One of the keys to successful parenting is understanding and working with your child’s personality.
God created each of us uniquely and unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all manual for parents. You have to take time to get to know each child individually. Knowing your child’s personality isn’t enough, though. You also need to be aware of how your personality interacts with your child’s.
My son is a typical first born-assertive ( a nice way to say bossy), confident and head-strong. The only problem is that I am also bossy, confident and head-strong. Through the years we have had many clashes in which we try to determine who will be top dog. As the years have passed I have realized that I need to respond differently. I need to acknowledge his view point as valid, not automatically turn the situation into a competition.
I have also learned to temper my interactions with my daughter who is more compliant and shy. Because I have a stronger personality, it’s easy to hurt her feelings without meaning to.
When I think of working with my children’s personalities I think of a bonsai tree. The tree needs constant care and attention, with occasional pruning and shaping, to enable it to grow into something beautiful. The pruning and shaping have to be gentle and the one cultivating the tree has to be very patient.
If you would like to be a better cultivator, here are some great resources:
Focus on the Family Thriving Kids Roadmap -This online assessment package costs $19.95 and although I was able to take the assessment when it was free, I would definitely pay for it. It is probably the most helpful tool I have as a parent regarding how our personalities work together.
The Birth Order Book by Dr. Kevin Lehman- Very helpful book written by Dr. Kevin Lehman. which enables parents to understand how birth order affects the way children view the world and interact with others.
Disclaimer: I am not a psychologist or child development specialist-just a mom commenting about her own observations.
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