Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Takes One to Know One

Do your children have any traits that make you think, "Really? That was the one they had to inherit?" I know my husband and I think that all the time. As we watch our boys' personalities and tendencies emerge, there are some things that seem like a mirror image of ourselves. And some of those things are going to take a bit of effort before the edges are softened. Persistence is one of them. Here's an interaction I had with my oldest the other day while making Valentines.

"Hey bud, please keep your chair on the ground. No tipping backwards."

"Why can't I tip my chair backwards?"

"You could tip and fall or you could break the chair," I said knowing I was only fueling his next rebuttal.

"No I won't. I'll be really really careful."

"Drop it pal. You can't do it"

"Maybe I can do it just a little bit. Like this," he said as he tilted the chair once again.

"Look, you can't tilt your chair. Do it again, even a little bit, and you'll need to work standing up."

"Why?"

I'll spare you the rest. I'm tired just typing it. This question and answer continues no matter what I say to try and keep it at bay. He will try to talk me out of every decision big or small. He asks me to explain my reasoning for every decision, big or small. His need to understand is so great that it takes over his entire being.

"You know how you have a checklist of things to do during the day?" my husband said in an attempt to help me understand the behavior. "Well, he only has one thing on his checklist. Even if it's something as small as tilting his chair. That's all he wants to do. That's all that matters to him. He will do anything to cross that item off of his list," he shared.

Spoken like someone who has a bit of persistence in him, too. Takes one to know one, right? But because my husband is persistent, a great many good things have happened in his life. He fights for what he believes in, including his family. He is a tremendous success in his career. He has clarity and drive. He knows what he wants and goes after it without hesitation. And I know, with his help, I can channel my son's persistence toward things that matter. Things that will shape his life and those around him in a positive way.

I will tough out the great inquisition, hold firm on my decisions and lean on my husband when I need insight into this driven little soul. Hopefully, in the end, he will turn out just like his daddy.

What characteristics do your kids have that could be turned into a positive? How can you use your spouse as an anchor to help you understand your children more?

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