Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mirror Images

Looking at my kids, I see a large amount of myself in both of them.  It is often very scary.  For example, my daughter likes better to set things up than to actually do them.  Getting folders and pencils and paper and everything for school is exciting, but to actually write is a drag.  She has joined a robotics club and she is working on a robot, but is not really all that excited about building the robot.  She knows the wiring diagram by heart and can do it, but just doesn't really want to.  When I have done it "for her", she then is very happy and quite excited to clean it up (i.e., redo the whole thing with shorter wires, making it all look much neater).  She also doesn't have much interest in programming on the robot, although that comes and goes.  With the Lego robots, she figured out how to do the programming and basically dropped it after that - even though she really only scratched the surface of it.

I definitely see myself in this behavior.  I think that since I am older now, I have much more patience, and can actually see that there are important things left to learn.  I also think that some of the issues are with fear of failure.  She shows that she can pick up the stuff that is mildly challenging with ease, but doesn't want to delve any deeper for fear of not being able to do it.  Maybe.  I think that I do this, and so am pushing my emotional whateverness onto her.

Anyways, it can sometimes be quite frustrating, since we start doing these projects together, and we are both sort of excited by them, and then she loses interest.

Well, I probably should just be happy that I can get my pre-teen daughter's interest in anything, let alone stuff that interests me too.

Now, my son.  I have to say that he is a complete mirror image of me.  I think that someone took some of my cells, cloned them, and stuck them in my wife.  If there is a part of her in him, I am not sure where it is.  Actually - he is MUCH more adventurous than I am.  That is definitely from my wife, which may shock some of you who know her.  While he is not fearless, he will try new foods and is not nearly as fearful of new things as my daughter and I are.  This is definitely a good thing.  So, he is just like me, but better!

Ok, now that sounds like I love my son and have issues with my daughter....  That is really not true at all.  My son is just like me, which means that he is a loud-mouth pain in the *ss.  They are both great kids and wonderful to have around.  They are, by far, the best things that have ever happened to me.  (Even if I do yell at them sometimes.)


Allison said...

Have you read the book "mindset" before? I found it kind of interesting wrt how you approach problems and the fear of failure thing. They even have a section on parenting your kids through it. I have a copy, you can borrow it if you are interested...

MaryG said...

I completely agree that your children are wonderful and fill my life with joy! Fear of failure - is that passed on from one generation to the next??

madscientist said...

I have to believe that fear is something that is passed on from one generation to the next. While it is possible that our kids observed it in (me) us, I try very hard to put a brave foot forward and to not show fear of things like trying new foods and doing new things.

But, who knows - it could be that CrabGirl is extremely observant...

Allison - I will definitely come and borrow that book from you!