My Kid Is Just Like Me -- Yikes!

My Kid Is Just Like Me -- Yikes!

It’s tough to parent a kid who reminds you of the best and worst of yourself.


By Wendy Robinson

When I was pregnant for the first time, I found myself imagining what it would be like if my child got the worst physical characteristics of my husband and me. This poor child would have terrible eyesight, my total lack of coordination, my husband’s severe childhood asthma, and the “Robinson nose” topped with my (pre-waxing days) unibrow. At first the image made me laugh, and then pregnancy hormones kicked in and I found myself a blubbering mess as my husband tried to comfort me by promising there was no way the kid would get the bad and none of the good.

And he was right, of course. Miles is 6 now and is a nice combination of my husband and me in terms of appearance. In personality, though? That kid is all me, good and bad.

Miles is funny, social, and talkative, an extrovert through and through. He is also competitive and a rule follower and a budding control freak. I can see early signs of perfectionism in how he approaches his schoolwork and how easily frustrated he gets when he isn’t instantly good at something.

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It is an interesting experience, trying to parent my mini me. I am sympathetic to his feelings of frustration when he isn’t the best (I know that feeling too well), but want to push him to keep trying and not let fear of failure stand in the way of learning something new. I want to help him embrace his social, outgoing side, but I also want him to learn that it is OK to be alone and quiet sometimes too. I want him to have a sense of rules and justice but to not be so strident about it that he doesn’t allow for others to make mistakes. I want him to use his competitiveness to push himself to do better but not as a way of always feeling like a failure.

Basically, I want to help him so he doesn’t struggle with all the things it took me multiple years of therapy to figure out for myself.

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Realistically, I know he’ll need to learn these lessons on his own as he grows up. I can look at him and see a younger version of myself, and though I want to protect him from hurt and rejection, I also want him to grow up to have empathy and compassion and to learn to fail with grace. Though he is so like me, I want him to grow up to be the best version of himself, not, for better or worse, a carbon copy of me.

In what ways do your children most remind you of yourself?



Wendy Robinson is a writer, working mom and graduate student. Someday she'd like to sleep in again. She also blogs at www.athleticmonkey.wordpress.com.

Image ©iStock.com/xavierarnau



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