This tends to be a common self-talk theme for many Peaceful Phlegmatics! While both parent and child Phlegmatics may struggle with this, we will focus more on the parent aspect today.
I am faced with this challenging thinking every day. I admit it. It is true. I also experience some other thoughts along those lines, like:
“I am not sure I have the energy for that.”
“I am not sure I am capable to do that.”
“Somebody else could do it better.”
“I think I’d better take a nap.”
“I’m just too overwhelmed.”
“I’m not the right person for the job.”
“I better not commit to that. I am not sure I can see it through.”
While we may laugh those off, and in our laid back approach just honestly admit that’s how we think, those inner messages can really affect us in life and how we parent.
I am feeling this struggle as I participate in a 30 blogging challenge. Each day I have to talk myself through the excuses. And truly, I exhaust myself. Sometimes I just want that “get ‘er done” attitude! I expressed my frustration with myself yesterday in the face book group and received some wonderful encouragement from other writers. One kind man even broke down how many posts per minute left in the challenge and made it all sound more manageable. It was like hearing a little cheering squad going behind me. He even offered to follow up and read my blog the following day. There’s some healthy accountability with that encouragement! And that is what motivates a phlegmatic. They want to feel like others can respect their struggle and give them a little oomph with their energy to carry on!
How does this self-talk play out in parenting as a Phlegmatic? They may experience the following:
- Dismiss things that need corrected because it is easier.
- Struggle to have follow-through on consequences given.
- Extend grace or patience when things need to be confronted.
- Sit on the sidelines and wait for someone else to intervene or take over.
- Become immobilized when things feel too overwhelming.
- Doubt their ability to parent well.
- Withdraw when they face resistance.
- Offer excuses for behavior to avoid dealing with it.
- Assume role as friend instead of disciplinarian to be liked by kids.
How does one reverse this kind of talk that rolls through your head and makes you less than effective?
- Ask for another perspective. Much like I did when I asked the group to give some ideas for what they were doing to push through the challenge and avoid excuses.
- Push yourself beyond what you are used to. Don’t stop where it’s comfortable or easy. Push beyond. Each time your push point gets moved further!
- Commit to growing in the area you choose. Sometimes we feel the struggle, other times, we just know our tendencies. Regardless, you know where your weaknesses are. And while a little push can help you out of those crunch times, it may not be enough to really change a habit. Commit to really growing beyond what you do naturally.
- Look for ways that you can be held accountable. Ask a friend, spouse, or someone else to ask you about your progress. Just like my kind writing friend offering to check in on my blog spurred me to push forward, you can find ways to be held accountable too.
This post may reflect the inner workings of the Phlegmatic and some of their faulty thinking, but every personality has faulty thinking. What is yours? What might keep you from doing what needs done? What might keep you from effective parenting?
- Do you get easily distracted? Is the task not fun? Do you forget what you’re doing? Do you struggle to finish things you start?
- Do you get over committed and spread thin? Do you run out of day before tasks? Do you find that you’d rather do it yourself instead of working together? Are you just not in the control of the task you are assigned?
- Do you get stuck on perfectionism? Do you hesitate to start? Do you feel a fear or dread that keeps you from being productive? Are you too stuck on the details to get moving?
These are some of the other personality struggles. Maybe you can identify one of the above that speaks more to who you are. Challenge yourself today to ask the tough questions and see what you can learn about yourself. Then…push beyond where you are comfortable. Grow!
And as a side note, to the kind writer friend that gave me such a good pep talk…Thank you!! Thank you for giving me that added reason to write. Your encouraging words and accountability were just what I needed to get over the hump!