Five character traits that will serve your child well - but are annoying right now

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As parents, we all want to raise confident, happy kids who are resilient and driven. We'd love them to be compassionate and kind, and to follow a career path that leads them onto a successful life, whatever that may be.

So, even though we know the very traits that will make them reach these heights in the future are fantastic to possess, they're not always easy to parent. Here are some of the big ones that have us hovering on the edge of a mental breakdown.

1 Determined

The stubborn, strong-willed and often downright contrary child who cannot be swayed, coaxed, lulled or bribed is a child most of us have experienced.

These children are immovable in their stance, usually in the lolly aisle at the supermarket. They will not bend when they've set their sights on a goal, especially when that goal is to wear shorts in the middle of winter.

It can be anything from clothing, bedtime, manners or food, but irrespective of the topic matter, these fiery little souls want to win at any cost.

Their hard-headedness can be impossible. You can identify the parent of a determined child – they have a repetitive strain injury of the jaw from clenching through under-the-breath swear words.

As teenagers, these personalities can be difficult to get along with, as they dig their heels right into your parenting ethos. But have faith; their determination will mean they don't follow the crowd. Standing strong on the issues that matter to them, they'll not be pressured by their peers.

These are the movers and shakers of the future. They don't take no as the final answer. As resourceful visionaries, they're unintimidated by obstacles. Our natural-born leaders with strong work ethics are the next generation's CEOs (we just hope they're not running a gang in prison).


2 Quiet, shy introvert

Anyone got themselves a peel-off-your-leg child? One who hides under your clothes, avoiding contact with other people?

The quiet, cautious child can be challenging when you spend your days urging them to simply say hello.

All my children had traits of introversion. They slowly grew out of their nervousness, building the confidence to find their voices, but this didn't mean they became bellowing extroverts who thrived on centre stage.

The introverted child is sensitive, sometimes overly so. This can be an issue for children and teenagers who take jokes personally, or find themselves overwhelmed by social situations. In the early days, they refuse play dates and party invitations, later they may struggle navigating the murky waters of teen friendships.

But the quiet introspective children become thoughtful, compassionate adults. They are tomorrow's thinkers, the ones who sit silently in the moment and ponder.

They have the peacefulness of yoga instructors, and the compassion of counsellors or care-based professions.

3 Sassy back chatter

The three-foot-high future lawyer is exhausting to parent. A negotiator who loves an argument, who must have the last say. Their need to question everything is draining.

From childhood to teen years, their attitude develops. As parents, we cop an eye roll here, a 'whatevs' there which make us want to channel Homer Simpson with a 'why you little…'.

They struggle to temper their attitude and often challenge authority which can be viewed as disrespectful. But these little fireballs will lead the debate team or become UN lawyers.

Sure, they're opinionated, and at times can be ruthless, but it is the strong opinions of the world that drive change. The sassy back chatters of today are the attorneys, the terrorist negotiators, the mediators of tomorrow. They're probably also the Donald Trumps, so guide them cautiously!

4 Rebellious thrill-seeker

The climber, the bolter, the runner, the crazy one who can't sit still, who needs to explore and touch and find their next adventure. These are the rebellious thrill-seekers.

Motivated by pushing boundaries, they defy the laws of physics, brushing off danger with a no-fear approach. They can be scary children to parent, because you barely turn your back before you find they've scaled the bench to cut their own apple with a meat cleaver, at age two.

They are the invincible teen. Adrenaline junkies who are forever seeking excitement. They will be the ones backpacking around Europe with $1 to their name. Their confidence helps them to dive into the next escapade.

They're the adults who make you feel alive, by encouraging you to sky dive, to bungy jump, to take risks. It's not all a frightening ride though; these are often the personalities who can handle jobs such as emergency doctors and surgeons, firefighters, military personnel, and criminal investigators.

5 Vague dreamer

"Earth to child. Hello, are you there?"

Oh, the vague dreamer. They're the child you have to instruct repeatedly. Not because they are unintelligent, but because they float around in a dreamy bubble, 'vagueing-out'.

They are our adorable little space cadets who cause a tsunami of frustration due to their lack of listening. They're tuned out. They're the child standing in front of the TV with only one sock on, fifteen minutes after you asked them to get dressed.

They are the teenagers who get in the car without shoes and look at you blankly when you ask if they've forgotten something.

They become the whimsical adults who never worry, instead rolling with the punches. They will never die of a stress ulcer.

These personalities are often drawn to creative careers: fashion designers, musicians and holistic ventures. They are the dreamers of the world.

Each one of these five personality traits take an abundance of patience for us to parent. All we can do is hold on to the hope that what annoys the life out of us now, will be the qualities that makes our kids great adults.