Helping you live…love…and parent to the fullest!

Posts tagged ‘proper melancholic’

Mud Slinging or Wallowing in a Mud Hole…

personality chart2

The Lighter Side of Personality Downfalls

This morning, as I was fixing my daughter’s hair, she started to get frustrated. I could see her emotions were about to erupt. (Yes, she is a combination of Powerful Choleric/Playful Sanguine!) Her brother who was nearby could feel the tension rising as well. Now to many personalities, we would back off, however, being a fellow Powerful Choleric, he thought this was an invitation to go in for the kill! Understanding both personalities, and being a Peaceful Phlegmatic, I decided to try and diffuse them both.

“Now wait a minute,” I said. “You both know that it can be a down fall of your personality to say unkind things before you think. So, take just a minute and stop yourself. OK!?”

“What! You’re saying my personality is a downfall!! How rude!!” My daughter’s emotions continued down the track, full speed ahead into the drama depot!

“No, that’s not what I said. What I said is that saying unkind things before you think can be your personality downfall. Every personality has a down fall. That just happens to be one you both share.” I explained.

“Wait a minute! I don’t do what she does. She makes a big scene, and I don’t!” My Powerful Choleric/Proper Melancholic child quickly defended. “So aren’t we different?”

“You have similarities and differences. You both tend to say things that might be unkind before you think. But she will shout them, and you will mumble them in hopes that we will hear. That my dear is the perfect example of how you are different!” That is the difference between the Powerful Choleric/Playful Sanguine and the Powerful Choleric/Proper Melancholic. I explained them to the kids with the use of the Monkeys from The You Zoo book, since that is easier for them to remember.

“So you and Jackson don’t have any personality downfalls?” My daughter was not putting down her drama card easy!

“Oh sure we do! Every personality has downfalls as well as many strengths! We would just THINK the unkind things in our head!” I quickly admitted.

“What! You think bad things about us in your head!!” My son seemed shocked.

“Yes, sometimes we do. But at least we don’t hurt your heart and make you hear them!” I justified.

“So is that better?” My son quizzed.

“Well, no, neither is kind. Not having unkind thoughts is probably the thing we should all shoot for!” I explained to the kids. Then we all just burst out laughing. Guess it’s like mud slinging or wallowing in a mud hole?! They are both dirty!

It was one of those teaching moments you couldn’t set up any better. You just take the opportunities as they arise. It really has amazed me over the years how well my kids understand the personality information. Even more surprising, how much they love learning about it!

Advertisements

Friendship–Fun and Folly

colorful kids

Watching our children make friends can be an interesting process. From the time they are young, we can see traits emerge in them that make those friendships form or last. Granted, many children go through the same stages of development and learning to play alongside and play interactively with other children, but there are other things that we can watch unfold that are more personality related.

So how do the four personality types look when it comes to friendships? Let’s take a look!

The Playful Sanguine child will make friends easily, and will have lots of friends. They approach strangers and talk easily. It is easy for them to join in with a group and gravitate toward those they want to make friends with. They are not alone long in a new situation, as they open up easily and find someone they can talk and share things with. They are not very selective and are able to have fun with just about anyone that’s willing.

The Powerful Choleric child will be a leader in a group. So there will be those who follow them and interact with them as they lead the way. Those who don’t mind being told what to do, and when, will get along well with this child. For those that like to be in charge, there may be a little battle for the role. Powerful Choleric children don’t feel the necessity to make friends or keep friends.

The Proper Melancholic child will make friends cautiously. They will be very selective about the people that they make friends with. They will favor those who follow the rules and do what is right. Loyalty is a trait they take seriously. They would rather have one or two very quality friends than lots of superficial friends. It will take this child a great deal of trust to open up and share even with their friend.

The Peaceful Phlegmatic child will make friends easily. Encouraging others or trying to make others feel included usually wins a friend or two. It may be hard for them to initiate friendships or strike up conversation with strangers, but if the situation calls for that, they will usually come through. Their peace making trait will keep things calm and comfortable for everyone.

These are the characteristics of the personalities as they happen naturally. But knowing the personalities can also help us encourage our children in ways that might be more healthy and cause them to grow. So how can we help our child stretch and grow?

Playful Sanguine:

  • Teach them to be careful of strangers to not get in a bad situation
  • Help them learn the importance of being selective

Powerful Choleric:

  • Teach them to be considerate of others and not be bossy
  • Help them learn that others can be easily hurt by strong emotion or careless words

Proper Melancholic:

  • Teach them to be willing to take a risk with making friends
  • Help them learn that sharing things about themselves will help others connect with them

Peaceful Phlegmatic:

  • Teach them that sometimes they have to be willing to initiate and not just be a follower
  • Help them learn that it is not their job to work out all the problems other friends have

 

It can be fun to watch their natural tendencies emerge. And watching them grow and learn about what makes a friendship better can have both joys and challenges. When we take time to help them grow and learn about these traits, we can help them find good friends, enjoy good friends, and be good friends. And that is a trait that can benefit them for life!

It’s Not Quite Right and Other Variations of It’s Not Good Enough…

speed bumps

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.

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!

What is The You Zoo?

personality chart2

You may be new to all this talk about the personalities. Or maybe you are quite experienced with what the study of personalities is all about. Either way, I’d like to share with you a great resource for parents and families as they learn to put the knowledge of personalities to good use.

I learned about the personalities back in junior high. I found it fascinating, since it helped me understand myself in a whole new way. When I started dating, it was interesting to see personalities play out in relationships. Then of course, as a mother, I was glad to have the backdrop of personalities in order to understand the things I would encounter in raising my kids. This desire for relating better and understanding others at a whole different level, fueled by my passion to help and educate others stirred me to start designing a practical parenting tool. I wanted other parents to be able to have a framework of their child and an effective way to relate and love them according to their unique traits and needs.

A colleague of mine, and co-author of this book, worked with me to bring this idea to life. The You Zoo is both a children’s personality assessment and a parenting resource. The children’s assessment is a children’s story that follows four monkeys through a day in their life at the zoo. Each monkey is a different personality.

  • Sunny is the Playful Sanguine personality. This personality is the noise maker.
  • Champ is the Powerful Choleric personality. This personality is the plan maker.
  • Max is the Proper Melancholic personality. This personality is the rule maker.
  • Pal is the Peaceful Phlegmatic. This personality is the peace maker.

The monkeys in the story are all different, and so are their actions and choices. When reading the story, children are asked to decide which monkey they are most like. Through child-adult interaction, the assessment is completed to give a picture of what the child would choose or do. Their choices and preferences give an indicator of their personality.

you zoo cover from website

This book also includes a parent observation assessment. Using this tool, a parent makes choices that indicate another perspective of the child’s personality. Together, the child assessment and parent observation assessment can cast an accurate picture of which personality that child may be. There is also a short parent personality assessment. When all of these pieces are put together, a parent can get a clear picture of their child as well as who they (as a parent) might be. The book has sections on each personality that discuss personality strengths, struggles, and needs. Pages of practical tips for each of the personalities will help parents see how they can be more effective in dealing with the child. There is some discussion on the combination of different parent and child personalities and what might work well and what might be a challenge.

Parents and teachers have given great feedback on how this book has helped them make more meaningful connections. If you know that “one size fits all” is not true in dealing with children, this book is for you! If you want to become more effective as a parent or teacher, connect at a deeper level, and help grow your child in their strengths, than you will want to experience this book.

For more information about The You Zoo, please visit TheYouZoo.com. If you have questions or comments, I would love to hear from you. Please email me at Jami@JamiKirkbride.com.

What!? My Child Has A Default Setting?!

personality chart2

I just don’t get my child! How do I know what they want?!

I have heard numerous weary parents express this sentiment in a variety of ways. It can be hard to think like a child, and especially when that child is worlds different than our natural personality bent. And sometimes, even if they share the same personality, a parent and child can really butt heads, being so similar and wanting things so similar, yet going about it in two very different ways. So how do we anticipate what our kids want? How do we figure out what moves them or motivates them?

We remember the default setting. The what? The default setting. You see, each personality has what we might consider a motto. It is kind of like the core of their personality, sums many things up in just a short little phrase, and functions kind of like their default setting. It’s what they choose or desire or do without even thinking about it. This is easy to remember and can kind of act like a reset button in our own minds when we feel like we’re stuck! It can be a lifesaver in those moments that we just can’t figure out what to do.

So what are the personality mottos?

The Playful Sanguine child’s motto:   “I must have some excitement!”

The Powerful Choleric child’s motto:  “I must have some control!”

The Proper Melancholic child’s motto:  “I must have some order!”

The Peaceful Phlegmatic child’s motto:  “I must have some rest!”

We had a recent example of this in our own home. Our kids were struggling with getting their chores done. I felt like I was putting more effort into getting them to do their jobs then they were putting into doing their jobs. So, I kindly made them chore charts to help them be accountable (and hopefully reduce my amount of nagging and frustration). Despite my best efforts at helping them succeed with my cute charts, we were still struggling! So, I slowed myself up one day and thought about what they might really need to get motivated.

Then, I asked each child to make their own chore chart. It was rather interesting to see what they came up with, but it so beautifully illustrates this point!

 

Here are some of the key things I noticed:

chorecharts3

  • My Powerful Choleric (natural leader) was the first to start the process. He even taught a couple of the others how to use the program and spreadsheet feature.

chore charts1

  • My Playful Sanguine and Peaceful Phlegmatic children (both personalities being relational) placed pictures of them with other people all around their charts to decorate them.

chorecharts2

  • My Peaceful Phlegmatic that wants rest was sure to mark his chart with the reminder that Sunday was no jobs, just REST!
  • My Powerful Choleric/Proper Melancholic (being task focused) was sure to point out to the others that there didn’t need to be any designs, as this was a CHORE Chart…it was not supposed to be fun!

We have had much more success with the chore charts. Are we perfect?  No! By no means can I claim we are! But in slowing down, I remembered that I was going to get the best movement and buy-in when I could tap into what really mattered to them or motivated them. My Playful Sanguines needed some excitement, so to see a fun chart that they designed themselves would be far more appealing than my chart that was the same for everybody. My Powerful Choleric needed to have some control. By making his own chart and placing his tasks on it, he was deciding how it would be done. My Peaceful Phlegmatic just needed that little light at the end of the tunnel that REST would come!

Each child now has a chore chart that has the same chores I would have put on them, and they are still required to do the same thing as before. But because I took the time to address the core motivators, I am getting a much better response. Who would guess that such a small little twist could change a home?! That’s what it’s like to function with the default setting!

A Light-Hearted Look at Parent Personality–You Might Be a Melancholic Parent If…

color wheel

You may have already figured out your child’s personality, but do you know what you are? Of course there are the assessments that can help you figure that out more accurately. But we are taking just a quick light-hearted look at the personalities. I know, quick and light hearted aren’t adjectives that typically appeal to this personality. Proper Melancholics would much rather do an in-depth and accurate analysis to figure themselves out. That is a little deeper than we are going here, so we will give a light-hearted glimpse into the Proper Melancholic and encourage them to find further information that can give a complete picture.

You might be a Proper Melancholic if:

  • Your planner is probably your best friend.
  • Your mind thinks quickly in the form of percents and measures.
  • Remembering what has happened in the past takes no effort, especially if it involves keeping track of things that were wrong.
  • You find that you are often in charge of doing the tasks that are tedious and involved.
  • You are generally trusted to see tasks through because you do them thoroughly and accurately.
  • You see no reason to share your embarrassing moments and find it ridiculous that others do.
  • You find yourself organizing and reorganizing even when those around you find it crazy.
  • You think this world could be a better place if there were more people like you that cared about getting things done well.
  • You aren’t sure why they created erasers, since you prefer to just start over with a clean paper.
  • You find it especially annoying that people can’t just live by the rules…it’s not that hard.
  • You easily find spelling, grammatical, and word usage errors all around you.
  • You find systems of organization for things like when to change your toothbrush or how to change your seasonal clothing.
  • You find yourself to be one of the most loyal people you know.
  • You do not believe the more the merrier, as too many people are just difficult and frustrating.

If you got through that list and thought it might be you, then you probably found some errors and inaccuracies along the way. You may see a few of those that really describe you, but remember it doesn’t mean that all of them are true. If you look at the other lists, from past days, you would see which of these lists is most like you.

As is typical, it is kind of our default mode for us to believe that what we are is normal, common, or even the most desirable. But it is helpful to remember that there is no personality that is better than another. Each personality contribute something different and unique. More on that in the next blog post!

Tag Cloud