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  • Tomomi Wynne

Read the instruction!

Finally, my kids are back to school to start term 3. Yay!

I know for many parents in Victoria are not so lucky as many of them are starting another term of remote learning. It is undoubtedly a challenging time for all children, teachers and mostly for parents. Some parents would enjoy having children home again, but I'm guessing most of parents are tearing their hair out yet again. (I'd be one of them!)

I have 3 children, aged 12, 10 and 7.

My children are lucky enough to be able to sit in the classroom. And I wouldn't be worried about so much if they returned to remote learning.

However, if they go back to remote learning, one thing that would really drive me crazy is dealing with their different personalities 24/7 at home.

I have already done that enough!

Here is an excellent example of my struggle.

During the holiday, we decided to upgrade some of the furniture and tidy up. We bought 2 shelves and one bedside table. They are all flatpack, which means we have to put together the parts.

My eldest, she is 12, was so excited. She decided to make a start as soon as we got home. She's already made up 'her' plan where they all going to go.

So she tears up the box. Literally.

She 'pulls' everything out.

Then, she starts putting together.

Without even checking the instruction that came with it.

In fact, I don't think she even realises there is an instruction sheet.

Then, she put some parts upside down, using wrong size screwdrivers somehow she 'made' it to work, and when I pointed out that she is putting things upside down, she says ' that's ok, mum, you can still put books on it!"

She kept going like that for a while, creating more problems one after another. She persevered, but you can imagine it doesn't quite work when parts are in the wrong places. So that was it for her.

What was left was a half-finished bookshelf, and a floor covered with torn up box.

And she did the same with bedside table. Sigh...

Do you have a child like that?

Very good at starting, his/her mind is set to the goal, but somehow along the way create more problems (which usually could be avoided easily!), and often they finish with their term.

I have to say she is the one I crush the most. I dearly love her, but she gives me a hard time.

It's because her personality type is very different from my personality type.

She sees the problems, and then she just goes - like a bull to a red flag.

You can tell from that she didn't even check the instruction before she started. Her goal was 'to build it!'

On the contrary, I read the instruction very thoroughly before I start. Or most likely, I open the box very neat and carefully, ensure no parts are missing, check all the labels, and then make a start.

My goal is ' to do it correctly.'

So now you can see why I have a hard time with my eldest.

It is because her need and my need is very different.

The goal is the same - build a bookshelf- but her need is simply get it done, if it holds the books, that's ok. and she will put it wherever works for her.

My need is to do it correctly. The bookshelf needs to hold the books, and have to be neat and straight, and I will assess the perfect place to put it based on the size of it, of the room and colour scheme!

Well, the WW3 waiting to happen!

Luckily for me, I am very well aware of why I struggle with her.

And I have tools and language to shift my ways and her ways of thinking and behaviour, so we don't start the WW3.

And all it depends on individual personality type, and they are each driven by different need and fear. Life would be a lot easier once you learn to identify and know how to work with different personalities.

By the way, we have managed to build all flatpacks, 2 bookshelves and bedside table, with the help of another daughter who is another personality type.

My eldest won where to put the bookshelves, but I won how to organise each shelf and colour scheme!

Happy days.


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