The Question of Personality

How many times have you heard ” What a wonderful child you have. You must be a terrific parent”. People giving you credit because you have a great kid. Is that all earned? Haven’t you ever met a seemingly awful parent who has an incredible child. Or the opposite, a together, well rounded, intelligent adult whose kid is a nightmare?

With my own children, sometimes it is like looking in a mirror. Their expressions, way of handling situations, joys, fears and sorrows all a reflection of myself. Then there are other days when I look at my kids and wonder ” Where did you come from?”.

Grandparents especially love to credit their children with the attributes of their grandchildren. “What a lovely, caring child. You are doing such a great job. You are such a good mother”. Sometimes I stare at them like they are from another planet. I want to shout “I didn’t do anything, she was born that way”. For from day one, my children had definite personalities.

So maybe it is in the DNA, that we pass along the qualities that define us. How else can you explain why your child as an infant has distinct characteristics which mimic your own. But what about the child who is nothing like you? Was it latent DNA, maybe from a long lost great grandparent who passed along some of those qualities you wish your child didn’t have?

Environment of course plays a huge part in how your child evolves. But it doesn’t define their personality. It only helps to mold and shape. A child who was and always has been irritable isn’t going to suddenly be happy and carefree just because their surroundings are easy going and light hearted.

So now when someone compliments me on what a lovely child I have, I simply state ” Wasn’t me, she was born that way”. Give credit where credit is due.


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