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Posts tagged ‘differences’

The Same…But Different?

personality chart2

Question:  I have two kids that are both organized but are otherwise very different. What does that mean, or how can I figure them out? Are they both the same personality?

Sometimes, there are traits that might be seen in different personalities. Being a leader and being organized are two that are quite common. So people may see organization and automatically assume that a child is a Proper Melancholic. But the truth is, other personalities can be organized in other ways or for other reasons. A Powerful Choleric can organize people and tasks. A Peaceful Phlegmatic may take time to organize something that makes life easier with just a little order and no effort, like a spice rack. A Playful Sanguine can organize fun things or otherwise simple things such as fun outings. But a Proper Melancholic organizes things on a regular basis because that is how they function best. They use systems and organized means to getting things done regularly.

Being a leader is another trait that can cause some confusion. A Playful Sanguine may be the leader of the pack as a group heads out for a fun activity. The Proper Melancholic may take the lead to getting details in order and making sure that things are done fairly. A Peaceful Phlegmatic may lead a group in order to help things go smoothly and in the absence of another who wants to lead. But the Powerful Choleric is a natural born leader. They function best and most comfortably in this role.

These are just two of the traits that one might notice. Why is this important? It’s important, because seeing that personalities may have some similarities but actually be very different is key. One must look beyond just the trait or action and look to see the motivation. The reason someone does something is often times more telling than what they are doing. This concept closely relates to the mottos (or default settings, as a previous blog explained) that different personalities have. Is the motivation to:

  • Have some excitement? Do it the fun way? (Playful Sanguine)
  • Have some control? Do it their way? (Powerful Choleric)
  • Have some order? Do it the right way? (Proper Melancholic)
  • Have some rest? Do it the easy way? (Peaceful Phlegmatic)

If you can figure out why someone is doing that particular trait or action, than you can see which personality it relates to. Then these similarities can be more easily understood.

You will quickly see the personalities at work all around you. Whether you are watching your child, your spouse, your friend, or even just the clerk at the grocery store—you will see personalities all around you! You will be able to pick up on clues that tell you what personality someone might be. It will be fascinating to start seeing all the pieces fit together. Don’t forget to look deeper than just the trait you first notice. You will be amazed at how this insight can truly transform the way you see others and the way you relate as well!

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Parenting With Personality–It WILL Make a Difference

colors and kids

We’ve covered some of the personality basics, such as the visual clues, verbal clues, strengths, struggles and personality blends, but you might be wondering why this is important. What difference will it make? How will it help my family? There are numerous ways in which this information can transform you, your relationship with your child, and your whole family!

Nineteen years ago, I gave birth to my first son. He was cute, cuddly, easy going, and enjoyable. This was my first trip through parenting. I rarely had to discipline, and he behaved quite well. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I guess in some ways, I thought I was rockin’ this mother stuff! I must be a pretty good mom. He was well-mannered and compliant and got along so well with young and old alike. I must be doing something right!

Well, five years later I gave birth to our second son. I loved him and enjoyed him just as much as my first, but it was clear from the beginning that this was a whole new journey! From early on, he tested, he tried, and he pushed the limits. He was not the compliant type, knew no giants, and was willing to go toe-to-toe at the start of each day, and many times in between! I struggled and felt like I was failing as a mom. I couldn’t do anything right, and what had worked so well with my first child just flopped with my second child. I had lost my touch. I stunk at mothering!

Then one day, as I was reflecting on their differences I began to think about the personality books I had read nearly ten years before. Wait a minute! It all started coming together as I thought about their personalities and their unique strengths and needs. I could continue to walk this road of utter frustration, or I could pause to figure out how my journey with each would look, feel, and be different and unique. That pausing and reflecting probably kept me from giving up as a mom and never having another child. It helped me realize the importance of living each day with the knowledge that my relationship with each child would have to be handled unique to their personality. And that has made all the difference in my connections with each of my kids.

My trial and error didn’t end with those two kids. I am a mother of seven. And let me tell you, if I didn’t know about the personalities I would think I was losing my mind! We have a wide variety of personalities…no two exactly alike. You could either say we have our bases covered or you could say we have a three ring circus! I have experienced that feeling that things are going easily, and I have also felt that same frustration that I’m just not cutting it! But now, I feel armed with an understanding of the personalities and practical tools to meet each child right where they are…and not necessarily where I want them to be! It has been a true lifesaver. And that is simply why I have such a passion to educate, encourage, and equip parents as they parent their children and form lasting relationships with them.

This understanding of the personalities can extend beyond just me as a mom though. Our whole family can put this to use. Our sons can gain insight into why their sister loves to imagine and pretend and her frustration when they don’t take part. Our daughter can begin to see how exhausting her emotional roller coaster can be for her brothers who just live in laid back mode. One who desires constant activity may need to understand that another needs some down time at home to get back on his game. The child who likes to bark orders and run the show can learn what response he gets when he doesn’t communicate with a kinder tone.

Maybe you’re a parent who is struggling and doubting your ability. Maybe you just think that there has got to be an easier way to understand your child. Maybe you just need something to help transform the lack of flow or connection your family feels. Let me assure you…parenting with personality WILL make a difference. I couldn’t be more confident that this personality information will make a difference for you and your family. This blog will establish the basics of personalities so that readers can always have a resource to turn to for the framework of personalities, but then we will be an ongoing resource of practical tools and ideas for the things families face each day. This blog is a companion resource and based on the book The You Zoo.

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