Many people ask, “How do you know what personality your child is?” That is a great question! There are actually many clues to your child’s personality. Certain babies leave the hospital giving very strong clues as to what personality is bundled up and being snuggled. There are personalities that could be easily picked out watching body movements and actions. Some personalities can be revealed by what they are saying and how they are saying it! And some personalities can honestly be a little more tricky and an assessment and questions may reveal the very best information about the personality that makes them who they are.
So essentially there are visual, verbal, and various clues to personality. We are going to break them down and talk about some of the ways you may be able to discover the personality of your child (and yourself and others as well in the process).
If you were to stand behind a one-way mirror and watch a group of children playing, you could actually make some pretty good assessments of personality. You would be relatively accurate with what you see and how it might relate to their personality style. Of course we wouldn’t just stop there though. We would listen and learn more for the most accurate understanding and assessment. But let’s put ourselves behind that glass for a moment and imagine a classroom of children playing. A child’s playing is probably the most sincere form of expression, since there are fewer boundaries to the behaviors being exhibited. As we watch, let’s imagine what we might see.
I see a child that is expressive and trying to get others to join in some fun. She is using her mouth to call them, her gestures to motion them, and her constant movement to urge them. A little boy in the group is excitedly jumping as he awaits the fun to start. His mouth is constantly moving as well. He claps and fist pumps as he urges others to join. Across the room sits another little girl setting up seven dolls around the table. Each of her dolls also has a pet friend and they are having a party. She invites others to join in the party. These children being observed would be the most easily identified personality. They use their body, motions, and actions in ways that cheer others on, bring others in, and spur along the fun and excitement. Their mouths are usually open as they talk, laugh, and express themselves. Their gestures are usually open and exaggerated. They are usually moving and active. These are some of the visual clues of the Playful Sanguine.
In this room, I see a little boy that is pointing and directing others to the other side of the room where he wants to play ball. He gets frustrated and stomps his foot when they are not moving. He is starting to talk more and uses his body to make a firm stand. A girl in this group is equally sure that the group should stay where they are. She approaches the first boy, stands rather close, looks right in his eyes, puts her hands firmly to her side and with the nod or her head and firm word, the group stays. The boy obviously intends to get someone to the other side of the room so he quickly and firmly grabs the two closest kids and takes his ball to play elsewhere. He doesn’t skip a beat. He walks with great confidence and never turns back. The little girl also doesn’t skip a beat. She turns and begins to instruct the others left standing. She points to the hopscotch squares on the floor and begins to line up the children who are left to take turns. These children are showing visual clues of the Powerful Choleric.
Seated at the table in the room, I see two children coloring. They have been seated for quite some time and have said very little. They are focused on the picture and are working hard to keep everything neatly in the lines. The boy has started three different pictures, and put two in the trash. There was only a small mark that didn’t belong, but he started again with a fresh and clean page. Another child across the room is part of the ball game. She is visibly upset that something is not going right. She is getting tears in her eyes and showing the line that a fellow player had crossed. It appears that a rule is not being followed and this is causing a visible upset. At another corner of the room a child moves slowly and methodically as he lines up a very straight line of cars. They are grouped according to their color and he continues to count and move them to be perfectly aligned. These would be some of the visual clues you might see with the Proper Melancholic.
Slumped in the book corner you see a boy that’s nearly asleep. He isn’t really looking at books, but is casually watching some of the children near him. He seems oblivious to the others reading books out loud, rather, he’s kind of in his own little world. Laying on the floor near the cars is another little boy that slowly drives one car back and forth. He lays on his side and plays quietly near others, but mostly self-contained. Over in the basketball game is a little girl that slowly moves about. She is only slightly interested in the game and is rarely handling the ball, but she continues to play and told by all the others what to do and where to go. When the other child was visibly upset about the game not going right, this child put her arm around the other and slowly patted as she spoke. Near the children coloring is a little girl that is half seated and half sliding across the table. She chews on her finger and slowly slides back and forth, doing little of nothing, but content. The visual clues of these children may be a little more settle than the other personalities, making them a little harder to identify. These would be some of the visual clues of a Peaceful Phlegmatic.
What is important to notice, is not so much the activity they are doing, but rather how they are doing it. How are they interacting with others? How do they express themselves? In what ways do they move? Imagine the way your child interacts with others. Can you see which of these groups your child might fall into if they were part of this classroom. It is important to remember that we wouldn’t just stop at judging a personality based on visual clues alone. So, stay tuned as we learn about some of the verbal and various clues as well! Future posts will help you figure out the mystery of what personality traits your child might possess, as well as strengths and struggles they may encounter.
**For those who have a hard time waiting for information, you may be interested in learning at your own speed with The You Zoo book. Feel free to visit TheYouZoo.com to find out more about the book or order your copy of The You Zoo.