My children have very big personalities. I’m sure most parents feel this way. I like to blame that on my husband because I think he has a big personality himself. But the truth is I too have a big personality. I just hide it more than him. As a mother, I don’t know how to find the line between letting my children be who they are, but also teaching them that along with big emotions you have to be considerate of others around you. I don’t want to ruin my children by making them think that they can’t express themselves, but I also don’t want to deal with the constant judgment of others around me.
So where is the line you draw in the sand? I look at my husband and I love how free he is and how comfortable he is to be himself. Then I look at myself and feel that I have to hide a lot of my personality because growing up I was told I was too emotional or dramatic. I see two different people and how one is free and one is self-conscious. I don’t want my children to grow up feeling self-conscious of who they are. But I also don’t want to be THAT mom who doesn’t do anything about her children’s outrageous behaviors. And let me tell you, my children are very expressive, emotional, and all-around have very BIG personalities.
I think it is crucial for children to be able to express themselves. I’m sad to admit that I haven’t been the best at allowing this for my children. I think I have been too sensitive to their behaviors. I think we forget that kids are just kids. We expect them to act mature and understand things with one explanation one time. That’s just not how they work. Children need constant reminders on how to behave, and yelling at them doesn’t work. Neither does putting on a show to quiet them down. Children need continuous engagement from parents to learn how to properly behave, while also maintaining who they are.
It doesn’t make sense that we can yell at them, or get mad at them but they can’t express the same emotion back to us. Children have the same emotions and can be more affected by those emotions because they aren’t sure what to do with them. So tell them it’s okay to go scream in the pillow or pout in their room. Then they can come to talk it out with you. Explain why you are enforcing discipline for behaviors deemed inappropriate. But just because a child gets mad, or sad, does not mean that every time that emotion is expressed is inappropriate or negative.
These are all epiphanies I have recently had about how to manage my girls’ big personalities. So don’t think I haven’t overreacted. I have been trying to suppress emotional outbursts with yelling and getting super mad. I’m sure I will have my rough days as a parent, but I am at least going to try my very best. I want to be more conscious and considerate. I also will apologize for my own big emotions.
So, I still don’t understand exactly how to handle my oldest’s big personality or my toddler’s big personality that is blossoming every day. But my girls and I are all in for this ride together, and we will try our best. I will try to guide them and help them learn positive ways to handle their emotions and grow into their big personalities. I also hope that they will be patient and understanding with me. I will have many, many moments of weakness as I try to figure out how to best help them and keep my cool.