Friday, June 20, 2014

Your Child's Personality


I wanted to write a post about personality types because when you raise your children you are going to have to take into account all their different personalties.  You may have one child that is very strong-willed and another who will crumble when you look at her funny.  You may have a child who organizes herself and makes checklists for school projects, and another who struggles just to finish assignments.  You may have an introvert who is happy staying at home, or an extrovert who needs constant interaction and playdates.

These are things you are going to have to notice.  You will need to figure out each child's strengths and weaknesses so that you are able to best determine how to help them.  Your child who struggles to finish?  You may decide you need to teach him ways to focus by assigning him jobs at home and working with him until he learns to focus.  Your really organized child?  You may have to teach her how to not be so bossy so she can have better friendships at school.

Also, a child's personality will affect the way you discipline.  I had a child who needed very strict boundaries, and one who could control herself and so only needed light guidance.  You will need to experiment and be aware to figure out what works for each child.  I do not think you should treat every child the same, even though that may seem more fair.  No amount of discipline or teaching will  help the child if it does not work well with his personality.

Another thing to remember is that a teenager's personality will change, sometimes monthly, so you may have to change your parenting a little as they get to be that age.  They are experimenting with who they are going to become and what feels comfortable to them, so be flexible and change your style temporarily when needed.  As they get older they will settle into their normal personalities.

One more thing I wanted to mention.  Never tell the child he/she is a certain type, and do not label them, lazy, or stubborn, or things like that.  This will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Children will act the way you expect them to.  If you are expecting your child to be a rebellious or lazy soul and treat them that way....they will become that way.  Just notice within yourself and adjust your parenting techniques accordingly.  Expect the best of your children and they will try to live up to it.

Here is another good article on discovering your child's temperament at a very young age.  Also sometimes it is enlightening to think about Meyers-Briggs personality types in trying to understand your children, which are explained in a book called, "Please Understand Me" by  David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates.

But remember, children and teens don't grow into their full personalities until adulthood so don't stick them into a certain type and leave them there.  You need to be flexible and just notice tendencies and use techniques to work with them.

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