Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Time Travel Tuesday: A Lesson in Rational Self-Interest

Back in May, I wrote about an altercation between Morgan and Sean, and Morgan's tendency to give in to others for the sake of peace and quiet. I was thinking about this post today, because though things have improved, she still does this a little bit. And with a new twist.

First, from the post:

One thing about our sweetie girl is that she's really naturally very sweet. She hates conflict and loudness and feels sad when other people feel sad. She is one of those people who wants everyone else to be happy and have fun and generally acts as a harmonizing force in groups where there is conflict. 
This is a nice quality to have (especially given the temperaments of the other people in the family), and it seems to be a pretty consistent--possibly fundamental--part of her personality. This is one of the myriad ways in which she is exactly like Brendan, who is also one of those easy-going harmonizing types (let's just say that Brendan and I balance each other out nicely, heh). So I don't want her to change it. 
However, one of the drawbacks of this quality is that she tends to give in to what others want, sometimes a bit too easily and quickly, in my opinion. I've seen her give in to her older brother over and over and over. I've had to help her stand up to him more times than I can count. Many times, I think she truly doesn't care what happens, and if that's true, then I suppose I don't mind if she gives in. But sometimes I do think she cares and gives in anyway. And not just to Ryan, but to her friends, too.

I've said it before and I'll say it again--it is so fascinating to discover and learn about a child's personality. Almost as much fun as learning about my own! Temperament isn't everything about a person, not by a long shot, but it seems to be a good set of starting points for conflict-resolution and problem-solving, doesn't it?

So, the new-ish twist. Morgan is still on a quest for peace and harmony, I think. She does still give in to the wishes and desires of others too easily, allowing her own desires to be quashed, which is not a good thing. But she's getting better at asserting herself and saying 'no.' So that's something.

The new thing is that she seems to want to avoid the LOUD and the confrontation (usually with The Brothers) by actually physically running away from it. Which, in all honesty, part of me can really identify with. :)

What seems to happen a couple of times a day is that she and Sean will get into it over a toy or something, and instead of giving up and giving in, and also instead of good communication and problem-solving, she just . . . RUNS. And runs and runs and runs . . . all the while Sean is screaming and chasing her throughout the house.

So of course I must put a stop to this because of my own quest for peace and quiet and harmony and sanity, and will stop her and say something to her like "Sounds like a problem but if you run away from it, it won't get solved. Can you think of something you'd like to say to Sean [or Ryan]?" That seems to usually be enough to get her going on some problem-solving.

Once, I asked her WHY she runs, and she told me that it was because she couldn't stand the screaming and wanted to get away from it. I believe her. When I pointed out that her solution doesn't really seem to help and that the screaming seems to follow her and get louder, too, she thought I had a good point. But she hasn't gotten over this . . . . what is it, impulse, I guess? . . . enough yet to jump into effective communication. Yet. She'll get there. (If we all don't go insane first!)

Helping her go directly into good communication and problem-solving on her own will be a rational self-interest WIN for her (and for me). Avoiding problems will not solve them, and unsolved problems are not really beneficial to one's life.

In the meantime, it's LOUD over here!

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