Identifying Your Child's Personality Type


Highly sensitive, self-absorbed, or defiant


Inattentive or active/aggressive

Each child is born with certain physical traits that underlie his basic personality. Many children become difficult because their "equipment" just isn't working right. As they struggle, they can become fussy, irritable, negative, or self-absorbed. The final shape of a child's personality is determined partly by how his parents and other caregivers relate to these physical traits. Challenging children can become more pleasant, flexible people. They can become easier to live with - less at odds with the world, more trusting and secure. Life with a difficult child, as you have seen in this book, doesn't have to be a perpetual battleground. This is a quick guide to figuring out your child's personality type and your reaction to it. It should help you identify which pattern your child most closely approximates, even though most youngsters won't as is always true in life - fit neatly into one category or another. Keep in mind that challenging children may vary greatly in day-to-day moods and outlook. One moment, they appear mature, respectful, empathetic, compassionate. Later that same day, they are crawling under tables, whining, clinging, throwing tantrums, and bossing everyone around. So don't take any one piece of behavior as a way of labeling your child. Look for patterns over a period of time. And, above all, don't be discouraged if your child appears to be making no progress at all! In time, he will. Sometimes it can just be hard to see. The Highly Sensitive Child Behavior: Children who are highly sensitive tend to exhibit several types of behavior. Among the most common patterns are fearfulness and caution. In infancy, a sensitive baby dislikes new routines and is especially clingy in new situations. He restricts his range of exploration and avoids being assertive. In the early years, this child may be plagued with excessive fears and worries and display shyness when trying to form friendships and interact with new adults. In late childhood, he may feel anxious or panicky and have mood swings. He may become depressed. In general, he tends to be inhibited, reactive, and detail-oriented. He becomes easily overloaded by emotional or interpersonal events. The highly sensitive child also tends to be very perceptive. He senses every nuance and subtlety of his world and is also quite sensitive to the feelings of other people; he can "read" other people through their expressions, body language, and voice tone. Because sensitive youngsters are so attuned to the world, they tend to focus on the details of what they see, hear, and experience. Physical Makeup: Sensitive children may overreact to touch, loud noises, and bright lights. Sights, sounds, certain smells, and tactile experiences that bring other people pleasure can be overwhelming, irritating, and sometimes downright painful to them. Some sensitive children face difficulty in dealing with "spatial" concepts (that is, they have trouble processing information in terms of the space around them). For example, they might get lost easily. They may not be able to figure out distances (when mom leaves the room, for example, they haven't an


these noises don't attract her attention as easily as they would other children's. So if your child is very verbal but seems to get lost when he has to do anything that involves a series of behaviors or movements. sound. Their own emotions are experienced very intensely. However. More than most toddlers. exciting carnival rides) because she simply isn't sensitive to subdued activity. or other stimuli. she may appear self-absorbed and disinterested in the world. the self-absorbed child needs a lot of stimuli: a great deal of sound before she takes notice. Parents of a baby with this self-absorbed temperament find that it takes twenty or even forty seconds of energetic talking to get her to take notice. kicking a soccer ball.for example. limits. but firm. perhaps even depressed and uninterested in exploring people or objects. As a result. plenty of movement before she perceives kinetic pleasures. sobbing with disappointment. This emotional sensitivity extends to the physical realm as well. The loud slamming of a car door. it is much easier for her to tune inward and become selfabsorbed. Difficulties arise with skills that require sequencing physical 2 .that is. they feel less secure than other children and may panic when their parents leave them. Sensitive children may be overstimulated by internal forces as well as outside events. she may sit passively rather than explore her world. Puberty may be especially scary because of its new sensations. and climb. but might appear disorganized when dealing with a vulnerable area. stronger touch before she feels pressure. and other internal pains. or shriek and pound the walls with the next room or across the country).emotional sense of where she went . The Self-Absorbed Child Behavior: The self-absorbed child may appear apathetic. The best approach is for parents and caregivers to provide consistent empathy. Given her lack of reactivity to outside stimuli. he lacks the skills that are required to carry out a series of motor sequences. such as putting on socks. He may complain of muscle aches. or writing a sentence. As a preschooler. The self-absorbed child may appear to prefer her own thoughts and fantasies to the outside world. by being overindulgent and overprotective some of the time and punitive and intrusive at other times. How Parents Respond: The patterns described here may be inadvertently intensified by parents or caregivers who respond to the child by vacillating . As an older child or a teenager. He could be very organized when he is operating in an area of strength. she may appreciate familiar routines. very gentle. jump up and down screaming with joy. lots of motion and speed (big swings. easily tired. be aware that his difficulty may be linked to a motor-planning problem. stomach aches. Low muscle tone and poor balance and concentration may make this child work harder to crawl. push a toy. loud sounds. noisy older siblings . her powers of fantasy and capacity for independence may become assets as she matures. As an infant. She may not respond quickly to touch. jump. reach out. and gradual and supportive encouragement to explore new experiences. the highly sensitive child may also exhibit motor-planning challenges . In addition to spatial difficulties. she may seem quiet. They may find that she craves bright lights. a roaring vacuum cleaner. Physical Makeup: Unlike the highly sensitive child. The child may throw himself down.

attend. interact. and motion as the highly sensitive child. controlling. difficult. this child may be fussy. he can organize in his mind what he sees and hears better than many other children.familyeducation. the defiant child tends to have relatively better "visual-spatial" abilities. Caregiver patterns that are soothing. This can include drawing a picture. or he may try to avoid difficult situations. How Parents Respond: It is tempting to respond to the defiant child by becoming angry. That is. This child may also have difficulties with auditory-verbal processing and expressive language (the ability to put thoughts into words). sight. This child. But. If people close to her are low-key or laid-back in voice tone and speech rhythm. She requires intense input from them and other caregivers and teachers to attract her interest and capture her emotional engagement. In contrast to the fearful. responding to her cues (however faint) to help her engage. however. Read more on FamilyEducation: http://life. While this is an understandable response to infuriating behavior. can show joyful exuberance at certain times. unlike the highly sensitive child. Parents and others need to reach out energetically. he doesn't become fragmented when overwhelmed. tying a shoe. when negative behavior is common to all children. or getting through the kitchen without knocking anything over. it is likely to intensify the defiant child's behavior. empathetic. He may use passive defiance as a coping strategy. and later finds it difficult to express herself. and supportive of slow.html#ixzz1FtSRlQU8 3 . As an infant. and explore the world.movements (motor planning). and resistant to changes in routine. He uses this strong ability to help keep himself from getting overwhelmed by what he is experiencing. and punitive. As a toddler. The Defiant Child Behavior: The defiant child can be negative. He faces difficulty with transitions and prefers repetition or slow change. cautious person. gradual change (and that avoid power struggles) tend to enhance the defiant child's flexibility. hence. She may be slow to talk. sound. A defiant older child or adult may be argumentative and frequently engage in power struggles. When moderated. this child's perfectionism and boldness may well help him as a student or in later work. stubborn behavior. but reacts instead by trying to control his world as tightly as possible. and stubborn than most children his age. He often does the opposite of what is expected or asked of him. Physical Makeup: The defiant child may have many of the same sensitivities to touch. defiant. He tends to be perfectionist and compulsive. stubborn. How Parents Respond: It is all too easy for parents to neglect or give up on a self-absorbed child. he may be even more angry. It is hard for her to find the words to describe what she did or what she feels or wants. his demanding. this child is likely to tune them out. climbing a ladder. This means that he becomes very controlling about his environment.

Some would want a lot of attention. A naughty child or an over sensitive one. On your part as a parent if you notice something in your child's personality that needs to be changed you can start working on it as soon as your baby is ready to understand.much before you even think of teaching him something. y Identify his weak areas and work on them gradually. y First. be there with him. you would know that no two babies behave in the same manner. some would not. Every child has his own personality and you only need to take a closer look to judge your child. or have had a chance of listening to two mothers discussing their babies. Some would be very difficult to handle and some would just be fine by themselves. you can observe your child's behavior soon after the first few months of his birth . it is by birth. You can do this by keeping the following in mind. or a fussy one. It is now proposed that how your child behaves could largely depend on his genes and whatever his nature is. y Do not leave your child to face what he hates alone. You can learn his temperament by just noticing his behavior for a few days. be extremely patient with the child. If you notice. If you're a mother yourself. 4 . These are a part of nature your child was born with and there is really nothing too worry about. does not throw too many tantrums and easily adaptive to any kind of change. y Introduce new things and people slowly.Understanding Your Child's Personality New researches contradict the old theories that said that a child's nature and behavior depended entirely on how his upbringing has been. A sensitive child starts crying easily. does not accept anything or anybody new and wants only to be in his own familiar surroundings. Your child could be a happy one if he is usually playful. He could be a happy child.

Slowly it would become a part of his habits and viola! There's a change in his personality! So all in all.y Use encouragement as your basic tool. y Praise your child on every good thing that he adapts and also reward him. 5 . patience and encouragement could be the key tools for understanding and if necessary re molding your child's personality. a right time for learning. He will remember that and would want to repeat it.

Children who have a preference for Sensing tend to like facts and play based on everyday life. They will generally take in information in single pieces. and they may be highly creative. or expecting them always to behave in the same way! Sensing or Intuiting Perhaps the most significant set of preferences in education is the difference between Sensing and Intuiting.Each child is born with a unique personality. what looks right. and two of them have preferences for Sensing. job applications and training. even if very rapidly. These are the people he calls Guardians (with a core need for security. the people who prefer iNtuiting are the Rationals (whose core need is for competence. Children who prefer iNtuition are often drawn to fantasy and imaginary worlds. and then getting to grips with concepts before grasping fine detail.while obviously not boxing them in. with a great need for efficiency and understanding) and the Idealists (whose core need is for authenticity. People of either temperament may mainly use their iNtuition inwardly . There are various ways of looking at personality. This system looks at our preferences on four different scales. and generally an excellent ability with arts and crafts). and love hearing stories over and over again. but our specific preferences are believed to be inherent in us by the time we are born. A great deal is learned through circumstances and other people. Temperament theory Keirseyan Temperament Theory tells us that there are basically four broad temperaments into which we can all be grouped.or outwardly . As parents it is important to respect our children's personalities and help them develop a good self-image and understanding of who they are . those who strongly prefer iNtuiting often learn by what is not actually seen: grasping the big picture. Different learning styles depend partly on personality preferences 6 . wanting to write stories at a young age. comparing what is with what has been. and now used widely in churches. Guardians tend to direct their Sensing inwardly. learning from the past.focussing on what will be . often in a step-by-step manner. learning primarily through their senses. People who strongly prefer Sensing are those who feel very much at home in the concrete world. and can be observed in even very young children and toddlers. a great sense of responsibility and loyalty) and those he calls Artisans (with a core need for impact and freedom. and are interested at an early age in what things are for. Also according to Keirseyan Temperament Theory. but one of the most popular and helpful is the Myers Briggs indicator. Artisans tend to direct their Sensing outwardly. seeing patterns.focussing on what might be. with a great need for harmony and empathic relationships). but won't instantly spot links or patterns. what is aesthetically pleasing. By contrast. concentrating on what is. based on Jungian psychology. Their favourite kind of game will tend to involve their imaginations.

Those who prefer Thinking tend to trust logic above emotion. be prepared to back up your decisions with logic. Parents whose preference is for Thinking are often totally mystified by some children who declare in one instant that they hate something. at a 15-year-old level.and particularly those of Rational temperament . who clearly preferred iNtuition. although a distinct preference for either Sensing or iNtuition is usually clear by the time the child is three or four. Help him too to be aware of his emotions and free to express them when necessary. Yet by this stage he was reading fluently. and then form their own idea of phonics as they observe patterns. as he will be likely to repress them. and he will learn the useful skill of reasoned discussion. It was not until he was about seven that he could truly break down words into component parts and 'hear' the sounds. My younger son. but this does not mean that they are unfeeling. Feeling or Thinking in decision-making The next pair of preferences of the Myers-Briggs system is that of Feeling or Thinking. not according to anyone's predefined schedule. water. Make sure you give lots of hugs and let them know they are loved: Children with a preference for Thinking tend to be undemanding emotionally. All children. Both types of person are needed. they simply prefer one type of information processing to the other. at a young age. but we tend towards one or the other when making major decisions. Most people (and particularly children) learn in many ways. should be encouraged to learn to read when they are ready and interested. Children with a clear preference for Thinking will usually be able to grasp reasonable arguments at a young age. or that they do not need cuddles. and usually respond well to a logical reason. On the other hand they may become very argumentative if they do not believe the parents are being logical. encouraging imaginative play. Clearly everyone is able to feel and to think. if not before. and also to explain things thoroughly. Had he not learned in his own way. They tend first to read sentences or long words. taught himself to read at the age of three without being able to hear any individual letter sounds within words. Nobody 'is' a type. Encourage both preferences to develop by reading a wide range of books with your children. with comprehension. those who prefer iNtuition are more likely to learn from a whole language approach. 'Why?' when the parents tell them they may not do something. or if they are not given a good reason for something! If your child's mind works this way. Children whose preference is for Feeling tend to be more emotionally driven. he would have been completely mystified by phonic-type teaching in school. and everyone should learn to use each function as appropriate. playdough and finger-painting. They . and make decisions based on what they (or others) would like. Respect your child's arguments too: teach him to be respectful to others as he tries to argue. but the following day declare the 7 . such as sand. and make decisions based on what seems best.Whereas a child who strongly prefers Sensing may easily learn to read using phonics. Of course everyone has access to both the concrete world and their imaginations. These are mainly related to how we make decisions. and also practical play using the senses.will often ask. Those with a preference for Feeling tend to trust their emotional reactions most. whatever their learning style. sometimes laughing or crying for no apparent reason. but one will always be the preferred. gradually building up the ability to read from the details.

and plenty of opportunity for social events and group activities. Introversion and Extraversion also relate to the way we use the first four functions . They also need to learn to say what they are feeling with respect for others. Help them too not to give up when things seem difficult. and tend to look inwardly in their emotions are those who more naturally organise the outer world. and a strongly Extraverted child may prefer being at school.whatever their preference.tend to use Thinking inwardly. By contrast. Help them to enjoy logic puzzles. I recommend the book 'Nurture by Nature' by Paul D Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger. Those who use Feeling primarily in the outer world . so long as we have plenty of time for our main preferences. and to realise that their emotions may change when circumstances change. It's perhaps most obviously expressed in the way we re-charge and relax. analysing the world and trying to make sense of it when on their own. A strongly Introverted child may well be happier educated at home than being in a classroom all day. An Extraverted child who is home educated will want other children to play with. or by ourselves in our inner world. We all need to find how we best relate to others. Introversion or Extraversion The next pair of preferences is known as Introversion and Extraversion. It's important that children. and often will be more organised and structured than those who prefer to extravert their perceptive function. Those who primarily extravert their decision-making function will tend to like decisions. as they can be prone to hurt and taking offence more easily than children whose preference is for Feeling. to exercise their Thinking skills in a situation where the emotions do not come into play. For an Extravert. It refers to whether we prefer to extravert primarily our decision-making function (Feeling or Thinking) or the perceptive function (Sensing or Intuition). but to understand that making mistakes can be an important part of learning. Judging or Perceiving. and an Introverted child who goes to school will probably need at least an hour by himself each day after school to unwind.opposite. All of us have both needs. For more information about these preferences in children. Thinking and Feeling. iNtuiting. Children whose preference is clearly for Feeling need a great deal of overt affection and open expression of unconditional love. and to find ways of expressing the preferences which we internalise.more conscious of other people's feelings than their own . and how they can express them without causing damage. 8 . but one will be the preference. This does significantly not tend to affect the way we learn. These preferences are related to whether we are basically more comfortable in the world of other people. learn what their emotions are. other people are needed frequently whereas an Introvert needs significant time alone. those who are most driven by their own Feelings. was not used by Jung but developed to make the system easier to understand. Judging or Perceiving The final scale used in Myers-Briggs theory.Sensing.

eHow Member Read more: How to Parent Different Personality Types | eHow. This is the outgoing."Time for bed!". Which pajamas do you want to wear tonight. this personality type senses a challenge."It's time for bed.comhttp://www. I'll-do-itmy-way child. If the answer is no.. You have given options.. Different personality types have different needs... For the rest of us. No need to fear. You're not going to believe how easy. What interests you. well. the princess ones or the red ones?" or "Time for bed.. all of which are acceptable 9 .com/how_5026112_parent-different-personality-types.bucking against your every command. Here are some tips on motivating different personality type children to do some everyday things that are often a struggle for's their personality type. I'll show you how simple it can be.. If you have differing personality types.. "Brush your teeth and get your jammies on. I'M NOT SLEEPY! I DON'T WANT TO GO TO BED!" etc.."..ehow. here are some useful tips for peacefully transitioning children from doing something they like to do to doing something they need to do. 1 The Headstrong Child I don't have to explain this personality type too much.. They're all like this at 2.. you may at times seem to be speaking different languages. but it is not a given that you understand your child.. When we as parents make all the decisions and just call out orders. Do you want to brush your teeth first or put on your pajamas first?" Now... keep-them-alive kind of decisions. I'm not talking the big. though. guess what. Your job is to channel that power for good.different motivations. But it doesn't have to be this way.. I mean really easy.. The most important thing to remember with this type of child is that they need to feel some measure of control in their own lives. They're not going to grow out of it.How to Parent Different Personality Types By Libby Anderson. your strong willed child has a say in the matter.. Sweetie. Difficulty: Easy Instructions 1. but when they haven't grown out of it by 4 or 5. outspoken."I DON'T WANT TO BRUSH MY TEETH! I'M NOT TIRED!" ad infinitum.let them make some of the decisions. No one knows your child as well as you do. Watch this. inconsequential ones... And what's the natural reaction when we are challenged? Your child comes out fighting."NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. etc. this kind of child grows up to be a great leader and can achieve amazing things in his or her life.. What influences you may not influence your child. They can be very powerful people. then you probably don't have children. What makes sense to you may not necessarily make sense to your child. I'm talking the little every day. There's actually a very simple solution to motivating your headstrong child. Are you ready for this? It's easy. you get the idea.html#ixzz1FtrTjaiQ Tell me if this sounds familiar.

This personality type also works better when you work alongside them. 2 The Happy." try "If you get your homework done now. and the child is now able to decide for herself what she will do. Or hurrying. we'll have time to watch a movie together later.-they don't do deadlines. These children don't like to rock the boat and they don't want you to either. Take an extra five or ten minutes to sit together on the 10 . Do you want carrot sticks or salad with your chicken?". talk a little more softly. but there are many situations where a little effort on your part equals cooperation on your child's part (which we all know equals everyone's happy). Solution? Allow more time for this personality type child in the morning. They don't like pressure..Don't issue commands in your drill sergeant voice. plus. they're good natured.on time. This type of child loves fun and is not a fan of anything routine. When correcting them. pull them up on your lap and discuss what they did wrong with your arms wrapped around them in a loving way. Bedtime? Don't want to stop playing.they're compliant. they just like the company. These children are not motivated by a need for control. It works for every situation imaginable. Chores? Not fun. Of course you can't do this with everything in life. I promise.. You probably have a hard time getting this child moving in the morning. They focus on the decision and forget to wail about the going to bed part." Instead of "Do your homework. He doesn't. Or being put on the spot. I need you to clean your room. you see where this is going. They're easy to parent in a lot of ways. so you tell him to hurry. 3 The Shy. 3. Do you want to wear the purple shirt or the yellow one?". It's not that they misbehave all the time. It's too much pressure. They're "people" people." Instead of "Clean your room. Your child isn't responding as quickly as you'd like."Time for dinner. you now have their cooperation. but they can be stubborn. but may need more support to actually finish the task. You're rushing around getting your child and yourself ready and out the door by a specific time. Your voice raises a few decibels." This type of child responds beautifully to positive statements... Sweet Child This is the child we all often wish we had. Since the decision was theirs.. They get easily distracted if left without help. They're not opposed to whatever it is you've asked them to do.. boring or that involves sitting in waiting rooms for more than 5 minutes. You get impatient. And that's a big problem with this personality type. they work best if you work alongside them. I thought maybe we could play a board game when you're done.. you're probably exhausted. I know you hit the snooze at least once this morning. Instead of "Get your shoes on. They're sweet. they're just hard to keep up with. Do you want me to help you or do you want to do it yourself?" You're dying to try it you as the parent. people oriented child. Get your child up earlier than usual tomorrow.. So how do you motivate this type child to do things they don't want to do? Make it fun.." try "I'll race you to see who can get their shoes on first. Instead. Don't.. So when trying to motivate this child. 2." try "Hey. too. Also of note with this type child. aren't you? It's like magic."Time to get dressed."Time to buckle up. they're calm and they almost never make that piercing shrieking sound that only dogs can hear. here are some things to remember. but more by their feelings and emotions. Active Child If you have an outgoing. Homework? Boring.

too. but in any situation with this personality type. And they don't like change. "Today after school we've got to go to the grocery.. We are constantly changing from one task to the next. What is a problem for one child may not be for another.. So you blend the techniques and tailor them to your child. if there is any change in the normal routine expected. but the difference when the time comes for cooperation is remarkable. She gets her backpack ready. They'll have lots of questions for you. What it comes down to is this. Have them help you make a list for the grocery.. with a blend of the other traits mixed in. Make a list of chores they'll be doing when it's time to clean the house so they'll know exactly what's expected of them.. put your child on the sofa with their favorite blankie and give them the extra time to wake up while you get yourself moving.".. Help them pack a bag for Grandma's. A really great parenting tip will only work on the child who understands the language in which it was spoken. they're not all the same. nobody wants that."You're spending the night at Grandma and Grandpa's tonight. so here's a tip on how to avoid ruining his life.. I take it a few steps further. going from one place or activity to another. Again. these kids like routine."I'll need everyone's help cleaning up the house later today. you eventually lose your patience.. a child will be primarily one of those types.. Unlike your happy. life is not fun. They're naturally curious and ask lots of questions.You've heard of the 5 minute warning? This child needs it more than all the other types put together. It seems silly. When your child is resisting that change at every turn. Usually. but will be so much more relaxed in dealing with the change.I call it "the five minute warning on steroids.. It's crazy to think we can parent them all the same. 4.. at the beginning of each day.. Just those little preparations make her feel calmer-. And if you have a set routine for bedtime that you follow every night faithfully. They love to know what's going on and they want to be prepared. You probably don't have to tell this child to do their homework. Analytical Child These kids are reserved and able to focus on tasks easily.more together. but you'll be surprised att 5.". I inform my child with this personality type. 5 You may be saying. fun loving child. 4 The Reserved. start yelling and then feel like a bad parent because you're sure your child will have horrible memories of his childhood and blame you for his repressed anger issues when he's 42." Of course they don't. it takes planning ahead on my part (which doesn't come naturally for me!). So learn your child's language! Take the effort 11 . They need to ease into their day a little more slowly than the rest of us... And not just in this situation.".or whatever the change may be.sofa. We all have a unique blend of characteristics that make up our personalities. "But my child doesn't fit exactly into any one of these groups. and has it waiting by the door. Your patience will reduce everybody's anxiety level and help your day to start out on a positive note. And she's more cooperative the next morning because she knows exactly what she's wearing and that her homework is done and by the door.. Again. Well. or if you don't have time for that. not to mention your day. active. We go so far as to having our daughter put her clothes out for the next day before she goes to bed." Here's how it works. that probably isn't a big problem for you either. though. The biggest difficulty parents encounter with this type child is that life is change. parent each of your children as the unique individuals that they are. It will be well worth your effort when you see your happy. Read more: How to Parent Different Personality Types | eHow.comhttp://www.html#ixzz1FtrYop8u 12 . cooperative child (not to mention the savings in therapy bills later).com/how_5026112_parent-different-personalitytypes.

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