Monday, October 7, 2013

Personality or Lack of Discipline?

This is another post where I am nervous to write it, so I wanted to put out there that I am not writing this with a judgmental tone and since we don’t have first hand experience with this yet, I am going off of what I view in others who have the fruit on the tree.

I had an experience recently where someone told me that we are very spoiled because Levi is so well behaved and we are going to have to just lower our expectations for this next child and any others. I responded saying that yes indeed Levi’s personality is very passive and that I had a “lot” of siblings (lot meaning more than the average 1.5 kids), so I understand the personality differences when it comes to people and we are blessed with Levi’s. But, we will be just as blessed with the personality of the other kids as well. This made me think though, how much is personality and how much is really lack of discipline? I am going to use my mom as an example. Sorry mom but this is good. Lol

My one brother was a VERY head strong baby....very! And of course, all of her kids have had different personalities. I was like Levi is....only a little bit more passive. If I was given a dirty look, I’d burst into tears....Levi isn’t quite that passive....he does challenge quite a bit and it takes more than just a dirty look.. Lol But despite having a huge range in personalities, I remember my mom always getting praised for how well behaved all of her kids I said...despite if they were passive like Levi or more choleric like Hunter (though he has become much more mellow out as he’s gotten older...). What made the difference? It’s discipline. Now, like I said, I don’t have first hand experience with this...yet. But, I have worked with a lot of kids and observed families who discipline their kids and do not lower their expectations depending on their personality and I’ve observed families who don’t discipline and just chalk up their child’s misbehavior on just how they are. It isn’t that we should lower our expectations; not at all, we just need to discipline and not be permissive parents excusing our kids’ sins as just part of their personality. Now that being said, discipline for different personality will look different for each kid. Some need only a dirty look while some need a swat to go along with the dirty look. Lol

I used to get nervous because people would tell me this kind of stuff all the time and then say something oh so helpful like just wait until you have more, you won’t be so lucky. We are very blessed with Levi, but like I said before, we will be very blessed with each and every child and by God’s grace, mercy, and strength, we will become parents who rejoice in the different personalities and don’t use them as an excuse for misbehavior. There is no need to be nervous. God is an amazing God and He will give us the wisdom we need to guide our children and help us raise them well. At times, this may be more challenging than at other times, but that just means there is more chance for growth and thanksgiving. :)