Considering I didn’t ever really think I’d want to have children, I think we’ve had a pretty easy ride of it so far. Making the decision to try for a baby was a good one and it’s worked out well. Easy pregnancy, easy ‘labour’ (most calm unplanned c section ever), easy baby and so far, not too much trouble since then.
While N has been a pretty easy going child so far, he does have selective hearing, never does the things he’s asked to do like shutting the fridge, putting plates In the dishwasher, putting clothes in the wash basket etc. Unless of course he wants to. But that’s at home. Generally at activities (and from what I hear at school), he’s helpful and eager to please.
I joke that he’s a bit of a teacher’s pet. Not from the teacher’s point of view of him being a favourite, but from the way N does things.
He’s really literal and fair in nature. If a teacher or sports coach says ‘do this in that way’, that’s exactly the way he will try and do it. He’s quite focused, when he is given clear instruction. It does mean of course, that he struggles when asked to come up with something himself, for example writing stories.
In swimming it always makes us laugh when they’re doing breaststroke legs. The other children get in the water and mostly are uncontrolled and vague about their leg movement. But N is there, going soooo slowly, but has exactly the correct legs they’ve been taught. It does mean it takes him longer to grasp somethings, because he doesn’t tend to short cut or fluke a result, but he’ll get there in the end and probably following instructions exactly and with perfect technique!
He’s also the one child that’s clammering to be noticed by going right up to the tennis coach. With the previous coach he didn’t get as much attention as several of the children who are either a lot younger and need more help, or those who don’t listen and muck around, or stand around day dreaming and after nearly a year still haven’t decided which hand they’re hitting with. The coach has changed this term and keeps the kids in order a bit more so hopefully he won’t feel the need to be so in your face to be seen.
N isn’t the most competitive child although we have seen him noticing when he’s got a chance to win in swimming, and you can see him trying to get to the side first. But he does like to be seen to be doing what he should. And does like to share the things he’s done that he’s proud of.
Being a quiet child I hope he keeps up that keen to please vibe. I was quiet at school and until you start doing more formal tests, or unless you’re talkative in class in putting forward opinions, then you do often get forgotten about compared to the more confident or disruptive children. Especially if you’re not top of the class.
My hope is that he’ll know when to push himself forward to be noticed and when to hold back. I don’t want him to be seen as a child sucking up to the teacher by other children. But to be seen as a child who tries his hardest in his work, and who asserts himself enough to be noticed in what he does. So far he’s liked and got on with all teachers and coaches, hopefully helped by his listening and doing as he’s told.
Sometimes it’d be nice to hear he’s got a bit of spirit and is more challenging with his opinions. He certainly is at home, and is happy to point his views out, when we’re ‘wrong’ and tries to negotiate. But I think it’s going to take a bit of time to get that out of him in school. I know for me, I didn’t really get to that stage until I started working. So hopefully he’ll get there before I did and it’ll help push him to strive for better and he’ll reach the levels he should be able to. I did ok, but I certainly didn’t do as well as I might have done because my being quiet led to me probably being too independent and not making use of the teachers and professors that my peers did.
Bringing up children can certainly provide its own challenges, even when you have an easy child, and one that’s eager to please. It’s the balance between when to push harder and when to let them make their own way.
What traits do your children have on the working hard, pleasing people front? Or do they like to rebel or take things easy? Would they like to be teacher’s pet? How do you encourage them in both situations?