I ran across this infographic on Pinterest recently and was thankful for the reminder that all children are different and have different needs. I was also thankful for the small insight into what to do with my “determined child” who, at almost 3 years old, is aging me by the day.
I have found lately (thanks to reminders like this) that what I call “misbehavior” is just Mia’s curiosity and overwhelming energy. I’m learning more and more that there are specific ways I can deal with her behavior that will yield the outcome I actually desire; and most of the time that doesn’t include yelling at her (er…). Having a determined, energetic child can be demanding and exhausting – physically and emotionally – because if I’m not careful, I will find myself telling her “no” and “stop that” all day long. I love how this infographic reminds me to allow adventure in her life and enough physical activity, because I know that I am lacking in those areas simply because it is not natural to my own personality to be so outgoing.
Of course, despite the frustrations, there is so much that I love about her – she is always willing to learn, discuss, and explore. It’s just that learning to discipline her and respond to her in the appropriate way sometimes goes against my natural reactions and feelings. For instance, because she is so energetic and curious, I can’t expect her to stand my side at all times when out in public; it has never and will never happen (yes, I have the child who runs back and forth in the post office, dances in circles in the grocery aisle, and makes other human beings her obstacle course at Target). So giving her the room to run and explore is necessary, yet it goes against my instincts as a mother. I’m still learning how to navigate this and allow her to be free without getting lost, doing anything dangerous and being respectful to those around her.
My second child, on the other hand, is Mia’s complete opposite… and I just know that as he grows (he’s only 7 months now), I will have to discipline, love, and encourage him in ways specific to his own character.
In conjuction with this infographic from “The Child Whisperer,” I’ve been reading “The 5 Love Languages of Children” by Gary Chapman with my mom’s group. In his book, Chapman talks about how it is necessary to fill your child’s “love tank” with needs specific to their unique self in order for them to grow to become an emotionally healthy adult.
Although I won’t know for another couple of years (it’s hard to tell before age 5) if my daughter’s primary love language is physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, or acts of service (the 5 love languages outlined in the book), I can already see some of them are more dominate than others, and it’s giving me insight into how I need to show her love.
We have a huge responsibility as parents; we are to raise god-fearing children who are loving, kind, giving… not to mention, the pressure to meet society’s standards of intelligence, success, and beauty. It seems like an overwhelming task. So for now, I think I’ll just take it one step at a time and focus on my children individually, making sure that I’m giving them the love they need and desire. If I can master that (a mom can have goals, can’t she?…), then everything else should just fall into place. At least, I hope…
What kind of children do you have?
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