personalities are a funny thing. they seem to have so many factors that influence them… parenting, siblings, birth order, age, environment and more. when it comes to hadley’s personality, i think being a second child influences a majority of her personality.
i read this general description of a second child/last born on parents.com-
youngest children tend to be the most free-spirited due to their parents' increasingly laissez-faire attitude towards parenting the second (or third, or fourth, or fifth...) time around. the baby of the family tends to be:
i think this is a pretty accurate description of hadley so far. She is definitely fun-loving, easy going, outgoing, loves attention, and a bit self-centered (the last also being a toddler thing).
we, her parents, are much more relaxed and easy going this time around than we were with caroline. That is probably both a good and bad thing on our part. I definitely see how that in itself impacts hadley’s behavior and personality. we just don’t stress so much about the little things. it isn't worth it.
i took hadley to a birthday party of a classmate of hers a few weeks ago and i was able to see first hand her personality traits in an environment other than our home. i have to say, i was pretty impressed with her. not to sell her short on her behavior at home but she definitely is willing to test the boundaries with us at home where she is most comfortable. i don’t see her do that to her teachers at school thankfully.
what i witnessed first hand is a child who is not shy or quick to hide behind me, rather one who is outgoing and friendly. as soon as we walked in to the party she was saying “hi” to everyone, parents included. she started playing right away with crayons and then a car. i saw other children enter the party while gripping their parent’s leg or simply lagging behind. children, who when spoken to, hid behind a parent or turned their head in hopes of becoming invisible.
hadley would just walk up to a friend and start a little conversation. she had no problem introducing herself as ‘hadley gray fortune’ to the parents in the room. i was immediately impressed with her outgoing spirit. i was actually pretty proud.
when the gym party was underway, hadley joined right in. from the bear hunt game, to the tent, to the ball kicking, she followed directions given and participated 100%. again, to compare, i saw more than half of the children at the party cry, run away, sit down, or just not participate at all.
the leader of the gym party commented many times on hadley’s good listening skills and willingness to try all the activities. she even asked me at one point if hadley was already in gymnastics as she was very good at all the mat activities. i was pretty impressed with her balancing skills. as a parent, it is easy to assume your child is the great one. but when you hear good things about your child from total strangers, it pretty much guarantees you were right all along. oh yeah!
i guess the point that i am trying to make is two fold; first, that our children really do act differently at home vs. other places, while thankfully being good listeners to those who are not their parents, and second, that birth order does impact my child’s personality.
she is already such a little, outgoing leader. her verbal skills for her age are more than impressive (think that goes along with having a big sister that is so involved). her willingness to share is lacking but hey, no one is perfect. the girl wants what she wants, does what she wants, and sticks to the ideas that she has planted in her head. i am actually impressed with her and her strong nature to stick to her guns. i am pretty sure genetics plays a part too, seeing how i see myself as a pretty stubborn person.
hadley is just such a fun, independent toddler. i love seeing her grow in to her own little person. i can remember when i was pregnant with her being worried i would compare her to her amazing, near perfect sister caroline. however, that is not an issue at all. i truly see these two for who they are and what they have to offer the world. both are so unique and so smart, not to be compared but loved and appreciated for their individual strengths and shortcomings.