I love to try to figure out what motivates people and how I am motivated differently. I have not stopped this quest for understanding people when it comes to my kids. My oldest daughter, it turns out, is not motivated in the same ways I am. She is extremely shy, very serious, she hesitates to do anything new, and is very uncomfortable in large groups. At first, this came as a real shock. I thought that I could just teach her how to be more of a people person, but it was not that easy. For a while, I was frustrated with her and tried to force her to come out of herself. The reality of the nature vs. nurture debate finally set in. She was born this way and no amount of coaxing, pushing or talking was going to change her.
Now, instead of trying to reshape my daughter's natural tendencies, I am trying to understand them. I have had many conversations with people who are self proclaimed introverts or moms with shy children. I ask them what works or what are some techniques to use to help my daughter to not be so anxious and afraid. I try to recognize my daughter's strengths as a deep thinker, a girl who walks to her own drum beat and a budding artist. She has many qualities that I admire in a lot of people close to me, such as her dad (shocker huh?). I think she and I are going to have a few battles based on misunderstandings over the years, but I'm going to try hard to help her to be the best she can be with the gifts God has given her.
(My second daughter, it seems, may be more like me. Oh boy...here we go!)