Thoughts on children’s personalities…


Before I had children, I genuinely thought that when I had children I would be producing miniature clones of myself. Even after I had them, the thought lingered on. After all, I had two girls, they looked similar to me, why would they not be similar in character?

Fast forward 7 years and I cannot help laughing about how wrong I was. Not only are my two girls nothing like me, they are also nothing like each other. One of them can pick up a stick and give it a complex life story that is longer than a Harry Potter novel. The other one will see the same stick and see nothing but a stick, and have a great time poking random things with it. Experimenting, she calls this.

One girl is easy going and off with the fairies, the other one is headstrong like a bull. As my grandmother once said, at least I was not boring and did not mass produce. Not quite sure where I am going with this, but I am quite interested to hear if you were as naive as I was and thought you were going to produce mini versions of yourselves.

Emilie x

P.S. Quick disclaimer: I am incredibly glad that my children are nothing like me, that would be sooo boring!

P.P.S. The above photo was taken last week when we were in the south of Spain. On the left, headstrong Violette, on the right dreamy Coco.

17 COMMENTS - Add your own

1. Eveline | May 16, 2013 | Reply

Always an interesting subject! I have two girls as well, one resembles me in many ways and the other is, unlike us, very steady in her mood (mainly unbearably cheerful, also early in the morning. She gets that from her father.)
Oddly enough I get along much easier with the second one, it takes much more effort with the mini-me. Things i dislike in myself i have trouble to accept in her character.

2. Becky | May 16, 2013 | Reply

Interesting post! I have two children (son age 2 years 3 months and a daughter, 12 months). When my son was a baby, he was what you would call, a ‘high needs’ baby, screamy, needed to be bounced constantly, legs moving all the time. He was bloody hard work and I wondered why I couldn’t take my baby to a coffee shop to meet friends, and he’d just lie there happily on my lap, or in his pram, like all the other mums’ babies? Once he was 8 months, and could crawl, he was much happier, and has since remained a pretty chilled, although extremely chatty toddler! Although he’s very talkative with strangers and other children, i’ll be interested to see if he’s an extrovert or an introvert, as he’s not a ‘pushy’ child- he’ll always wait to go and get a toy and stand back and watch, where as other toddlers rush forward to grab something. If another toddler takes a toy off of him, he won’t try and grab it back, he just says “oh dear, oh no mummy!”. Our daughter, on the other hand, was SO placid as a tiny baby, slept through the night from 9 weeks, barely made a squeak, could let her entertain herself. Fast forward to 6 months and she is TOTALLY different! Stopped sleeping through and still not, she’s confident, a real daredevil as will try and climb ANYTHING, very clingy and cuddly and loving, but now quite stroppy with it, will bite (eek!) if you tell her “no”, try and swipe you, will crawl up to other babies and toddlers to take their toys, will give her brother as good as she gets if he pushes her (she fights back). I am nervous about the toddler years with this one. Only 15 months apart, yet so different!

3. Emilie in Paris | May 16, 2013 | Reply

That is a really interesting point, as both of my kids have inherited some of my traits and I also find these hard to accept! I often wonder if they have actually inherited them or if they have actually learnt them from me?

4. Eveline | May 16, 2013 | Reply

True, Emilie, very possible! And so hard to correct, since I’m not giving the right example, who am I to judge? Like having quick-passing but hefty outbursts about little things that don’t go her way. It almost makes me want to rant about how unneccessary her rant was…

5. Polona from Baby Jungle | May 17, 2013 | Reply

First, your girls are soooo incredibly adorable!
Now, Tila is in some way like me – stubborn like a big fat giant bull but that’s all! I’m leaning on the sayings that the second child is always the complete opposite of the first one. One day I hope to confirm this, otherwise I’ll go mad! :D

6. Esther in Amsterdam | May 17, 2013 | Reply

Your girls are so cute, both of them! And as you know, my 2 girls are like yours — the oldest easy going and dreamy, the youngest headstrong and cheeky. Maybe it also has to do with the fact that they are the oldest/youngest?

7. Emilie in Paris | May 17, 2013

I think you might be on to something, maybe something to do with the youngest one having to establish a place for themselves in the family?

8. Marieke | May 17, 2013 | Reply

I always love your observations, Emily! They really make me think. I also have two girls (4 and 6 years old), and although i recognise myself in both of them, I’m also glad to see they are so much their own person. My 6-year-old is very spontanious and the ‘climber’ of the two. The (more relaxed) young one makes tiny drawings for hours and hours without getting bored. So I don’t know if the difference has anything to do with being the youngest/oldest.

9. Emilie | May 18, 2013

you might be right! Again, I am projecting a little. I was the younger sibling and my poor older brother had to contend with a feisty younger sister. I think he never quite has gotten over the shock;)

10. Mitali | May 17, 2013 | Reply

Your daughters are beautiful! I have a son who is almost 8 and a daughter who is two. My son is a gentle and sensitive boy, dreaming and he can see right into my soul. Of course he is also a boy who likes to run wild and play and be free.
My daughter is so soheadstrong, creative and so funny. They are both very different but also both reflect some character traits of mine.

11. karen | May 17, 2013 | Reply

I have an adopted daughter who is 5 years old and routinely people say she is definitely my daughter for reasons too numerous to mention. She has only lived with us for 2.5 years. How bizarre is that.

12. Emilie | May 20, 2013

That is really interesting and I am fascinated by nature versus nurture. Here is my thinking: kids do learn and copy a lot of behavior from their parents, but it is which aspects of their parents behavior they pick up on that is in their DNA. I recognize myself in my older daughters love for books and crafting and I also recognize myself in my younger daughter’s headstrong nature.

13. Maria in Oviedo, Spain | May 20, 2013 | Reply

Dear Emilie! your daughters are so nice, first of all! Very interesting post! I completely agree. Sometimes I see things in my son that are unbelievable… I ask myself: where did he learn that? and not only ways of speaking or ways of being, also ways of walking or moving…!! I love your post and I hope you had fun in Spain last week!!!! although the weather was not really nice or was it? loads of love!

14. Emilie in Paris | May 20, 2013

Thank you, I like them too! We had an amazing time in Spain, the weather was absolutely perfect and we spent so much time in the sea and on the beach. Your country is truly beautiful.

15. Michelle | May 25, 2013 | Reply

I only have one daughter and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Whereas I am brunette and brown-eyed, she is blonde and green-eyed so definitely not a physical mini-me. She has some of my qualities and characteristics but also many of her father’s and step-brother’s and many of her own. Some of the ways in which we are similar can be stressful (and revealing – someone mentioned outbursts) but, equally, at times it points me up to myself in a positive way. She is so lovely that it has made me undecided about having a second child as I realise it could all be horribly different next time around. That said, I do reassure myself that all the second children I know are wonderful, if very different from their elder siblings. Were people nervous about having a second for this reason?

16. Emilie in Paris | May 26, 2013

I think a lot of people are nervous because they cannot imagine loving someone as much as their first child, but, guaranteed, the moment the second baby arrives – all the doubts disappear!

17. Selena | May 30, 2013 | Reply

With regards to the last comment about being nervous about loving their second child as much as the first, my friends mother (who has five children) says it is a multiplication of love, not division! I think that is rather lovely and true.

And as for personalities being different, the one thing that surprised me was how it was there from the start, Even as tiny newborns they know what they like and what they don’t! I have three children, two of which are identical twin girls and they are very different. Physically they look the same, but Nico is delicate, precise and thoughtful, whereas Fleur is impulsive, carefree and generally head in the clouds! All in all, it makes for a very interesting life :)

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