The differences between kids

I think I’ve mentioned before that while growing up I never understood how my brother and I could be so polar opposites when our parents were pretty “fair”.  And then I had two kids.  The differences between SmartyPants and Sass is astounding some days.  I feel pretty lucky to be able to notice and appreciate the differences between them because they are learning at home.  I think I would just be that much more annoyed with them if I didn’t really KNOW them like I do.  Smarty Pants, I don’t want to say is lazy, but if there is a shortcut to something, she is going to find it.  Even if she has clear guidelines for a school assignment, she will just “overlook” the parts she doesn’t want to do and complete the assignment to her standards.  If I call her on it, a meltdown can ensue that can last anywhere from 10 minutes to hours, literally.  It can be extremely painful.  Her learning style leans heavily to auditory.  When taking tests or quizzes, she reads the questions so fast and has the end goal of “getting it done”, she misses questions she knows the information to.  She can talk about a concept very knowledgeably, but to take a test or put non-speaking effort into proving it, she fails.  I know how smart she is, and I try to give her some strategies to help her retain information and to really understand questions, but she just doesn’t like to put forth the effort unless SHE is interested in the subject.  Sass on the other hand is what I think a typical kid is.  She may struggle with something, but is willing to put forth effort to learn and try again until she gets it.  She may complain about doing work sometimes, but it only lasts a few minutes and then it’s done.  I’m not sure how Sweet Pea is going to fit into the equation.  I need to push her a little more into doing things.  Take, for instance, this morning.  She wanted me to print her out a coloring page from “Sid, the Science Kid” from PBS.  So I let her pick the picture, printed it, and gave it to her.  She decided that her coloring is too messy and she wanted me to color it for her.  She knows she can’t color as pretty neatly as her sisters, so she doesn’t want to do it.  If she turns out to have a personality like Smarty Pants, I may go insane!  Sass is more the kind of kid I was growing up.  I “get” her.  Smarty Pants is more like my brother.  If it’s easy or interesting, she’s happy.  If it takes too much effort to learn something or it’s “boring”, then it’s not important enough to learn.  

I have great admiration for good teachers who have a classroom full of kids with all these different learning styles and personalities and actually accomplish the kids learning.  There are days where my blood pressure is through the roof, because I can’t understand WHY are they making it harder than it has to be.   Is this the nature of kids? 

I’m the first one to claim that I like to take the path of least resistance.  I’ve called myself lazy because there are days where I want to sit on my behind and not take care of the kitchen which is a disaster because it looks like too much work, but when I know something needs to be done, I do it.  Is that what makes me an adult and my kids, kids?  My parents had expectations for me as a kid.  When I was asked to do something to help out around the house, it wasn’t really a question.  I think, to some extent, I hold my kids to a higher level of accountability than my parents did for me.  I do this, not because I’m mean (as they think), but because we live in this house together and everyone should pull their own weight.  That and because the girls and I are home for a good percentage of the day in which they can trash the place with their stuff.  I think it should be their responsibility to pick up their own messes. 

Okay, I think I should stop venting.  I’ve just had a morning that brings all of this up to the surface, and it makes me crazy…well crazier than I already am.


One response to this post.

  1. All your girls are precious. I miss them (and you)!!!

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