So this post has been sitting on the back burner for quite some time now for some unknown reason. I guess I’ll just blame it on good ol’ procrastination on my part. It’s a topic that may or may not be one you’ve ever really thought much about, but as my boys have grown, it’s one that I’ve really had to learn to embrace fully.
You see, I have polar opposite personality kiddos. I mean, they could not BE more different, you guys….their appearance, their style, what makes them tick, and how they each handle emotions…..all VERY different.
The Analytical One
Our oldest, Pierce, is very analytical and methodical and thrives best on a regular routine. He doesn’t deal well with last minute changes or being rushed through anything. It flusters him and in turn, that can create perfect conditions for a melt down. When he was five or six, I used to just think he was completely spoiled (and with the blame laying squarely on his parents, he IS most days, don’t get me wrong!) and only wanted things his way.
But I’ve learned over the past five years or so that Pierce is mostly just one of those highly sensitive kids that needs structure and an expectation of what’s coming next….VERY much like his dad!….which brings me to my next point. I came from a background of ‘tough love’ mentality, I would say. If I didn’t want to talk about something with my parents, and they thought I was holding something inside, the solution was generally a dose of ‘tough love’ until they made me mad enough to talk. Ha! And this is NOT to say that my parents did a bad job (love you, mom!), I just think different kids need different methods.
BUT, I also think because of my upbringing, I have kind of inherited that same attitude most days. I get frustrated and impatient when my oldest is freaking out about a change in which restaurant we’re going to go to, etc. I have had to learn to get on his level and instead of yelling or getting visibly frustrated, I have to kind of take my husband’s approach and show him love instead. Honestly, a true heart-felt hug does WONDERS for him when he’s upset or mad about something. I’ve even had him scream out in the middle of a meltdown, “Mom, can you just stop the car and give me hug?” .
Now, the upside to all that sensitivity is that he is SUCH an affectionate and apologetic child. It melts my heart. He’s eleven years old and will plant a smooch right on my lips in front of God and everybody as I tell him goodbye at a school lunch visit! If he didn’t speak to me respectfully and got in trouble, he will ALWAYS come back later and apologize on his own.
That sweet boy cares deeply about people and their feelings….and in the end, I just can’t see that being a bad thing!
The Wild One
Now, our youngest, Reeves, is ALL boy…a firecracker…ready to go at the drop of a hat…goes with the flow…mom’s shopping buddy…you get the idea. He’s just an easy-going kid. As silly as it sounds to me now, I remember thinking when he was born that he would just be a little replica of Pierce. I mean, they WERE brothers after all. Why would they be any different? Ha!
From day one, he’s always had this BIG voice…when he would cry, I vividly remember thinking he was going to have a deep and loud voice as he got older. Turns out I’ve been right on that so far (one point for mom!). He’s outgoing and I constantly have to tell him to keep his voice down when we’re outside of the house.
Now, in terms of how I deal with meltdowns and such, I DO find that a LITTLE bit of tough love DOES work with him way better than it does with Pierce. And by ‘tough love’, I just mean getting a little more stern, verbally, with him. Certainly nothing abusive….I just have to put on my “mom voice” with him a little more to get a response. He usually will get the message that way and then apologize for not listening the first time.
Now in terms of each of their “love languages“, Pierce scores high on “Physical touch” with “quality time” being a close second…very much like his Dad. Reeves, on the other hand, is more like his mom. He scores off the charts for “Receiving gifts” as his love language. Ha!
It’s so funny how different, and wonderfully unique God makes each of our kids, isn’t it? They are their own little beings, each with special giftings and abilities and it’s what I love the most about being a mom of two boys. Watching each of their personalities blossom and finding out what interests them is the best adventure!
Are your kiddos polar opposites or more similar in their personalities? Do you find different discipline methods work best for each of them? I encourage you to take a second and do the quick Love Language test for Children and see what you discover about your own kiddos!
(Photography by Vivid Dream Photography)
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This is so true! What makes us unique makes us awesome. What a beautiful family you have!
You and your boys are so cute!! I love that you’re embracing what makes them unique!!
Your boys are so so adorable!! I absolutely love these photos of you guys and reading about them!!
This post is so great! It’s amazing how two kids from the same parents can be so very different! And it’s great that you have acknowledged their differences and adapted your parenting styles for both of them! Loved this post babe!