Every year, I am surrounded by a group of kids (some more memorable than others!) that have a variety of personalities. Some are shy. Some are outgoing. Even at five, we have over-achievers and we have students hardened by life. We've got biters, criers and people-pleasers. We have pretty much everything.
There's often a lot of conversation about why the kiddos are the way they are. The whole nature/nurture debate. I teach at a low-income school. A lot of my kiddos have single parent families (including grandparents etc). There is a lot that goes into who they are and how they come to me.
When I think about their personalities, I often wonder how much of what is shining through is who they are..instead of just a result of what they've been through. Is the sweet little girl who always behaves, says please/thank you and looks after the other kids a pleaser because it's her personality or because she already looks after younger siblings, helps her mom remember things and has learned that good behavior helps her blend in so people who want to hurt her don't notice she's around.
There's no way to know.
When I look at LM, I see glimpses of his personality coming out. He's fairly mellow--unless hungry, tired or p'oed. He's a snuggler and loves to laugh. How will this personality develop? Will the things I see be a result of TH and I...or will he be his own little person? How do I get him to be a well-behaved, polite child while still letting his spunk shine through? Can I even control this...or is it all unconscious decisions we make?
I know he'll be who he'll be...I just hope that the best traits in him are caused by joyful life experiences and not a result of struggles and obstacles. I want him to be shaped by positive experiences. I know this is unrealistic...but it's what I want for him.
p.s....no matter how he turns out, he better open doors for women. Gentlemen are too rare these days.