10/20/2011 10:43 am ET Updated Dec 20, 2011

Ambitious Parents, Mellow Children

Ron Mattocks, a former real-estate sales executive and Army captain, is a Type A personality. He is ambitious, drives himself to achieve and usually succeeds.

One job that really tests his limits, though, is raising two laid-back Type B kids.

When his stepdaughter Avery, 8 years old, or his son Sawyer, 7, start to daydream and wander away from a chore, Mr. Mattocks occasionally erupts. "The first thing out of my mouth is, 'What the hell are you doing?' " he says.