Unexpected personality traits

When you have a child, you can’t help but wonder what they will be like. Will they look more like you, or your partner? Will they share your love of books, or cars, or music? Will they inherit your stubborn streak. There’s been much debate about nature vs nurture. How much is taught via how much is natural.

There are things we have taught Monkey. He says yum yum when he is hungry, or eating or enjoying some food, because we have been saying yum yum ever since he was tiny and he has learnt that is what you say (to a much greater extent than we would ever say it, but he has clearly learnt it from us). He has learnt to do Aeroplane arms with me and swirls his arms around all over the place. He has learnt to laugh when he falls over (unless he hurts himself) because we have chuckled at him when he slips or trips or falls over.

He can be quite reserved and shy and I do wonder if this is nature or if he has learnt it from me. We go places and I try very hard to interact with people, and I am quite outgoing when I am amongst friends. But I find it hard to interact with new people. I try and fake it some days but other days I don’t, I keep myself to myself and am wary of other parents. Is he learning to be wary because he sees me hang back. I hope not and he is definitely interacting more with children now so hopefully it was just a phase and I am not holding him back.

On the flip side, there are things which we haven’t taught. That are part of him and his personality. He likes order. He loves tipping crayons out of the box so he can put them all back in again neatly. He likes things to be ‘just so’ and in the way he wants them. You give him some tins and he will line them up or arrange them in a triangle or other shape. When he is organising something, heaven forbid that I try and help in a slightly different way, it has to be perfect and his way! I’m not sure that either hubby or I are that precise, but his Granddad is and his Uncle is so we see it as an inherited trait rather than a learned one.

He is very generous. Now obviously this is something we have always encouraged but it always surprises me how generous he is. When eating his little fruity sweets, if any of his friends come over, obviously wanting one, he will happily give them one, or even put them in their mouths. Not just one either, but all of them unless I remind him to eat some too. At a soft play centre a few days ago he was happily playing with his bus toy out of my bag but when another little boy came over, he gave it to him. They played together a bit and he was not bothered at all by another little boy playing with his toy. In the end there was a few of them playing with it and a couple of them were much more possessive than Monkey was. Occasionally Monkey would take it back, but then he’d go and give it to another one of them. It was very lovely to see him sharing without us having to prompt him in any way.

I’m sure a lot of parents would agree that this isn’t always the case with toddlers, so I am pretty sure we aren’t doing anything special and that this Β must be part of his nature rather than learned behaviour!!

He doesn’t like dirt or being dirty. He gets dirty, obviously, but regularly holds his hands out to be cleaned, or if you give him a wipe he will clean his own face or hands. He also likes cleaning, If he spills something on the floor, and you give him a cloth he will wipe it up. He uses bathy crayons in the bath every night and makes a right old mess, but he also has his own sponge which he uses and he scrubs the bath clean at the end of the bath, making sure there is barely a scrap of crayon left on the bath or tiles. Obviously he has seen us do it, but we don’t prompt him in any way. Sometimes hubby assumes he is still drawing and then looks and finds that he is in fact cleaning. He’s not even 2 and cleanliness is just a part of who he is. Messy play is only ever fairly short lived as he can only tolerate having sticky gooey hands for so long before wanting to wipe or wash them.

He loves music and dancing. His favourite song has been “wind the bobbin” for such a long time and so many times now we have caught him just sat staring into space, repeating the hand movements over and over while I guess singing or hearing it his head. Β A new favourite is row row row your boat and I catch him rocking backwards and forwards by himself a lot at the moment. Any music though can get him dancing and spinning and clapping and he loves bashing away the keys on our old piano (that hubby got off ebay and is in desperate need of tuning) and he has gone from hitting with his palms to pushing the keys one at a time with his fingers. He is surprisingly musical. Hubby’s family is very musical, but mine is not, so it must be another trait inherited from his side!

When he hears a noise, a plane or a tractor or a motorbike in the distance, he holds a hand over his ear as if to ask what is that noise? It can be noises in the house too, the shower, an extractor fan or something and the hand goes over the ear. That is definitely not something we have taught him!

I love learning these little personality quirks, love watching him grow into his own little person. I love it when he does something unexpected and surprises me by displaying his own nature or when he discovers something himself. I am very much looking forward to hopefully giving him a sibling and watching them both. To enjoying their similarities and their differences.

This post slightly tenuous link to this week’s ‘The Prompt‘ which is “That was unexpected.”

What unexpected traits does your little one have? What are your favourite personality quirks?

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34 thoughts on “Unexpected personality traits

  1. Reading this is like a mish-mash of the traits of my two, the cleaning, the need for preciseness, the sharing (although JJ didn’t like to share at that age but he is really good and very sociable now). And it also makes me a bit sad that, because I’m not a stay at home mum, and because I have to divide my focus between two of them I don’t think I will ever have such a comprehensive picture in my head of either of them. But having said that I do know them pretty well!! I’m also like you in that I hang back when I’m around a group of strangers. The introvert and shy side of me is alive and well!

    • Oh I’m sure you know them better than anyone! I am lucky that I get to see all of his little quirks all day long though, even if they drive me mad at times too! Glad I’m not the only introverted mum, I like to stay in my secure little world sometimes and hide from everyone else!! xx

  2. This made me smile because I often do this nature vs nurture analysis with my girl. Guess my little one was different from yours during toddlerhood. Since the time I can remember she has been taking after her dad in every single thing, on which I often envy.. πŸ™‚ It’s so nice of him that he loves sharing, not all toddlers do that. Motherhood is all about hitting unexpecteds.. lol!

    • I don’t think you an help but wonder where they have picked things up from, or whether something is inherited! It’s quite fun! I absolutely understand the envy, everyone always says Monkey looks more like his daddy and while that is lovely, there is a tiny part of me that says, he’s mine too! xx

  3. How lovely that your son likes to share and clean – I wish my girls were like that lol! It is funny how different each child can be, my three girls have all been brought up in the same way but yet they all have such different personality traits. In my opinion both nature and nurture equally contribute to a child’s personality. #ThePrompt

    • Lol, I know, i’m not sure where he gets it from!! See, I love that, I love that kids from the same parents turn out so differently, it’s just amazing and I think you’re right, some of it just their nature, whereas others are what they have seen or been taught. xx

  4. What a wonderful description of your Monkey, I feel that I know him so much better now. I’ve been amazed by how different my three are, and it definitely makes you think about the nature versus nurture arguments: we teach them a lot, but there is so much that is just innate. And, some of the traits in my children have certainly been unexpected πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for linking to #ThePrompt x

    • Thank you, it was quite nice to write it all down actually as he is changing all the time. It’s incredible how some traits are so unexpected aren’t they, I just love seeing him grow into his own person xx

  5. Aw he sounds so sweet! It is fascinating, watching babies develop into little people, and trying to work out where they have picked things up from. I can see a lot of myself in my son, but he is full of surprises too!

    Slightly off topic the ultimate nature v nurture debate-provoking film (we need to talk about Kevin) is on TV tomorrow night – i really want to watch it, as I thought the book was fascinating, but my OH is not keen!!


    • thanks, it is fascinating isn’t it, just lovely to see their personalities develop! Ooh sounds interesting i just googled and think I may read the book rather than watch the film… not sure why but i can cope with hard topics so much better in written form than in a film. Like reading horror, but hate watching it! Thanks for the tip though πŸ™‚ xx

  6. I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree with you. There are things I see in Grace that are me, things that I see are Ross and things that are her father (despite the fact that she only lived with him for the first 3 months of her life). I think some traits are learnt and some inherited but much is being an individual which is exactly what people should be. Thank you so much for linking to PoCoLo x

    • It’s really interesting isn’t it? Love seeing them become their own person, and I look forward to watching him develop into an individual even more as he grows up!xx

  7. I can see some of my toddlers character in him but mine doesn’t share any of his toys and he is territorial when it comes to his property =P

    I am also amazed of how my toddler is growing and now has his own character. And I am happy that I can see this development everyday.

    Nice post =)


    • Thank you, haha see that sounds more like how I expect toddlers to behave, who knows, maybe the territorial instinct will kick in for Monkey too one day! It is lovely to watch them grow and develop in front of your eyes isn’t it? I just love it. xx

  8. I often wonder about ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’… My three are so different there is no denying they have their own personalities. Monkey seems like such a sweet little man! Mel #ThePrompt

    • Thank you he is a cutie, it’s really fascinating though isn’t it, where they get their unique personalities from xx

  9. Lucas says – Monkey – you always make me think that you are cooler than I did the previous week. High-5’s for sharing – that’s always cool BUT…… cleaning? Give it up lil’ dude. You need to realise that the Mother, despite her moans, actually enjoys cleaning and it keeps her busy, therefore, out of trouble! Give me a shout if you need any advice πŸ™‚ #pocolo

    • Ooh yeah it’s fascinating isn’t it, we all change so much as we grow, it is going to be amazing to watch them grow and develop xx

  10. Watching little ones developing their own personalty is such a fascinating thing. Neither of my boys enjoyed getting mucky when they were little either, definitely an unexpected trait for boys! #ThePrompt

    • It is unexpected isn’t it! Thing is he likes getting his hands in the muck, but then immediately wants it off his hands! hehe πŸ™‚ xx

  11. Thanks for sharing this really thought provoking post. I think the nature vs nurture debate is really interesting. My son has a lot of behaviours which I would like to think are learned, but I actually think are just nature! #pocolo

    • Thank you for the lovely comments. It would be great if we could take credit for all of the good things wouldn’t it? but I think some things are just nature, but then they come from our genes so maybe we should get credit anyway πŸ˜‰ xx

  12. This si such a loving description of your Monkey’s personality. I have an unexpected reaction to it, as I see people describing some of these traits in a much more negative way (particularly if their child has a special needs label, which I don’t know w hehter Monkey has). I think you are a gret parent for being able to describe yoru son with all his quirks in such a loving way. Via #theprompt.

    • Thank you, that is a very lovely thing to say. He doesn’t have special needs as far as we are aware ad I love him quirks and all! xx

  13. Children, have a lot of creativity, mostly fictional.Their personality is far more complex than that of adults, this being because they simply have too much energy.Researchers believe that personality changes as an individual ages, so it is expected that the child’s personality will change with time as he or she grows up into a mature adult.Time is a factor in personality change. It comes to a point in life where one just changes their personality without even knowing about it.

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