Parenting different personalities
It’s not easy parenting different personalities and still be fair
For those who are new here, I have four children – two of each. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been on a roller coaster ride of emotions trying to get this parenting thing right. Parenting different personalities and trying to be fair is not bloody easy.
My children range between 11yrs – 18yrs old, with the girls being the eldest two. What my children do not understand is every day I have to handle different moods, different problems and different temperaments, all the while trying to juggle being fair & consistent. Some days are easy as everyone complements each other. Whereas other days, I want to pack my suitcase and take a long vacation away from all the hormones and crappy behaviour.
Between the four of them, I have a child who is academic, one who is not so academic, a sporty child, one who is more artsy, a child who is helpful and one who screams whenever asked to help out, a child who is lazy while another who is a neat freak – and the list goes on and on. How on earth do you try to parent these children, with such a variety of personality traits and actually stay sane at the same time?
Parenting different personalities is an art form and you need a degree in ‘sanity’ to be successful. I am half way through my degree at the moment and this is what I have learnt so far:
The helpful child
This child never complains when you ask for help. They may be screaming inside “Shit mum, just let me sit and watch Modern Family in peace” but on the outside, they happily get off their arse and do as you ask. It can be difficult to say no to this child as they rarely say no to you. Just be careful though, they know more than you and before you know it, you are driving them everywhere out of pure guilt for everything they do for you.
The moody child
This child needs to be handled very carefully or else you will find yourself in the middle of a war zone before you have even had your morning coffee. Each time you see them, you greet them politely with a kiss (or hug) but you are always a little scared of who will greet you back. When they are good, they are the best child in the family but when the mood turns dark – RUN. This child has such an emotional heart that they can’t seem to control it but one day (hopefully soon) they will learn how to handle their emotions and the house will become a safe place once again.
The perfectionist child
This child puts a lot of pressure on themselves and can be so judgemental when it comes to anything they produce. It can be challenging being around this child when they have not achieved what they were expecting. Often their words are hurtful and said with spite, but this is done to protect themselves. This child knows their ability but is still too immature to understand that some days are better than others. Don’t take what this child says personally.
The lazy child
This child would be happy to wander through life and never pick up a piece of clothing or wash a dish or even brush their teeth. It’s all about doing as little as possible as often as you can. They are experts at hiding things around the house, including themselves when it comes to cleaning day. Unfortunately, you will need to be constantly on their back as they really do not get stressed about much and that can lead to a lack of achievements & self-worth.
The competitive child
This child sees a competition in every aspect of life but especially in sports. They do not hold back and will fight to the death. They are happy to push themselves until an injury occurs as they will never lay down in defeat. Competition is great but when the competition turns personal and they do not stop at anything – AT ALL COST, it no longer becomes enjoyable. Don’t try to beat this child – you will ultimately fail.
The academic child
This child takes their learning very seriously and often puts their academic life before everything else. This sounds ideal for a parent but it can be exhausting when they put so much pressure on themselves and do not know how to relax. If they have a growth mindset, they will leanr from failure. If they have a fixed mindset, they will believe they are their mind and when failure occurs, some children will simply give up. When you try to suggest time off or a day out, you get a dirty look and comments like ‘you just don’t understand‘. Embrace their brain BUT never play trivial pursuit with them in front of friends, it’s embarrassing for everyone.
The funny child
This child struggles to see anything serious in life, which is a great personality trait to have – unless you’re trying to parent one. No matter what you say, they smile and think you are an idiot. Yes they are funny and will probably never die of a heart attack as they are way too chilled, but when you need to get shit done, don’t ask them as they will only crack another joke.
The obsessive child
This child only sees life in black and white – there is a right way and a wrong way with nothing in between. Trying to explain to this child that some rules are a little more relaxed than others and they do not need to tell me EVERYTHING their siblings apparently do wrong is difficult. This child won’t leave the house until everything is completed and nothing will make them go any faster. Get yourself a good game on your phone and start playing it while you wait for them.
The bossy child
This child has to be in control and happy to bark orders to everyone. They often believe their way is the right way and can’t understand how everyone else doesn’t see what they see. This child will keep going and going until they finally break you and get their own way. Try not to get into an argument with this child as they are more skilled than you.
The loveable child
This child just wants to be loved and has so much love to give in return. They are happy to sit with you on the couch for a cuddle and love to be close to you when you are together. Savour these moments. I am lucky as I still have four of these.
How do you handle parenting different personalities?