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Birth order & personality

 

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/8_8/243089839/">hira3</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>

photo credit: hira3 via photopin cc

Studies have shown that most leaders were rarely a first born child. Surprised 🙂 ? Can the order of birth, which means whether you are a first born, or a second born etc., can have a bearing on your personality.

Now that I have two kids, I can relate to this much more.

The first child receives the best of the parents & the world they offer to her. More time, more energy, material things, attention- all are showered on the first child naturally as a right. He never has to ask for anything. All is provided before.

The second child has to fight for his stand, & make way for himself. It starts with something as basic as toys, to the time & energy of his parents which is now divided. He also has to manage with parents also are lesser sensitive since they have learnt from their first experience. He is offered more space to learn, his tantrums are tackled differently, his habits are laid out better, he is dealt with more discipline; all because he is the second child.

What all this subtly results in is a stronger personality for the second child. He learns to make the most of what he receives, learns to stand up for himself, voice his feelings. He also gains confidence as he learns & equips himself since the parents are not the over eager & anxious lot they were as first time parents 🙂 . Aren’t all these traits that make a leader ;-D ?

This no way to say that the second child is less loved, since I feel it’s humanly impossible for a parent to differentiate between their kids. It’s just that because as parents we also grow in experience, we pass it on to our kids as we learn on the way. The second child therefore, gets the best of our learnings.

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Parents v/s teachers

I have been told that my daughter is very headstrong & assertive. Well, that’s politely put. What it means is that you have to cajole, convince and reprimand (mostly in the same order) for everything. Don’t get me wrong, I love her more than life, but I also know that I am not an only parent saying that these kids live dual lives. They are someone else in front of their teachers & a completely different person with their mom!

Recently all parents were invited to her school for a sports day of sorts. Not just me, but several parents were amazed (read shocked) to see these tiny kids walk a straight line, flags waving, with such poise & confidence, not a foot out of place, not one breaking the line. They performed feats which I deem extraordinary. They raced for 20 meters balancing a ball on a spoon, running while dribbling a basketball & what not!

I must confess, the shock was less because I think its impossible for kids this age to be so coordinated & disciplined, but more because all the moms were saying the same thing, ‘My kid just doesn’t listen to me at home, & here she is, doing everything the teachers have taught!’.

These kids take guidance, advice, authority- everything, from their teachers & follow them like besotted kittens J . And all tantrums & indiscipline is reserved for mommy dear!

So you can crib about this injustice and twist of fate, or, you can use it to your advantage. Next time you want to make your kids do something, take the teachers into confidence. Chances are you just might get your way with the kid 🙂

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Don’t rush a child

Every morning is a race against time. When my whole household is running to get my daughter school in time (and this is just a Montessori class), I get light headed thinking how will we ensure she boards the school bus which arrives half hour earlier!!!

We have a forty minute window to get the kid awake, finish her milk, bathe, get ready & have whatever little she can for breakfast, & run to get in the car, to reach school in time. All the while, seeking out a clock in whichever part of the house we are in, and praying that it ticks slower. The words that get repeated like a prayer, every day, are ‘we’re getting late’, ‘we have to rush’, ‘there is no time’….and the likes.

Once we are ready, we have to rush to the car & put on the seat belt & then drive off, hoping that the gods will hold the time still & we’ll reach school in time, and don’t have to cut a sorry figure in the school as a late comer.

In all this wild dash, one day, I forced myself to just stop & observe my daughter, & I was taken aback at what I saw.

Don’t rush a child

Like a child her age, she was blissfully ignorant of the pressure we felt all around us. I am sure if she were older, she would have said ‘What’s all this fuss about mom?’.

When she wakes up, she would laze in the bed pretending she’s asleep while actually wanting to be kissed, then savour her milk, then play with the water in the bath tub because to a three & a half year old kid its funny to throw bubbles at her mom & make her wet, and all the while chatting about the silly things her little brother does…. Then while getting ready, she would tell me tales about her school friends, how one kid is very naughty, or fights with others, or whatever captures her little world. Then she would climb down the stairs hopping on each one, reach the car & insist on using the keys to unlock the door, acting all grown up…… On the way, she would observe if it’s a sunny day, or a cloudy one, how the flag atop a building is dancing in the wind, what she will tell her teachers when she reaches school & what not…..

Show me one adult, who savours every minute & everything this life offers. Its only kids who are so engrossed in their life & so happy in what they have.

 

I now believe its criminal to rush a child & deprive them of these pleasures that only they can enjoy. Because, it’s not theirs, but our inability to manage time, that we feel the need to rush them. Too soon they will be grown up & be consumed with work, gadgets, gossip & all materialistic things that we are addicted to. Let us let them be, for however long we can, and not rush them into becoming us.