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Children's Personality Types, Part 1

December 13, 2013
Children's Personality Types

Each of my children has a unique personality. Gracie, my nine-year-old and firstborn daughter, is strong, confident, and sure of herself. She is a go-to-girl type. She has an unwavering faith in what she believes. She is quick to lead others. With this personality comes a lack of patience for others and a lack of compassion, and a measure of bossiness. Recognizing her strengths and weakness when she was just a baby, I started praying that she would have wisdom and grace and love for others. I worked all the time teaching her to serve others. When she was a baby I would help her help Daddy. I would praise her for helping me, her daddy, and others, and she loved it. Today she is a servant to others without thought of herself—most of the time. Come on, she is only nine! 🙂 I have to work on her daily, reminding her to be considerate.

One day after church I had a great opportunity to show her what lack of consideration to others looks like. Gracie came home from church that Sunday and told me, “I was playing with the older girls and then their ‘boss’ came and made them go away, so I could not play with them anymore.” I did not have any idea who this “boss” could be, so I asked her about it. She explained to me that it was their friend, but that this particular friend made them do whatever she demanded, even if the girls did not want to. Gracie said, “That girl is not nice, just bossy!” I knew right away this was my chance to teach Gracie. I know this other girl, and yes, she is bossy and not nice all the time. She, like my daughter, is a go-to girl. I understand it is important that I teach Gracie to be considerate of others while she is still young. I asked her, “So she is controlling and bossy. Do you know someone like that?” She stopped talking and very sheepishly said, “Me.”

Today as we were talking about this article, I asked her what she thought and she said, “Good thing you are teaching me, for if you do not teach me to be a good girl, I will not be a good mom, and then my children will not be good moms and dads. And then it will just keep on going.” Ah, the wisdom of a child.

Knowing the weaknesses of her type has made a big difference in how I train her, homeschool her, and guide her.

— Shalom

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4 comments on “Children's Personality Types, Part 1”

  1. I am so glad that you wrote about personality types because I was just thinking about this the other day with my children. I have three right now and they couldn't be more different! My oldest girl is like yours but has been flexible since she was a baby. lol. And my boy is a whiny and has issues with things being just a certain way... since he was a baby. I mean, he would have to have his milk just a certain temperature or else he would spit it out, he would have to have his blanket curled up just a certain way under his arm before he would drink from the bottle, he can't wear clothing that rubs him a certain way or else it drives him nuts, and when he wakes up from naps he needs time to adjust to the world or else he just cries and can't handle things. At first I met this with much opposition because it seemed crazy... but I realized it was making things worse. I think that outside stimulation really effects him differently than it did my daughter and that he needed gentle encouragement that "no... I understand you are upset that isn't going your way, but this is how we handle it and express it." He is not aggressive towards others or defiant... he just overloads when something isn't particular to his senses. At the age of three I realized that he just needed pro-active cuddling on my part and for me to minimize things in his environment that I knew he struggled with. He is almost four and does MUCH better. He is such a happy boy (that whines still), but I encourage him to talk with a smile on his face and when he smiles I say, "Oh boy! I love that face!" and he smiles bigger. An example of something I had to be proactive about to help him is after-nap routine. He needs about 30 minutes to just relax and be left alone. My daughter misses him after his nap so she is all in his face talking and ready to play. They seemed to always fight when he woke up because he would cover his ears when she talked and would tell her to go away. She would get upset with him at this and feelings would be hurt. So.... I made a schedule where I would engage my daughter in some sort of learning activity right when he woke up from his nap to keep her engaged and give him time to get ready to play with his favorite friend. That made such a HUGE difference. All he needed was a little space for a few minutes and he was fine. So that was a long way of saying.... it is important to take time to know your child and the root of their behaviors (without making excuses for them). I knew the root was not that he wanted to make his sister upset. And I knew that my daughter was not trying to bother him.

  2. This is my nine year old girl. It is especially hard since she is an only. But she is very caring and thinks about others. But bossy is there. LOL