*Originally posted 12/7/13
Before I became a parent, I had a list of “I’ll never’s”. They went something like this:
…..let my child wear shorts, a t-shirt and flip flops in the middle of winter.
…..say “Because I said so.” Or “Because I’m the Mom.”
……let my kids eat junk food. They’ll always eat three square meals a day with lots of fruits and vegetables.
…..let my child procrastinate on homework, we’ll never wait until the last night to finish a project.
…..let my child wear their Halloween costume out in public, unless it’s Oct 31st.
…..stifle my child’s personality, I’ll give them the freedom to be who they are meant to be.
Maybe some of these sound familiar and I bet there are a few others that you would add to the list. The shocking reality is that once you are in the middle of it, many of the things you thought you would do go out the window. There’s a lot more compromise involved than you may have expected. Many days it’s just about survival – getting out the door, going through the grocery store, eating something (anything) or making it through bath time.
Not sticking to your original intentions shouldn’t be judged as good or bad, circumstances change and compromises are reached. You always have another shot, the next meal or outfit, to handle the situation differently.
Some scenarios are not so cut and dry, especially when your child starts to develop their personality. Currently I have a Social Butterfly and a Comedian. On their own, there are wonderful advantages to these personalities. The ability to talk to anyone, make friends easily and always have something to say will be traits that will serve her very well throughout her life. My Comedian intuitively reads a situation and will try to lighten the mood or cheer you up by doing something funny. If he can continue to base his response to someone based on the mood of the room, it will benefit him in every aspect of his life.
The challenges with these big personalities usually come at the end of the day when it’s time to do homework or settle down for the night. Everyone involved, kids and parents, are a little more tired than usual and patience is almost on empty for the day. Managing the balance of personality and what needs to get done, is a daily task. Some days it easy and some days it’s really hard. But hopefully, by being conscious of it, you can find opportunities to encourage their personality traits to grow to counter balance those times you have to put the reins on it.
Will it work? I’m not sure, but it’s worth a shot. For now, the biggest thing I’ve learned is that I’ll never say I’ll never.
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I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.