I went to a parent’s group today just to learn more about my kids etc. We were talking about temperaments and how no matter what your parenting style is, how it will not affect the child’s innate personality; no matter how hard you try.
We talked about labels and how we can say lots of negative labels when referring to our kids, but how we can change those labels into positive traits as well. For example, bossy could be self-assured, defiant could be independent, nosey could be seen as curious. When we look at these labels in a positive way we see that we actually want to cultivate them in our children. Self-assured, independent, curious adults are exactly what I want my sons to be.
We also talked about the label of the spirited child. We took a test to see if our children had any of the traits that a spirited child is supposed to have. I thought that between my two kids my younger one would be more spirited as he is the most vocal and active. That boy knows what he wants and will not rest until he gets it. What surprised me the most was that my older son ranked the highest on the spirited scale. It was shocking to me actually.
He does not do well in transitions, he is extremely sensitive and empathetic, he likes things just so, etc. I was wondering why I didnt notice any of this until I took this test and it occurred to me that I “over parent” him. I dont want the battle or the conflict so I head it off at the pass, I cut the crusts off his peanut butter sandwich and serve it on a green plate with a green cup….I read him 4 stories before bed, and get the water, and the snuggle, I make sure the labels are cut out of his shirts, he doesnt have to wear jeans, etc. Now I realize that the reason I don’t see that “spirit” is because I have made his life easier, and he doesnt have many transitions….but is this doing him a dis-service? Should I be ignoring his quirks and making him see that it doesnt always go his way?
Am I coddling him? And what does that mean for kindergarten?