I’m not sure if I’ve ever really believed in star signs or if I just like the idea of them. The idea that our personality traits can be determined by the placement of the sun along the Zodiac at the time of our birth. That our whole lives can be almost predicted in an oracle like fashion by studying the expressed energy from the planet associated with our designated sign. (I might have that wrong – I’m no expert!) Admittedly, I like the idea of having this scape goat to blame when my most negative and unlikable traits rise to the surface whilst, in the same ilk, using it to justify gloating about my more positive attributes. “Well I am a Taurus, after all!”
One of the more noticeable and well known characteristic of a Taurus (bull!) is stubbornness! Funnily enough, I have always been described as being incredibly stubborn. My parents have often reminded me of a time when I stood in the ‘naughty corner’ and screamed relentlessly whilst my dad waiting for me to calm down. He waited a very long time! The funny thing is, despite my childhood memories being pretty poor, this is one of the few moments that I do remember.
I was standing in said corner and crying my ‘no tear’ cry whilst watching my dad sit in silence on the stairs. I remember keeping it up until I was almost asleep! When suddenly I felt this sudden fire inside me that kicked in with full force spurring me on to cry even louder and longer! I continued until I couldn’t even remember what it was all about in the first place, but who cares….”I will not back down” my inner voice said in a very firm matter of fact way. I obviously did eventually but my dad, clearly a patient Saint, did not crack…not once! Well done dad – 1 point to you!
A number of these battle of wills have ensued over the years, some hairier than others, and they’ve got me wondering about how I could do things differently/better with my kids. I’m wondering this because my sweet, sensitive little boy who has always worn his heart on his sleeve is now growing into a replica of me! No, worse, a far more clever version of me who can easily outwit his opponent and manipulate situations with ease. I find myself trying to predict his next move and plan my attack as if playing a virtual game of chess.
The interesting thing about all of this is the description I have just read about his star sign Scorpio. A few characteristics being, “stubborn, unyielding, driven by emotions; stands up for self, usually covertly, manipulates power”. As well as some more positive ones; “Intense, passionate, brooding, magnetic; understands deeper layers of the psyche beyond the ego”.
This absolutely couldn’t be more true of Bay. Not only does he stand up for himself, but he does it with such intense passion and grounding that it cannot be mistaken for misbehaviour! It’s as if his very soul is fighting for its freedom and he will not back down! Something I easily recognise yet something I also know he needs to be able to control.
These last few weeks I’ve seen little Bay grow in confidence. He is now settled in day care 1 day a week; he asks for help when it is needed; he seeks out shop assistants to ask where items are when he knows I can’t see them; he independently chooses activities to do at home gathering the materials that he requires and explains with clarity what he is doing and why. It’s quite remarkable really considering he is not yet 3!
His speech and emotional maturity has always been advanced for his age and often I feel like I am speaking with a 4 year old. Laura, one of his educators at daycare, was keen to tell us that on one of his first days she had given him some tissue to put in his pocket to wipe away his tears when he got sad. She later watched him comfort a little girl by pulling out his tissue and wiping away her tears whilst saying, “don’t cry, your mummy will come back for you”. She couldn’t believe what she had seen whereas, for me, it was exactly what I have come to expect from this special boy.
However, it’s so easy when conversing with him to forget that he is actually only 2 and with that I’m having to constantly remind myself that he is in fact going through a rapid physical and intellectual developmental stage. A stage in which he is developing his ’emotional regulation’. So this is the part where his star sign comes in. If his star sign, Scorpio, really is a valid tool for helping to recognise his actual personality traits, as opposed to just typical toddler behaviour, then maybe I could use this information to help me help him – did that make sense?
I’m wondering about all of this now, in retrospect of course, as in an attempt to teach my son a ‘lesson’ today I’m uncertain of whether I have succeeded in my teaching or if I’ve pushed my stubborn, emotional and unyielding boy into a corner. One in which he has no choice but to stand his ground and fight back. Something I would have done if the tables were turned!
From a young age, Bay has always been fiercely independent and has shown great determination in completing his tasks at hand. However, being the smart child that he is, he has developed a great skill in ‘selective hearing’, particularly if what is being said will interrupt his motives. It has obviously started to grate on me and his dad especially when he walks straight past us as if we have been muted! It was time for this to change!
I have to admit, I thought that talking to him softly about actions and emotions and encouraging him to apologise to his dad for ignoring him would be the end of it! I truly did! I didn’t anticipate him outright refusing to say sorry! So, I did the next best thing by threatening no bath (which he loves) until he says sorry. He refused! So I upped the anti and thought I would ignore him for a short while to see if he would realise that it doesn’t feel nice to be ignored…this would surely work. He definitely didn’t like it and he even admitted that it didn’t feel nice, but still he refused to apologise. There wasn’t much left to use as leverage but I knew this last thing would do the trick! Bay can’t cope with going to bed without his story, song and kiss routine. This was it, this was going to be the end of it. No story, no songs, straight to bed! Do you think he said sorry? NO!
He cried and cried and when his dad went to him to calm him down, give him a kiss and say goodnight he just said, “I don’t want anything dad” and sent him away.
Bay my boy, you have just scored your first point! As wholly frustrating this evening became, I truly admire your fight, passion and determination. You beat me at my game and have taught me a lesson yourself. You are not an animal that needs to be tamed, you are a strong and loving little boy who needs help to flourish.
I guess really, it doesn’t matter what the star sign says. As a parent I need to listen to my kids and see them for who they really are. I need to forget about following a particular parenting style; stop making comparisons to other parents and put aside the toddler stereotypes. I need to find an approach to help each of my kids develop in an individualised way that celebrates all of their attributes and makes them feel loved and safe.
If only star signs could tell me how!