Q: Raising our little girl was such a treat and a joy for my husband and me that when we got pregnant with our second child, we had no reason to doubt that the comfort zone we had carved out parenting would continue. We were wrong. We had a little boy a couple of years ago and even though he is cute as a button and I love him dearly, I have to admit that he has been much more challenging. Where does he get that energy? At age two, he is into everything. How could we as parents have been so good for our oldest child while being so frustrated and lost with our second one?
A: Often the second oldest child is the one least like either of his parents. Your son may well be the rebel in the family for a good part of his life. Whatever your daughter was or is, he will be the opposite.
While some male babies are cuddly, studies tell us that male babies would just as soon look at what is going on around them as they would nestle into their parents’ arms.
Children are born with predispositions and variances in their neurological wirings, sending them in search of their own characters.
The good parent tries to understand each child, encouraging him to follow his natural predispositions and helping each child find a place where he or she can shine.
For your boy, that might mean spending the next few years romping on the living room floor rather than quietly watching television.
Encouraging your son does not mean giving in to him. You and your husband will have to be diligent about your house rules, letting him know what is and is not acceptable.
Once you have done that, you could find yourselves getting a kick out of the excitement an energetic child brings to the household.
Jacklin Andrews is a family counsellor from Saskatchewan. Contact: [email protected]