Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Personality Matters

In college I studied Family Science. Emphasizing Human Development – you would think I would have learned a thing or two about how to ACTUALLY raise children. But that is a blog for another day.

I did a report about the personality development of children and how it is affected by the mother. I came to the conclusion that in part, children come with their own personality, and are only gently shaped by their environment.

However, the other day, I was having a discussion with a friend of mine. I was frustrated because of something one of my children had done. I asked her the question, “Do my children get like this because of me or do they come like this TO me because of who I am?” My good friend smiled, bit her lip and gave me that look – the one that says the answer I don’t want.

So, I ask you… Are children sent to our homes with a predisposed personality? A personality that only OUR personality, as a parent, can raise? Do they come to us because of WHO we are? Are they going to be a certain way no matter what and God just knew that so He gave us our particular child because we would be most likely to raise them right? Would a different parent extinguish their growth?

OR…

Do they come to us normal and we just screw them up… I mean do we make them a certain way because of our personality? How much of WHO we are and WHAT we do dictate the kind of child we have? If my children had a different mother would they whine less? Would they do their jobs? Would they burp at the table? Do they just act these ways because I am laid back? Am I restricting their growth because I don’t spank my children?

I am interested in what the blogging world has to say… or maybe I am just looking for a little (pathetic) positive reinforcement.

13 comments:

Beth said...

The one thing I keep in mind my kids or my kids...if they didn't have me..they wouldn't even be! So what I get is what I get...

Jillene said...

I think they have their own personalities when they are born. Each one of mine is very different. They have traits and quailites the same as me but I think each person has their own distinct personality.

That.Girl said...

I love your posts, so thought provoking...

I think this is a little bit of both. Our children are born with their personalities, but the way we as parents raise them influences how those personalites develop.

Every person has a bit of rebelion in them, as well as introversion, and their spunkiness and all that.

How strick and/or lenient (sp?) the parents are influences what side of their personality develops more.

Does that make sense or am I just being redundant?

PerplxinTexan♥ said...

5 kids!? Woah, I'm jealous. I'm also however studying Marriage and family interaction with a focus in human development. Not gonna lie I kinda hope my kids are a little screwy that way I have something as delightful to blog about, just like you!

Fiauna said...

I took an FHD class in college. Didn't listen to much of it because I was a young, 19-year-old college student with no children at the time. I have some theories on the subject, though. In a word, I think the answer is a little of both--nature AND nurture.

BTW, you're up to 50 followers! You rock.

S'mee said...

I agree, children come to us with set personalities, however events, personal struggles, environment, rearing, and family history, etc. can and do change it up a bit. I also believe that 'some' children are sent to 'some' parents for various and sundry reasons.

♫ Spasm ♫ said...

here is my hunble opinion ( the u and the letter after L is broken right now on this keyboard, sorr)

anyway, I really feel strong that its a two way street. the kids I have have cone to ne to teach ne the things I need to learn and I have gifts and abilities to help then suceed in this life. I love this post today and will cone back and read it. after dinner

That Girl in Brazil said...

Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes and YES.

I believe that they all come with a predisposed personality - and that they agreed to come to us and we agreed to accept them before this earth.

I believe that circumstances/the environment ABSOLUTELY influence personality. But I believe those circumstances/environments were hand-selected BECAUSE OF their personalities.

I've seen too many good kids grow up in bad slums, and turn out okay.

With the help of the Atonement, we truly can overcome ANY circumstance of life. Period.

Reese said...

We know that our children chose to join our families, and that each child come with their own individual personality, but also comes with their own agency. I'm doing my best to shape my childen while they're young to the best of my ability (ex.: going to church each Sunday, praying, reading scriptures together, teaching kindness, tolerance, patience, etc.), and I will continue to pray that they will live their lives in righteousness. As long as we do all that we can, as parents, the rest is between them and our/their Heavenly Father.

Lest we live by Proverbs 22:6..."Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

Jill said...

I LOVE this post, it's something that's on my mind all the time because I have bi-polar disorder. I have extreme ups, and extreme downs, sometimes in the same day. I'm sure I must confuse them and I figure they'll probably end up in therapy as adults.

If these kids were sent to me normal, I know I'm going to screw them up. If they were predisposed to be a certain way, to have certain weaknesses or struggles, I wonder why God picked me to raise them? When the going gets tough, Jill takes a nap.

Maybe we're raising each other. Maybe I'm enduring the most difficult part of my mental health trial while they're young, so I can reach a certain point in my faith or maturity or experience to be able to help them through adolescence. Who knows. Maybe one of them will struggle with the same disease because it's known to be hereditary. I don't know all the reasons, but people keep telling me that at least I'm asking the right questions.

Jill said...

One more thing I forgot... my patriarchal blessing says that in the pre-existence, I CHOSE my parents. I looked down on the earth and picked Art & Janet. "They're cute, that's the family for me!" My mom tells me all the time that I was a stubborn child from infancy, that I was born with personality. Why did I choose them? Did the Lord help me make that choice? Did He steer me in that direction? Did I have enough spiritual intelligence then to see what they would mean to me, how they would shape me? I like to think so, but my dad tells me all the time... "HEY, never forget, YOU picked ME!" Funny, dad.

Jill said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Natalie said...

I have a child who at 6 months of age, communicated her strong will. I knew at that very early age she would be doing things on her own terms. I don't think in the short 6 months of her infancy, I was able to mold her so quickly. I do think that with our personalities combining, she has become even stronger willed (not exactly what I was trying to do). If we survived our parents, I'm sure our children will survive us.