I’ve been hanging around with 3,4, & 5 year olds the last couple of weeks, and I got to wondering when our personalities develop.
We’ve all seen an amusing infant and a precocious toddler and commented about their personality. I can tell you each of the children I’ve been with recently have their own uniqueness. I recently read that our personalities are determined by the age of seven. Does that mean these young ones are going to change their ways in the next couple of years? Probably not.
They say heredity and social environment have a lot to do with how our personality develops. Of course, people can’t do anything about their genetics. However, how we are raised, and in turn raise our children can make a big difference in their little personalities. As adults, we can choose to change our social environment. This may not change our personalities, but it can help us better manage those traits we desire to change.
This information would suggest that first time parents may want to consider taking a parenting course, just to get started on the right foot. Proper parenting isn’t necessarily something we automatically know. Some of us may have had parents who we considered wonderful and choose to parent after their example. Others may have had parents who we do not want to be like. Often times, it’s somewhere in between the two. Of course, we need to remember that no parent is perfect and we all try to do the best with what we know… and hindsight is 20/20. Sometimes, having someone, who isn’t personally related to us, give us some sound pointers could be a huge help as we try to raise our children.
As for me – my children are grown (and no, my husband and I were not perfect parents, sigh) and I get to watch them raise our grandchildren. It is heartwarming to hear that some of the things we taught them are being passed on – like, “Work before play.” We do not live near our grandchildren, so I am enjoying my time with these new little personalities. I enjoy learning about their uniqueness.
*Pam Horton is a certified Parenting Coach, in the Raleigh area.*