As a human resource professional working in various organizations over 13 years, I have observed a variety of personality differences amongst my colleagues & organization leaders. In designing different training programs, I took into account how an individual personality type get influenced by learning & working style, and I have found that there can be many variations.
Same learning I applied in my Parenting coaching. I have found that parents miss out to understand their own personality and in turn their child’s way of learning and building their personality.
In my child development fun classes, I created one game and many students looked forward to playing when they join the class. However, I noticed that some children found it to be difficult as it made them stressful and anxious.
The game involves speed and accuracy and it is an exciting game for those students who enjoy the thrill of competition. On the other hand, this game does not motivate students who are laid back and are less concerned with time constraints and winning.
The same game with the same rules, asking the same questions, under the same time restrictions can provoke a vastly different responses for children with different personality types. Let’s understand why this might be.
Parenting Style and Child’s Personality Type
It is observed that child is surrounded by different family members, has different childhood experiences and external environment factors which can have a significant impact on a child’s personality development. This in turn has a direct effect on a child’s self-concept (perception of him/herself).
Today, we find that many children are engrossed in social media, smartphones and various online activities. Parents are anxious as there is an increasing number of children taking up activities which are socially not acceptable. Most of the online activities often propagate acts of bullying, which result in isolation, loneliness and a lack of personal connection and sense of community.
Why am I telling all of this? Because it is a reality for today’s young growing kids. Parents are overwhelmed and often unsure of what to say, when to say it and how to say it with their kids.
As parents, we wish to have a long-lasting, positive impact to help and guide our children to best of our abilities. But parenting is challenging, especially these days when both parents are working. Getting it “right” with our children isn’t always easy.
We must be aware that paying too little attention or being overprotective may have different impacts on different children, based on our child’s personality type and unique attributes.
So what can we do to achieve such positive outcomes with our children, and where do we begin?
Discover Your Child’s Personality
Personality development emerges through a complex interaction between cognitive, biological, emotional, spiritual and social factors. These attributes determine a child’s view of him/herself and the social world around.
We know that two children raised by the same parents in the same environment can have very different perceptions of their childhood experiences. This can be attributed to the fact that each child has a set of unique “inherent behavior traits.”
Depending on these unique traits, children stimulate different responses from the same environment. For instance, children who are more of what you would call a Type A personality are characterized by being highly intense and competitive, with a need to win and be the best. These children often require structure and would benefit from healthy competitive outlets. They are the students who do well with the game I mentioned at the beginning of this article.
On the other hand, children with a Type B personality are often characterized as easy-going, mild-mannered and flexible, and they often participate in games for fun, rather than to win. These children might prefer opportunities for creative activities over competition and might excel in group settings, rather than competitive individual ones.
What is Personality Types?
The Personality Type system was originally developed by Swiss psychotherapist and psychiatrist Carl Jung and was later expanded by the American mother-daughter team of Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, who extensively studied Jung’s work and developed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
This theory defined sixteen possible psychological types based on four opposite pairs:
1. Extraversion(E) vs. Introversion(I) (two opposing ways that show how people are interested in the world around them)
2. Sensing(S) vs. Intuition(N) (two opposing ways that show how people take in information about the world)
3. Thinking(T) vs. Feeling(F) (two opposing ways that show how people evaluate information and view the world)
4. Judgment(J) vs. Perception(P) (how people organize/plan/structure the world around them)
According to the MBTI, people “truly” possess either one or the other component in each of the four different categories. They can possess the opposing component as well, but the difference lies in the natural, innate preference for one trait from birth. When someone also possesses the opposing component, this is a trait they have acquired and learned over a period of time. Being a Certified MBTI practitioner, I have observed this preferences distinctly in my family and people I work with during day to day interactions.
The way we communicate is the foundation of relationship between child and parent.
Word chosen by parents to communicate with child shapes child’s perception and action. For example, how we, as parents, speak to our children about everything ie. Eating, dressing, studying etc. can have a profound impact on their development.
As a parent what is more important to you? Where do you focus?
Is it “intellect and talent” of your children over the “effort and overall process”?
This can enable children to experiment new things or to develop fear of failure and not open to explore challenges, accompanied by an unwillingness and lack of motivation to learn new things.
Each one of us has specific things that can trigger us when we are in a bad mood.
The Myers Briggs (MBTI) system can be, nonetheless, a good predictor of how your child will use their inborn traits to view the world, deal with different life experiences and react to various situations. Recognizing these natural preferences in your children, early on, will help provide you with great insight into their thoughts.
Young children may be small, but their personalities are already manifesting. Your child’s unique personality profile typically starts to show up by 2 or 3 years old, and becomes evident by 5 to7 years old. By the time they are tweens and teens, you are likely to see distinct personality patterns that can help you predict their reactions to different situations and work out your parenting style to best match your child’s needs.
Parent’s personality has a big impact on parent-child relationships. As a Parent, are you more Responding or Demanding?
Responding involves providing love, warmth and support, and fostering a sense of individuality in your child.
Demanding involves the type of discipline that is used and the demands or expectations for responsible behavior.
There is a close connection between your own personality type and how you parent your children?