The good thing about an annoying child

The trait that annoys you in your child might just  be the ticket to their success.

I’ve taken to listening to Tedtalks – as with most things I waited long enough for it to not be “in” anymore. One specific speaker struck a cord. American youth motivational speaker, best-selling author, and TV personality Josh Shipp spoke about annoying habits being turned into life changing skills.

He mentioned movers and shakers like Lonnie George Johnson (American inventor and engineer) and Albert Einstein who’s traits were seen as annoying by adults but ended up being what drove them.

It made me think of my own life. Growing up (some would say even now) my annoying habit is that I speak a lot. And it’s not small talk, I just had a conversation with someone in the doctors waiting room about the link between mental health and spirituality and we ended the conversation by introducing ourselves.

My annoying trait has worked for me over the years. I manage to put people at ease with my over sharing and they feel comfortable enough to share. Luchae (my ECmeetup business partner and friend) jokes that we will go to the same event and when we leave she would be floored by how much I know about someone after a brief interaction.

As we leave I’m the one saying, good luck with the op, hope your mom feels better and the home loan comes through. Then she would be like, “how long do you know her” and often I don’t even know the person’s name… I suck at names.

But my annoying trait the one that drove (drives) my mom loony has meant I have stories to share and a wealth of insights from other people, because yes I talk a lot but I’ve trained myself to listen a lot as well. Which makes me a pretty decent journalist.

This got me thinking about my boys. (son and nephews)

Which annoying trait is likely to bring them success in the future.

Aidan’s annoying trait is asking a bazillion questions a day.  Like constantly non stop, he wakes up and goes to sleep with questions…
It’s so frustrating because often you can’t even hear yourself think… What is, when is, why is? That’s what you hear as you come up our driveway. It’s exhausting.

But it means he has an enquiring mind, he is always learning and growing. To grow my annoyance into his skill I let him watch videos, we research together and I let him do experiments.

Caleb is annoying in how relentless he is. He won’t give up even if it’s a case of you telling him “we can play in ten minutes” you best believe that whole ten minutes he will just sit there waiting asking if we can play yet. He remembers every off the cuff promise and will go out of his way for you to keep them.

It does however mean he has a never give up attitude. He will try and try untill he has accomplished something. He will work on something untill he has mastered it. He doesn’t mind failing because he knows that if he keeps trying eventually he gets what he wants.

Liam on the other hand has so much energy. It’s scary. He never sits still ever.

He randomly dances and  sings in his daily life and watches TV by reanacting the scenes as they happen. He remembers and repeats the dialogue in his favourite show while running in circles.

But that annoying buzzing child is skilled. His energizer battery personality means he is great at sport, amazing on stage. He gets things done and is always ready for a second task.

Looking at things like Josh Shipp suggests in this video is empowering. It reframes your thinking and helps you consider focusing the annoying traits into usable skills…

Which of your child’s  annoying traits do you think are skills in disguise?

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