Why Is This Important?
It is easy to see how children can easily be destructive. Most tend to be messy and destructive by nature. It is amazing to me how quickly my boys can create chaos in their room with in minutes of cleaning it. Teaching your child to be constructive takes intentionality. Toddlers especially enjoy making a mess and knocking over toys etc. To them this is a learning phase, they are learning cause and effect and sometimes the sensory play of “mess” is important. But there are things we can do to make it a constructive playtime. Being destructive for the sake of destruction is something that our child needs to grow out of, with the help of training. There are things that are destructive that can be learning tools. Such as taking something apart to learn how it works. When we are intentional we can take playtime and make it constructive. We can even take some things that may be considered “destructive” and make a learning experience out of it. Ultimately, teaching constructive play may be training in delayed gratification. discipline and vision for the future. We will spend all week talking about how to teach this to your child, make sure to check back.
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There are many types of personality inventories out there today from the Meyers/Briggs to the DISC. Dr. Trent and Dr. Smalley came up with an approach that is just as insightful but easier to explain to children. There is also a book written by their wives, Norma and Cindy, called The Treasure Tree., which is a fun book to read to children about the personality types.
They break down the personalities into four animals, a lion, otter, golden retriever, and beaver. The lion (choleric) is visionary, productive, strong willed, and a leader. The otter (sanguine) is outgoing, friendly, enthusiastic and compassionate. The golden retriever (phlegmatic) is calm, dependable, quiet and humorous. Finally the beaver (melancholy) is analytical, self-disciplined, organized and sacrificing.
The book does a great job giving examples of these personalities in action. Once we can pinpoint our children’s personalities it is easier to understand them and know their possible strengths and weaknesses. Take the time to be a student of your child to learn their temperament which will help you learn what makes them tick.
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Different Behavioral Responses
Some parents just want a behavioral approach that fits everyone in the family. It would definitely be easier if this could be the case. A parent wouldn’t be forced to think or plan, they could just manage and respond to their children as if they were all the same. The problem with a one size fits all parenting style is children are not all the same, we are each uniquely designed by God. Most kids can fit into two types as far as training goes. Some are “pleasers” while others are “barbarians”. Pleasers may appear to be easier to work with because the barbarian is more out front in their push back. However, pleasers may ultimately be harder to train because they may have a harder time making their own decisions and may be more influenced by others. The barbarian will push back and test the rules and the plan, ultimately to see if your “no means no”. We need to make sure that we have a parenting plan that is consistent but know that every child will react differently to that plan. Rewards and consequences will work best if they are tailored to each child individually. For more on creating a parenting plan check out this series.
For more on this topic listen to today’s podcast.