Personalities on the inside or out?

"Their [your kids] young minds run wild and sometimes perform crazy gauntlets within their imaginations. God made them this way. He chose to put their characteristics on the front side of their life."
taken from Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel

Kimmel always has me thinking. Thinking about how we are raising 7, 5, and 3 year old boys and how I was raised, too.
This quote and the surrounding thoughts of it got me thinking about personalities.

Your child is between the ages of 2-5. They start to say cute things and do funny moves. They sing silly songs and you start to see their little personalities shine. You video them and try and capture all on camera. You have them perform before your friends and family and every grandparent brags about their sweet personalities.

Your child is between the elementary and middle school years. They hit that awkward stage. They are trying to find their place...trying to fit in. Physical changes are happening. Teeth are falling out and their voices are changing. They start liking different things. They start acting goofy. They seem to do things that are far out there. Then it seems they have too much personality.
As a parent we get embarrassed or simply annoyed. We want our child to keep that to themselves. We shut them down. We don't want to tolerate it. It and that is really their personality...the one that as a parent we bragged about a few years ago has all the sudden been told to go back inside. It's just easier to tell our child, "hey, stop doing that!" and it comes natural to make a face or make a big deal small or a small deal big.

Your child is in high school and college. Their personality has done one of 3 things in the past few years:
*remained bottled up inside because we sent it back there after not knowing how to embrace the differences in our child
*make debuts among small pockets of people who accepted them for who they are (this could be a good or bad thing)
*rebelled against you the parent and came out in full force

We are parents to 7, 5, and 3 year old boys. All three with very different personalities. I'll be honest and say I've videoed those cute moments and am now finding myself making mean faces when I see spit bubbles on the outer part of the lips or giving an annoyed look when one of them takes 10 years to eat his supper.
What's that saying, "Who died and made you queen?"
Well, I am asking myself that question tonight!
But in a different way, "Who gave me the Miss Personality award?"
Exactly. No one did.
I don' t want to be the parent that sends my kid's personalities back inside. So I'm not a fan of spit bubbles. But I'd rather be a mom that doesn't sweat the small things and allows these crucial elementary and middle school years to continue to shape their unique (and sometimes goofy) personalities.

What's your thoughts on children's personalities?
How are you allowing them to be different?

We won't always get it right and even tonight had good conversations about how we want to parent well and make our kids feel loved and secure and free to be who God has made them to be! We will keep praying. We will sharpen each other as parents. We will smile at our kids more and thank God for creating them in His image.