Experts say no two children are alike, and they’re right! This father notes 10 differences between his two offspring, a boy and a girl.
Contributed By Kenneth Koh
My son, Kendrick, is 10 and my daughter, Karis, is 8. Over the years, my wife, Eileen and I have noticed these 10 characteristics that differentiate them:
1) He is task-oriented and she is people-oriented. It is easy bringing up Kendrick because for him, everything is black and white. For example, I would give him a list of tasks to do after school and by evening, I would have a status report. If he did well, he would be rewarded and if he didn’t, he would be disciplined.
On the other hand, it would take communication skills like negotiation and persuasion to get Karis to perform her tasks. She would ultimately complete her to-do list after she was convinced by me that her complaints, exceptions, excuses and problems were unfounded.
2) He has a bird’s eye view and she has a worm’s eye view. For Kendrick, everything is “dunno,” “anything” or “okay.” He would do things based on a general view and estimates—and that includes his Mathematics homework, where precision is of utmost importance.
For Karis, it would be down to every detail. For example, all her color pencils would be lined up in a particular order.
3) He loves sports and she CMI (cannot make it). Kendrick is naturally gifted in sports. In the space of two years, he learned to swim and started competing. For Karis, after two years of persuading her, she has finally decided to learn swimming. Still, she mostly paddles in the pool clinging on my shoulders.
4) He eats to live and she lives to eat. Kendrick has a standard list of food that he likes. For example, soup, rice and egg would be sufficient as a complete meal for him. Karis, on the other hand, would request for a buffet spread of a little of everything.
5) He has ants in his pants and she has peace in her heart. Getting Kendrick to settle down is a challenging task especially when homework is concerned. He would be watching TV, playing computer games or fiddling with his toys while doing his homework. Karis, conversely, is able to settle down to complete her assignments within one sitting.
6) He fails to plan and she plans to wow. Kendrick is content to let Eileen and I plan his routines, while Karis would figure out everything herself and proudly present her plan to us.
7) He loves affirmation and she loves confirmation. Words of affirmation like “well done,” “good job” and “fantastic” keep Kendrick motivated and encouraged. For Karis, it takes gifts, gifts and more gifts to keep her going.
8) He keeps wondering and she is “very sure.” When I ask Kendrick what his ambition is, he says that maybe he will become a general practitioner because he does not like to see blood. He is still wondering if that is what he really wants.
When Karis entered primary school, she was “very sure” that she wanted to be a teacher. Last month, I brought her to an art gallery and she told me that she was “very sure” she wanted to be an artist. When a fashionable Barbie doll came into the market, she told me that she was “very sure” she wanted to be a fashion designer. I am very sure she will keep on changing ambitions.
9) He loves simplicity and she loves variety. Kendrick loves the simple things, like celebrating his birthday with his family. To him, silence is golden especially when I drive him around. When I ask him what is he thinking about, his standard reply is “nothing.”
Karis loves variety—every birthday party must be different. To her, being a chatterbox box is cool. When I drive her around she would be chatting non-stop with me, and it would feel like a date with Eileen all over again.
10) He loves hands-on work and she loves handicraft. Kendrick loves to work with his hands, like starting the fire for a barbecue. Karis loves putting an artistic touch to everything she sees. She even decorates my face, stomach and limbs with her stickers because I look plain to her.
Despite all their differences, they are very similar in one way: both love God fervently. God has miraculously “stitched” all our differences together to make us a happy family.