Dueling Personalities: When You and Your Kid Are Opposites


Anyone who knows me at all knows this…I am a Type “A” Personality. Actually, I’m not sure Type “A” is quite good enough…is there a Type Double A? I’m always going 90 miles a minute, juggling projects, taking on too much–I don’t know when to stop. Inevitably, I will overbook myself and then melt down when I can’t control everything. Do I learn my lesson? NOPE. NOT A CHANCE.

Both my daughters are also Type A’s. This is both good and bad–having three strong-willed women in one household, fireworks can fly, my friend. When we’re angry, you KNOW. EVERYBODY KNOWS. People in Africa know.

Forget sparks. Entire fireworks shows take place. Forest fires begin. Civilizations burn.

Because God thinks it’s funny, he sent me a Type “B” husband. Oh, and a Type “B” son. Because irony.

The boys are laaaaaaaiiiiiiiiidddddd baaaaackkkk. They can spend hours watching T.V. or playing video games. Big deadline? Eh, it will come together. Time limits? Well, it’s not gonna hurt if it’s a bit late…

Meanwhile–I’m watching the whole thing deteriorate … biting my nails down to nubs. Hubby and Mancub are lounging around … la tee da…like there is all the time in the world.

Welcome to my madness.

I just want to place a disclaimer out there: Type B’s get mad too. It’s just instead of fireworks, it’s more of a slow simmer. Instead of yelling, it’s THE ICE AGE. Glaciers float by. Time stands still. It’s always winter and never Christmas.

Just in case you need a refresher, Type “A” is the bossy, controlling, planning personality. Type “B” is the laid-back, “no worries”, easy-going personality. As they say, opposites attract, so these personalities can complement one another. They can also DRIVE ONE ANOTHER CRAZY!

It’s come to my attention that 99.9% of the battles I have with my husband and son are probably personalty related. The other .1% is this: they are giant slobs.

Anyway, I’m not saying that we have it all figured out or anything, but it does help to have a strategy. Here are 3 tips to keep in mind if you and your kid are opposite personalities.

  1. Try to keep your cool. If you feel your temperature rising (or lowering, Type B’s), take a moment. Breathe. Take a coffee break, or a walk around the block. Do your taxes or something else relaxing. Everything doesn’t always have to be worked out right this second.
  2. Choose your battles. Type A’s–loosen up a bit. Every second doesn’t have to  be planned. You don’t have to be in charge of everything. If you find yourself organizing sandwich bags by size, just stop.Type B’s–don’t be an anchor–contribute. Trips, events, etc. all take work. If you don’t want to plan, at least help carry.
  3. As the French say, Viva la difference! Make an effort to appreciate the positive traits your loved one brings to the relationship. Maybe your kid does procrastinate and is sloppy–but look how kind he is to Grandma. See how patient he is with his little brother. Try to ignore the way he peels his socks off like banana skins and drops them on the floor, leaving them to engrave in the wood flooring like bones in a fossil…

It’s a work in progress, people. Sometimes, all you can do is try to live another day.

And tell him to pick up those socks. We aren’t barbarians.

Tina is the Author of Cold Coffee and Speed Limits: Encouragement for Mamas of Teens, a best-selling book on Amazon.

Tina Book Cover

3 thoughts on “Dueling Personalities: When You and Your Kid Are Opposites

  1. I love your wonderful sense of humor about the challenges in your life (and the way you make me laugh), Tina! I hope you included this in your new book. As a single woman with no kids, who is somewhere between A and B, I will tuck these wise and funny words away for other interactions with those close to me.

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  2. My dear double Type A’s need to stop and smell the roses and the Type B’s need to get off their butts and clean up some messes. I had two type B’s and they are almost 9 years apartand you would think that they would be different, but alas they were not. As we were all growing up together I would watch and wonder how they could be so alike yet so different. Decided that was God’s work so I didn’t worry about it anymore. As I am a Type AA or even a Triple Type A it too me till now to realize I don’t have to have everything done that I need next week, yesterday.

    Love reading your observations, poems, books and you.


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