messy child

Loving My Opposite Child

 

We have the same blond hair and blue eyes.  We have the same strong independent spirit, fierce stubbornness, and annoying bossiness, but that is where the similarities end.

Loving My Opposite Child

She is a girl of extremes, all sunshine and rainbows or all thunder and storm clouds.  I take a more middle of the road approach.  She is fearless, climbing to heights I should probably forbid and jumping headfirst into unfamiliar social situations.  I veer on the side of caution, keeping my feet close to the ground and watching before joining.  She is creative.  I see a box, she sees a castle, a new bed for her baby or a tree fort for her barbies (Barbie can also dive from 500 feet!).

messy child

I love that we are different.  I love to dress her in bright colors that showcase her fun personality while I hide in my earth tones.  I love that she can come up behind me and tell me that the line I just drew is crooked or it would probably look better in pink (doesn’t everything?)

Now that I’ve doted on her, want to know what drives me nuts?  She’s MESSY!  Not a little, like leaving her towel on the floor or not putting her shoes away.  She’s a disaster- and she likes it that way!  She is the kid who dumps all her crayons on the table and then changes her mind and dumps all her colored pencils beside the crayons.  She cuts, draws, glues, paints and loves every second of it, but she leaves it all out around her as if she’s somehow comforted by her favorite things.

I am not comforted when I’m pulling stickers off my socks or stepping on tiny colored beads (which she did not string, but glued onto a piece of paper forming colorful words)!  I do not like that her clean clothes end up in wrinkled heaps on her floor as she searches for the perfect ensemble.  I do not love when I walk to my desk and slip on paper scraps cut from her earlier project.

Tips for Dealing with Your Messy Child

  • Love the way God made her!  He did not make her like me where everything is orderly and fits into boxes.  He made her creative and expressive and I cherish that about her.  I have chosen to accept her for who she is.
  • She needs to learn to clean up.  That being said, we have 7 people living in this house and the mess can quickly reach extremes.  She needs to learn to clean up after herself for the sake of overall peace and safety in our home.
  • She needs to respect me.  I do not function well in a mess.  I just don’t.  So, I give her space in her own room to keep her mess around her which she is required to clean up every few days.  In return, I remain strict about the main living space being free from her cherished items.  It is a good compromise and has resulted in less nagging from me and whining from her.

Watching my kids develop their own personalities and characteristics is one of the joys of being a parent, but one of the lessons we have to learn is how to live with those little personalities.  Sometimes it’s easy and others not so much 🙂

loving your opposite child

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4 thoughts on “Loving My Opposite Child”

  1. Heather, I love your approach of loving your daughter as she is while also teaching her how to live and get along with those who are different from her! So often it can be easy to go to one extreme or the other — either trying to cajole our kids into becoming something they are not in order to fit in or letting them be who they are without showing them how to respect others by thinking about how their actions affect other people. You’re right that both are needed. This is a great middle-of-the-road approach — true to your personality 🙂

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lessons from home
Hello! I'm Heather and this is Baby Joel, the youngest of five. At Lessons from Home you will find encouragement for your parenting and homeschooling journey. Healing from loss is also a major part of this blog as my family struggles through grief and brokenness at the loss of my beautiful 8 year old daughter.
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