Tuesday, August 10, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Jenn: In the News

There have been a lot of articles about children in the news lately.   One that caught my eye said your child's personality is set by first grade.  I have read studies like this before - the last one released said it was set by third grade.  I have  a 9th grader, a 7th grader and a third grader.  My two older children are remarkably different than they were in first grade.  Maybe maturity is different from personality traits but I don't think they are anything like the kids they were in first grade.  In first grade, my son was shy, quiet, a bit introverted.  He kind of just went with the flow and never questioned anything.  He was a good little boy.  Fast forward seven years and he is outgoing, funny, extroverted and not afraid to question authority.  The study was based on four character traits, talkativeness (called verbal fluency), adaptability (cope well with new situations), impulsiveness and self-minimizing behavior. Although not always talkative, he always adapted well to new situations - but I don't think that's personality - I think that's circumstances.  He was continually put in new situations as we lived overseas when he was young - moved several times and changed countries when he was four years old.  He has never been impulsive - thinks through every decision and really doesn't exhibit self-minimizing behavior.  My older daughter - who just turned twelve - is nothing like her first grade self. In first grade she was outgoing, always seeking to be the center of attention, loved the limelight, loved to perform, to be on stage and never stopped talking, ever.  The talking is still there- almost non-stop but the self-confidence and extroverted personality she had as a seven year old is gone. Will that come back? Is she just a typical 12 year old?  Will that outgoing bubbly girl re-emerge when she is past puberty? I hope so!  My 8-year-old is exactly how her sister was at this age - non-stop.  Outgoing, talkative, no sign of self-minimizing behavior - in fact I would say she is more of a self-promoter.  Does it really matter what our personality traits are in first grade - is that a blueprint for how we live our life? 

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