Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Family Blog

I thought I’d try something a little different on Tuesdays. I’ve got a lot of family stuff on my mind right now and feel like I’m struggling some. There are a lot of mom blogs out there so here’s the dad perspective. Rest assured that I’ll still post my drivel on Fridays.

I’m discovering that Kinsey is a very strong willed and extremely sensitive little girl (4 years old, for those who don’t know). She is stubborn as they come and will cry at the drop of a hat. For instance, if something doesn’t go her way like not getting to sit with a friend in class, she will cry and cry. She can also be very demanding and quite bossy with people, simply telling people what to do and even using a very strong tone of voice. It’s quite frustrating to me as her father because I want her to be a well adjusted and well liked girl and I’m kind of afraid her attitude will make that harder than it should really be.

Part of me wonders if this is an only child thing, where she is pretty much the center of attention. Part of me wonders if it’s a personality thing that she’s going to have the rest of her life.

Now it’s not always like that and generally she’s a very sweet and cooperative girl. I just want her to be well behaved and pretty much perfect. Hmmm. Maybe I’m the unreasonable one.


Clarissa said...

Being a not-so-distant observer, I'd say this: It's not that she's an only child ... it's more that YOU are the father of an only child. You borrow Chloe for a week or so and see if you don't forget about some of these problems.

My opinion? She's coming along beautifully and normally. I know Abbie loves her and names dolls after her quite often. I'm glad she's got a strong will. May be harder to mold, but you don't want her to be so pliable that she goes with every whim of the crowd.

I can't imagine that you would EVER be unreasonable or expect perfection ... :-)

Phil said...

You know, I actually consider myself pretty laid back on most things, but I'm finding that I'm extremely perfectionist on 3 things: punctuality (I hate being late), the tech stuff at church (I want everything to go as well as it can [understanding that there are things that will go wrong]), and how Kinsey acts.

I'm sure some psychiatrist would diagnose that as wanting other people to think well of me and my abilities.

Anonymous said...

"I'm sure some psychiatrist would diagnose that as wanting other people to think well of me and my abilities."


Fajita said...

Geez Phil, are you complaining about built in, ever-present, and irrestible source of spiritual formation?

Seriously though, when Kinsey provides the chance for you to be brought to your limit, isn't she the best person to do it? If it were some idiot that you hated, you might just cold-cock hit and be on your way, having learned nothing.

Phil said...

Fajita, I'm a nonviolent person. I would only cold cock someone if they really really deserved it.

And anonymous? Thanks for verifying my self diagnosis.

DB Carden said...

I share your "problem". I think of it this way....I am raising a strong-willed woman and I want her to be that way, I just want it directed properly. I think too often we quash any ability for children to assert their strong personalities by requiring compliance with "good manner" rules when they are young. Don't get me wrong, I want my child to be good mannered, but not at the expense of crushing her will, which is the part of her that should be nourished and directed. Don't ask me how to do this, I am still trying to figure that out.

Tony Arnold said...

I agree with Clarissa about the only child thing. Maria is 5 and an only child, and she has a different personality.

She can be a rule Nazi, deep sense of right and wrong, but she isn't too bossy around others. However, she is getting a bit bossy and flexing her muscle with Anita and I a bit more. Which is interesting because this started when she began kindergarten. Up until this year, she was with Anita full time. So I think alot of this is environmental and learning to create her own personality and space.

I think there is a genetic aspect to the personal behavior as well as environmental. I can see so many elements of my behavior and Anita's that came out very early, way before she really could have learned it from observation.

The critical issue for us parents is how we handle our children and how we teach and instruct them to handle themselves.

I am learning the hard way that Maria learns and emulates what I do consistently and not what I necessarily say consistently. Children, have such a great sense and quick eye for hypocrisy. I believe this is a direct result of their innate purity.

My biggest concern as a parent is not to pervert this purity. I see my role now not so much as being a great teacher, but to just not screw up such a wonderful person that was already there.


Malia said...

Having just come from our pediatrician's office I'll use some his "language". He reminded me that our son's "job" this next year is to start gaining automony and independence. That may likely mean tantrums, excessive use of the word NO, etc.

Fear not dear friend, Kinsey is doing her "job". She sounds like a four-year to me! She sounds a lot like a certain five-year old I know too!

And like DB said, we have no advice for you on how to deal with this, we're still trying to figure it out! Although I will say one thing and this is to remind me as much as it is to remind you: don't give up! Someday we will see the fruits of our efforts, just ask our parents!

Phil said...

See that's the thing. I want her to be independent and strong, but I also want her to do what I say when I say to do it.

I hope she develops that way and I love the process of raising her (most of the time), but there are certainly times that I wish we were already there.

Anonymous said...

Tony, doesn't innate purity conflict with the Christian theory of the depravity of man?


Tony Arnold said...

See, I don't buy into the depravity of man stuff Daren. We ain't perfect, there is indeed the capability within us of horrible things, but isn't that the risk with a being created in the image of God and endowed with free will?

I try to focus on the positive, the image of God created in us. And it is this I see most perfectly in our children.

Great comment Daren.


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