After trying rewards, cutting desserts and explaining several times, you finally realized that you couldn’t change your child’s nature. How will you deal with the flaws of your wonderful children, the ones that were meant to be so perfect, and that you love more than anything now that they grow older and do little things that bother you more and more each day?
Sometimes, reality catches up on you and little things that were not worked on over time tend to get worse when children grow up. The sulks, crises, chronic dissatisfaction, laziness, tears, lies and lack of respect that were partly explained by the terrible twos lose all legitimacy a few months later.
Children who have not learned politeness, effort and thankfulness when they were young will not learn it by themselves as time goes by. They will need a hand, otherwise their growing needs and vocabulary will slowly turn cute children and their tantrums into little monsters.
In other cases, what annoys parents cannot be changed. It is the way they talk or answer questions that bothers them. It is a tendency to always choose awful products or, on the contrary, to be high maintenance. It is an arrogant tone or a way to always ask silly questions. It could also be the impossibility to be on time anywhere or the little voice that always rushes you and tells you how to do things.
These multiple sides of our child’s personality can make us irritable, and if we try to change them, we only hear them complain even more. Sometimes they even end up acting like us and telling us everything that we do wrong. Worse even, our child can feel sorry for himself, get angry and try to explain how unfair his life is!
By trying to correct his flaws that aren’t flaws, we do not improve anything. On the contrary, we teach our child to argue on subjects that are pointless, and we teach him to judge others on characteristics that define them. In addition to tiring us needlessly, these judgements will sooner or later hit us back.
Because we cannot do anything about it and because everyone deserves to have his own personality, we should just let go and get to know that person that our child has become. He may not like sports as much as you do, he might not become a teacher or a doctor like his father but maybe his strong opinions and need for justice hide a great lawyer, a politician or the next David Suzuki. Our child’s nature and what we perceive as flaws could only be character traits with which we never felt comfortable.
However, we will have to get used to it because as they grow older, these children who do not think like us will still be our children. It is by talking to them and agreeing to compromises that we will learn to understand them and appreciate these differences that we never really tried to comprehend before. Let’s not forget that if we have totally different personalities, our children probably don’t think we are perfect either.