I learn so much from my children! My oldest has taught me to be creative in parenting and that kids can comprehend much more than adults give them credit for. My son has established my belief that there are fundamental gender differences and that nurturing the male or female in a child is vital. This little stinker has taught me PATIENCE! I believe she will be ALWAYS do things in her own time. She's been an observer from day one, content to sit and watch the world around her rather than explore it for herself. A girl after my own heart- or maybe it's just that we're both third in birth order. In any case, she started crawling at the absolute latest end of average, and when it came to walking, She was a week shy of 16 months when she finally traded in her knees for her chubby feet. Had another week gone by, our pediatrician would have been sending her to a specialist. Silly girl.
Already, I'm weighing my options for dealing with this personality later in life when it's apparent that she has all the skills and capability needed to accomplish something great but just needs to decide she wants to accomplish it. The same proved true for my 16-month-old as did my 3rd grader earlier this year: motivation comes from within. No amount of encouragement, reasoning, bribing, punishing, or throwing in the towel will produce a motivated child. Yes, these tactics get immediate results, but lasting change? Not unless the kid was motivated to being with. Instead, I believe that, in general, parents have to be motivated themselves in order to provide a healthy model for kids to follow, and the rest is up to a lifetime of prayer!