Raising children is a constant challenge. For me one of the biggest challenges is not to project my own childhood fears, hurts and expectations on my kids. I was the chubby smart kid with glasses growing up in a rather sheltered small town in Southern Ohio. The place we live today is light years from that place but it doesn't stop me from worrying about how they will fare. In author Jenifer Fox's new book Your Child's Strengths she offers tools to discover your child's activity, learning and relationship strengths. Check out her book and the Parent Blogger Network's Blog Blast-Get Out the Brag Book. Read on to hear more about my amazing kids and their strengths.
My oldest daughter is striking. Everywhere we go people remark on her looks and tell us we are in trouble when she hits her teenage years. I have little doubt they are right, she and her high drama is already giving us a taste of what might be in our future. On the flip side of the high drama is a really sweet kid. While at home she may be Ms. Moody, at school she is apparently that kid that teachers just can't resist. She isn't the highest achiever in her grade. She does well but she isn't reading three grades ahead or doing high school math which is what I might have thought of as school success in our achievement obsessed world. Instead when I have been to conferences with her teachers I hear that she is kind, compassionate, good natured and enthusiastic. This year it was almost embarrassing when her math teacher told us that she just might be her favorite kid in the 13 years that she has taught. Watching her on the soccer field congratulating other players for a great play or helping them when they are down has made me really appreciate the kind side of her. These conversations have reminded me that raising good people is really what parenting is all about. Having a kid who is comfortable at home to let it all out and go into the world and have other people want to be around her is great. I sometimes worry about her getting hurt when other people aren't as nice as she is. Thus far she seems to have a natural ability to shrug her shoulders and move on. So far, PDQ is the queen of the relationship.
My younger daughter is much less outgoing than her sister. She tends to hang back and survey a situation where PDQ jumps right in. Sometimes I am amazed at the things that she picks up through hanging back and assessing everything before acting. I don't always appreciate her careful study when I am in a hurry but I envy her ability to consider the options before taking the leap--not one of my finer traits. Through her thorough check of every situation she can plan and execute a plan to do whatever it is that she, or her sidekick Tippy Tornado, have cooked up. When they went to daycare together and he wasn't speaking much she'd get what he was trying to tell her and she'd plot to retrieve his binky from the back of the kitchen counter and succeed. I believe that Boobah will be the queen of learning, both in the classroom and out.