works with one child won’t necessarily work for the other, disciplining them is different, motivating them is different, and almost everything is different. You may not have two or more children that are worlds apart like mine but just remember that they are not the same and not just extensions of you and your husband. They don’t come out liking what you like, thinking what you think or having the same personality as their parents. You have to get to know each child and find out their strengths and what motivates them. Sometimes that’s not so easy but it’s worth the effort to make that connection and lead them in their natural bent.
Monta the mother of three children serves as an Expert Advisor on multiple household help issues to many Organizations and groups, and is a mentor for other “Mom-preneurs” seeking guidance. She is a regular contributor of “find nannies”. You can get in touch with her at montafleming6Atgmail dotcom.
Earnest Parenting: help for parents of individuals.
Image courtesy of Jagrap via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.