Your friends have always been envious of you. Your child has never had difficulty going to parties or making friends. New situations don’t make him anxious and he takes a change in plans or cancellation in stride. He is confident but not cocky, approachable and calm. He takes in the world at his own pace, it may not always be perfect, but he always seems to get what needs to be done. Quite frankly he is the kind of kid many parents long for. So then why does his “I’ll get to it when I get to it” attitude make you feel stressed out and overwhelmed? Why does it seem that you are more worried about his school work than he is? Why is it that his calm demeanor and relaxed attitude make you want to jump out of your skin?
Type A personalities are often described as ambitious and aggressive. They want it done now and anything less than perfection is unacceptable. Type A’s tend to get overwhelmed and stressed easier and they negotiate the world at a breakneck pace. Type B personalities on the other hand represent the antithesis of Type A. they are laid back and relaxed. They are calm and consistent, patient and easy-going. They will get the job done on their own time, and they are not overwhelmed by failure. The reality is that personality types function on a continuum. If you tend to lean toward the Type A end and your child is more toward Type B, you probably experience stress and at times an impending sense of doom to which your child seems completely immune.
If you are a Type A parent, raising a Type B tween can be rigorous. A part of you probably admires your low-key kid, even though his laid back attitude can at times make you crazy. In reality you realize, if you could blend or balance both your personalities just a touch the result might be magical. For now what follows are few hints on how to manage the mismatch.
Although your tween may not work on the same timetable as you do to get tasks done, a quick recap of his previous performances in meeting deadlines may put you at ease. Suppress that strong urge to speed up the process however, avoid, trying to take tasks over. You want your child to learn to be self-sufficient. When you complete tasks for him you discourage the need for him to take things on independently.
Even the calmest of customers can lose their composure if they are feeling barraged by bad energy. Children look toward their parents to understand how to react to situations. If you are a stressed out mess your tween is sure to feel the pressure. If you have concerns that your tween is not tackling a task in a timely manner then calmly offer encouragement.
One of the hardest things to handle when you tend to be a person of immediate action, is to step back and let your child manage a situation on his own. At other times your own stress may make you feel so overwhelmed and frustrated that you may be better served stepping back before you do or say something to negatively affect the situation. Asking a co-parent to take over can be very helpful.
Maybe you realized that you are simply hardwired to remain a Type A. Take the time to remind yourself that your child’s approach encourages him to see and respond in ways that may greatly contrast your reactions. When you parent from a position of understanding his point of view, you can moderate your own approach in ways to ensure your personalities can connect in concert.
Parenting presents many challenges. When you and your tween have a different disposition it can sometimes cause confusion and controversy. The next time you start to feel stressed about your easygoing tween stop and remind yourself that there are many parents who would jump at the opportunity to walk in your shoes.