This can be a common theme for Proper Melancholics. While it is a theme that presents in both adults and children, we will focus more on the parent in this post.
The Proper Melancholic is detail oriented and task focused. They care about what needs to be addressed or accomplished and can easily analyze the details along the way. They work diligently to get things done right and will do things again and again if it means getting it done perfectly. Unfortunately, their perfectionistic tendency can cause them to get stuck or slowed down while trying to accomplish things. They may be easily discouraged or frustrated when the details are not working out and when others don’t live up to their expectations. Their self-talk might include the following:
“I can’t do it right.”
“That’s not good enough.”
“No one else is helping.”
“They just don’t do it right.”
“Why can’t others care more about the details?”
“Am I the only one who cares about doing it right?”
“Well, last time…and the time before…”
“That’s not what I had planned.”
“Maybe if I tried one more time…”
These are just a few of the things that might run through the self-talk of a Proper Melancholic. They can easily be distracted from moving forward by trying to get things just right, or perfect. They can also get a little stuck on idealism, getting caught up in how things have been done before, or analyzing things. The details and frustration from getting things perfect can keep them from getting things finished. This self-talk can cause some problems both in relationships and life in general. What might it look like in parenting?
- Nit-picks child to get things perfect.
- Frustrated when child-like ways leave things a mess.
- Discouraged when other’s performance falls short.
- Affected emotionally and moody when things don’t fall into place as they planned.
- Stuck and rigid in doing things according to plan and details.
- Constantly corrects and fixes what child does.
- Easily forgets about the relationship as they busy with the details and task.
- Appears constantly mad about things and leaves child feeling discouraged.
- Forgets that a lighter and more optimistic approach works better for kids.
How can a Proper Melancholic address the self-talk that drags them into the doldrums and causes them to be less effective as a parent?
- Look for what is going right. Kids especially need to work from a perspective of optimism and hope. Let them know that everything is okay. Notice them and catch them doing well!
- Realize that perfection, idealistic, and planned don’t always pan out with kids. One thing you realize soon after becoming a parent is that many things happen that you never planned on. Things turn out totally different than you imagined and hoped, and that is to be expected. Don’t let it ruin you.
- Learn to settle for less than best. Your level of “right” might be totally different than your child’s, and totally unrealistic. Be willing to settle for their best, even if it looks nothing like you hoped or imagined.
- Accept mistakes as part of life. Kids will make many mistakes. They will embarrass you, frustrate you, and maybe make you feel like you are failing. But you aren’t. Don’t let your moods ride on how well they perform. Find your joy, patience, and contentment aside from what they do.
Self-talk can be discouraging, and self-reflection can be intimidating. But it is important to realize the power of both. Maybe this post doesn’t strike a chord with your personality, then maybe one of the other three in the series will. Hopefully through the course of the last few posts, you have been able to identify some of the potential hang-ups for your personality and being an effective parent. The tips provided might help you move forward in life, iron out some relationship issues, and make yourself more effective as you parent your child.
You can learn more about the personalities in The You Zoo book. Visit TheYouZoo.com for information on how you can get a copy for your own personal use! Feel free to email questions to Jami@JamiKirkbride.com.