Today’s post comes from the Personality Dimensions® archives, but is still as relevant as ever. While the book the author mentions, Nurture by Nautre is no longer available, it was in part, the inspiration for Great Parenting Skills for Navigating Your Kid’s Personality. This article was first published in the Summer 2005 edition of Dimensionally Speaking.
My two daughters, ages 11 and 13, play cards on the floor. I hear their laughing and listen with a half an ear to their discussion. Suddenly the youngest collapses on the floor in a fit of giggles. “Mom” she says, “You won’t believe it but Marloes is sad when she loses and even sadder for me when she wins! She is so blue!”
I laugh as well but think to myself that it could have been so different if they didn’t know anything about their respective personality types. This scene and many like them, would not have been possible if I had not entered the world of personality types eight years ago. I became interested after conversations with Denise Hughes and soon took my training with Career/LifeSkills Resources. At that time I also bought what I consider my motherhood bible – Nurture by Nature. I have been a single mother since my youngest daughter was one year old. I think that not having a partner to discuss child raising problems with made this book all the more important to me. It was very easy to identify my Authentic Blue and my Inquiring Green daughters. As the girls grew I would often explain to them that the fights they were having with each other were not always personal. I explained that they each had very different needs and ways of looking at life. This always seemed to take the sting out of any argument they were having at the time. Over the years this has borne its own fruits and I often hear such comments as ‘I forgot to be clear in what I wanted and I know your green needs clear instructions.’ And ‘It means a lot to me that you thought to buy me this card, seeing how you are green and all.’
I have now gone on to train in Personality Dimensions® and it has opened yet more possibilities for discussion. The whole area of introversion and extroversion had helped explain yet more sides of their natures. Of course they are going to be much more open if they realize their feelings are validated and accepted. I know this is when it will be important as my oldest approaches her teen years with a more solid knowledge of who she is. She still gets her Authentic Blue feelings hurt but she can rebound with amazing resilience from these episodes. She is also more easily forgiving of the other party with ‘They didn’t know I was Blue, Mom and couldn’t know that would hurt my feelings.’
My Inquiring Green daughter is way more self-correcting than all the nagging in the world could have accomplished. She realizes quite well what her needs are but also what is unrealistic to expect from her teachers and friends.
I want to really impress upon parents that this tool that we use for workshops and in our relationships with colleagues and friends is also a very strong tool for our families. It does give me a very warm feeling when I hear them talking out a lot of their conflicts with less emotion and more understanding of what makes each of them tick . I am surprised how much understanding children have of these concepts from a relatively young age. They took the tool out my hand and have run with it.
By: Wendy Sewell, Personality Dimensions® Level I Trainer.