• I have decided to go with the flow and watch him grow into the person he wants to be
We have become accustomed to comparing a child’s personality to that of a parent or close family member. Since we are already familiar with the people who share genetics with the baby, we hope to see a glimmer of whose genes are stronger in the baby.
The thing we overlook, though, is that although we share DNA with our kids, we can be very different in our dispositions. Watching my son grow these last 17 months has made me realise that sometimes, we are born with our personalities intact.
My son is not overly affectionate. A trait he might have gotten from his staunch father or his once incredibly shy mother. My husband was telling his mother about our son not being the affectionate type of kid when his mother remarked, “You were exactly the same as a baby!”
He’s the type of kid that will run towards you when you have been away for a while. But instead of jumping into your arms as most kids do, he will run half way up to you smiling then make a giant U-turn as he goes about his business. It took me too long to get used to his way of greeting because of my preconceived ideas of having an affectionate child.
When I was pregnant and imagined him at this age, I imagined him running up to me after I had been away for a while. I imagined him wanting cuddles to calm down from a tantrum. I imagined him melting into my hugs. Sometimes when he does accept a hug, he turns it into a play thing, where he would be pulling at my hair or grabbing my face.
Since the little master decided to come into the world with his character already embedded in him, I have decided to go with the flow and watch him grow into the person he wants to be. I allow him to guide me in understanding his love language or to show me his preferences.
However, as much as we want kids to develop into their own person, we must acknowledge that some elements have to be nurtured. For Instance, even though my son doesn't like to show affection in the expected way, he gets overzealous in his expressions and tries to pull his father's face off. So we have to gently guide his little hands into showing him different options for showing affection, such as lightly touching the face instead of grabbing.
As he continues to grow and learn, environmental factors, as well as exposure, will keep moulding his personality, but they will be adding to what was already there since birth.