Have you wondered why some kids are easier to get on with than others? According to Personality Plus For Parents by Florence Littauer one of the reasons is because of different personalities. You may have heard of the four personality types: sanguine, choleric, melancholy and phlegmatic. But have you considered how this affects parenting?
My family took the personality test in the book. You can also do the test online HERE. Elijah was sanguine (fun lover), Kale was choleric (bossy), Jewel was melancholy/phlegmatic (easy going yet sensitive) and Ash was a mix of all types. I was a sanguine/choleric.
I explained the personality types to the kids, and encouraged them to look for opportunities to notice each other’s personalities. It helped me understand the family dynamics better. Because three of my kids have my dominant personality types in them, I understand them easily. However with Jewel being the complete opposite personality of me, I realised I just didn’t understand her.
Being partly choleric I expected my kids to make immediate decisions. I now understand that Jewel needs to quietly contemplate things, so I give her more time to make choices. Sanguine Elijah loves being noisy in the car, but this bothers Jewel who needs silence. Instead of telling to Jewel to just ignore Elijah, I now ask Elijah to be quieter in the car.
As a determined person, I enjoy ambitious projects with my like minded go-getting kids. Florence Littauer warns if we’re wired that way, we mustn’t fall in to the trap of leaving out any kids who aren’t as ambitious, and find ways to include them.
My two eldest kids have choleric traits and like to be the boss. So now I understand why my three youngest kids can play happily for hours, until my eldest child tries to join in and take control of everyone. Then it’s world war three!
Be mindful of tricky combinations. Melancholy (perfectionist) parents, don’t have standards that are too high for your kids to reach, especially with cleanliness. Phlegmatic (easy going) parents, don’t let choleric kids control you! Sanguine (fun loving) parents, don’t embarrass your teenage melancholy kids! Choleric (bossy) parents, don’t crush sensitive children, and understand that not everyone wants to work all the time like you do. As a sanguine, please understand that all we want to do is have fun! Do you know what your personality type is? Try taking the test with your family!