There is nothing like being stuck at home together to fully acquaint you with your child’s personality traits! The last week of having my son at home during the “Nashville IceStorm” (school was closed here for over a week) was good and bad for me. The bad part of course was not being able to get anything done – work or otherwise. Being a single parent and working from home, there is a not a lot of quality computer and writing time when my seven year old is asking every 30 minutes to build a Lego creature, have a sword battle, make yet another pizza, or play Xbox.
But, the flip side, the good side, is that I would not have it any other way!
I truly cherish and love every minute that I get to spend with him. I know that he is growing up way too quickly and the two of us camped in the house for eight straight days was fun, quality time that was actually relaxing! We laughed, cooked together, ate, watched movies, played games and, most importantly, we talked and shared – a lot! My child’s unique personality is really starting to shine through and I love it!
Becoming Familiar With Your Child’s Personality Traits
This is the stage in life where kids are realizing that life is a complex thing and they are slowly starting to form their own opinions and ideas about the world around them. I certainly see this in my son and it is fun to watch as his personality forms.
He is thinking more logically about world events, but still seeing them from his own point of view. He is starting to understand “cause and effect” and starting to ask tougher, more meaningful questions. Typically after age six or so, kids become purposeful. They think in advance about what they want and often have a plan on how to get what they want! Because their communication style is impulsive and driven by desire and emotion, it can sometimes hide how deep, loving, and wise they truly are.
Child Personality Development
School-age kids also start to have changing emotions towards their parents. These feelings can range from being more dependent, to being resistant, to even being rebellious and acting out. This confusing behavior can be a serious challenge for parents. Kids might appear needy for days and then suddenly throw tantrums. They become insulted if their parents treat them in ways they consider babyish, even though at other times (just ten minutes earlier) they still want to be babied.
Young children will start to question, doubt, and criticize their parents. They no longer consider their parents to be the sole, all-knowing authority. This questioning is normal, and it means they are becoming thinkers – which is a good thing. They might even start to distance themselves from the people they love most. Children can become private with their thoughts. No matter how positive of a relationship they have with their with parents, your child might begin to shut you out as life outside the home begins to compete with the established home life. Don’t take it personally and strive to work through these emotions to help them understand the changes.
Kids will begin to tailor their communication styles to their surroundings. Younger kids usually communicate with one style no matter where they are or who they are with. But as they start to spend more time away from home, they often develop new patterns of speaking based on what their friends are saying or what they hear on TV or in the media. I certainly see this in my son when he comes back from a sleep-over with an entirely new vocabulary!
School-age kids also develop a more sophisticated sense of humor. Get ready for an off-color joke simply because they don’t get the concept of “off-color!” They enjoy telling stories, making puns, and finding humor in daily life.
The bottom line with all of these child personality changes is that they are normal and good and a part of healthy growth. I really enjoy seeing my son blossom and find his own voice and opinions. All we need to do as parents is exactly what we have being doing all along – support our kids, teach them right from wrong, encourage them as individuals, and be present. All of these personality challenges and changes can ultimately lead to a closer bond and a better relationship with your children.
But I will admit, if we get another winter storm here that closes school for a week, I think my sanity and I may just need to send little man on a vacation!
Rob Youngblood is an Emmy Award Winning TV Host, Passionate and Inspiring Speaker, Communication Coach, Writer, and A Guy Who Talks for a Living! Learn more about him at youngbloodonthecoast.com. You can also follow him on Twitter.