One More Mommy

Thoughts of a mom and her husband, son, daughter, pets, friends, job (or lack thereof), house, family, trying to be more ecologically aware...

Friday, June 02, 2006

Parenting Personality

I picked up Luke from daycare yesterday afternoon and was presented with an incident report to sign. Given that this is the third incident report I’ve had to sign since Luke moved into the toddler room three weeks ago, I wasn’t overly surprised. This time, he was bit three times on his right arm. This is the second incident where he's been bit.

I called daycare today to talk about the incident, and they informed me that Luke gets bit because he sits on, takes from, grabs and hits the other children. When they reach a certain frustration level, they bite him. It turns out it’s effective to bite people when you want them to stop doing what they’re doing. I tried it in a meeting this morning, and the conversation immediately stopped.

I’m not surprised by Luke’s actions, and I wasn’t surprised when daycare said that he didn’t respond to verbal ‘No!’s. Because he won’t respond for me either. This is a child that you have to physically remove from trying to open the door, or taking a toy, or doing whatever it is that is uppermost in his mind.

We went for a walk with a friend and her four year old daughter the other day. Her daughter had just gotten a new pink bike for her birthday and was intent on riding it. She had a hard time steering and hit the grass and fell over in slow motion (she might have been going two miles per hour when she hit...). She yelled at the 'bikey' and got extremely frustrated by her mother's attempts to help her on the bike. Dang it, she was going to do it herself. My friend commented how she was trying to teach her that she didn't have to be perfect all the time.

The reason there are so many ways to parent is that children's personalities dictate what will work, what's important to them, and what their 'trouble spots' are. My son's trouble spots happen to be centered around his strong will, and parenting him is vastly different from parenting an easy going child.

I think that people sometimes lose sight of the end goal of the parenting process - an independent human being who can form good relationships and surmount life’s obstacles. When I think of successful people, I think that they are determined, courageous, and risk-takers. People who change the world are those with forceful personalities. They’re also empathetic, intelligent, observant, and interested, but you can be all those things and not be able to change the world.

I’m not saying that my son is going to grow up to be a president or a CEO, just that I think that his driven and determined personality isn’t a bad thing. It’s just a difficult thing to parent, and it’s times like this that I feel well over my head in this motherhood prospect.


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