I wonder if it’s just me and my daughter who were born with a motherly instinct. It seems that most first born children are born with such a leadership type of skill that there is no way to fight it off. I see in my daughter a bit of how I was growing up. I was that mother hen to my little sister. I was that caretaker. I was the person who loved to babysit. I would always be drawn to help with children and I loved chatting with the adults rather than playing with the kids at any outing or special event.
I do wish that I was told and forced to be a kid more often though, I feel I didn’t really get to have enough “child time” as a young girl and so when the teen years hit well I made up for it with crazy immature behavior. You see, even though I let loose big time as a teen and in the high school years, I still tried to keep my grades good. One of the biggest reasons I got away with under aged drinking was because no one truly thought that I was that kind of person. I was respectful (for the most part), a hard working student and employee, I had fantastic grades, I seemed like a child who didn’t drink alcohol.
What I have learned is that there is no face to an addict, an alcohol drinking teen nor a drug taking teen. These type of situations have no face to them. As I watch my first born child I can see how easy it would be to simply let her help me every single time something goes wrong, my daughter would help me all of the time, on most days, because it is who she is, however, I am the parent and because I am the parent she needs to know that I appreciate her kindness but wish her to be a child. I remind my first born often that one day she will be an adult and wish she had more childhood left.
I love having a first born much like me because I can understand where she is coming from and how she feels most times. I can relate to her on a level that I can’t really relate to with my two sons who are almost 3 and almost 5. So if you have a motherly or fatherly first born, remember this; no matter how easy it would be to let them help you with the younger kids all of the time, or how easy it would be to let their leadership personality shine through, do not give into that urge, remind yourself and your child that you are the parent and you have this under control. Let kids be kids and allow their skills to flourish in the best ways, not be being your parenting partner or sidekick.
Do you have a first born like this? Is it difficult for you to step back and let that child be a kid so to speak when they are always offering to help in such big ways?