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Family Friday: Passing On Personality

This is something that’s been on my mind for a while now. Neither of my children really look like me. They both seem to have gotten blonde hair and blue eyes from their father. Every time we go somewhere, we hear how much Nathaniel looks like Cory, although when he was first born he looked just like me when I was a baby. Their personalities though are a different story.

Hayleigh is me. That’s really all there is to it. She is like me in so many ways, it’s almost scary. She’s overly sensitive. One little thing will trigger a meltdown. Or a tantrum. She’s beyond shy. She would rather play by herself(or spend time with an adult) than with kids her own age. When we had trouble getting her to stay in bed at night(just until she fell asleep, once she’s sleeping she’d sleep all night. It was just a matter of getting her there), I started letting her take books to bed and it basically solved that problem. As long as she has her books she’s out within half an hour usually. No matter what time she goes to bed, she is up early(unless she’s getting sick). Like I said, so much like me, and that worries me sometimes. I don’t want her to struggle with social interactions like I do. I don’t want her to think she’s less because she doesn’t act like everyone else. I certainly don’t want her to think she has to act like everyone else just so she can fit in. At the same time, it makes me realize what I probably put my mom through. And I wonder how much is in environmental and how much is just passed on. Is it because she never really did socialize much as a baby/toddler? Which I can’t help but feel is my fault because I’ve given my social anxiety issues too much control. Is it because of her other delays? Or is it just her personality?

Now my little monster man on the other hand…I don’t see any of my own personality in him. No, he definitely takes after his father(which he says quite often himself). Once he gets comfortable somewhere(less than half hour usually, unless he’s tired), he’ll go up to anyone. Doesn’t show the same discomfort around people that Hayleigh has. I was reading to her from the time she was about six months. Still haven’t started a bedtime reading routine with him. I’ve tried, but he just won’t sit still long enough to even finish a short board book. With her, we only had to tell her ‘no’ a few times and she’d stop doing whatever it was. Not Nathaniel. Move him away and he goes right back to it. Tell him no, and he shakes his head as he goes back to it.

So, how can two kids be so different when their early environment has been the same? What I keep coming back to is that we’ve passed on our individual personalities to them.

Stole his sister's bike when she was distracted by a cartoon

Having a tea party with her doll

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