It’s funny that as a full-time, around-the-clock parent, I don’t read many parenting books. I dunno, maybe it’s because I’m too busy living it than making time to read about it. But after getting this parenting book as a gift, I was intrigued enough to crack the spine.
We’ve all marveled at how profoundly different each one of our children is; how they come to us with their own uniquely engineered personalities.
In “The Child Whisperer,” author Carol Tuttle acknowledges this fact and calls it an “energy profile your child was born with.” As a mom of four totally different kiddos, I can go along with that. Then Tuttle goes further to boldly claim that kids fall into four basic categories.
My initial instinct was to scream, “ONLY FOUR TYPES…ARE YOU CRAZY? YOU CAN’T STUFF A PERSON INTO ONE NEAT LITTLE BOX!” And still, after reading, I passionately oppose the idea that we all fall into a “type” or category. The human essence is just too beautifully complex for that. But Tuttle’s four types of energy profiles are intriguing enough to consider. Here are four types of children (and adults)—see if they carry any stock for your family.
The 4 Different Types of Children
Although children can exhibit all four types of personality traits, one is usually more dominant.
Type 1: The Fun-Loving Child
The fun-loving child is bubbly, bright, and social. They are full of ideas and are playful and animated. Sometimes their energy can be seen as a fault when they don’t want to sit still or when they interrupt you to share their ideas. But parents who recognize their pizzazz as a gift and not a flaw can help them develop into creative, happy adults.
The fun-loving child’s mantra is: I have a new idea and we can do it!
Some clues that you might have a fun-loving child:
- They are curious and love to touch and explore.
- They love to make noise, laugh, and play.
- Eager to please others–likes when others are happy and especially needs you to be happy.
- May have many friends or change friends often.
The best way to connect with a fun-loving child:
- Praise their good ideas and encourage them to share those ideas with others.
- Learn to be okay when they start one thing and then change their minds. They are exploring what works for them.
- Have fun with them! Get down on their level, toss a ball around with them, or join in their creative play.
- Be grateful for the positive energy they bring to the family.
- Give them the freedom to explore and test out their creativity and ideas.
Type 2: The Sensitive Child
The sensitive child has a naturally calm and easy-going personality. They are often called the “peacemaker” of the family because they don’t like conflict. The type 2 child is tender with emotions very close to the surface. They are generally quieter and are often asked to “talk louder” or “hurry up.” They do things on their own time.
A parent may get frustrated when they ask their type 2 child to clean his room and come back 15 minutes later to find it still not done. When you recognize your child’s innate “sensitive” personality, it helps you understand why they do the things they do.
The type 2 child’s mantra is: I will watch, observe, and then make a plan.
Some clues you might have a sensitive child:
- They have built-in calm demeanor.
- They like to plan and that planning can sometimes take a long time.
- Type two children are worriers; they like to know what to expect in every situation so they can prepare for it.
- Contention in the house greatly upsets them.
The best way to connect with a sensitive child:
- Make them feel safe. Let them know you are there for them in any given situation.
- Fill them in on the details. If you’re going into an unfamiliar situation, prepare them beforehand with what to expect.
- Provide a peaceful place for them. Obviously, your house can’t be peaceful all the time, but have a room your sensitive child can go in when things get crazy.
- Don’t push them to be more outgoing. They will try things at their own pace.
Type 3: The Determined Child
Oh boy, you know when you have a determined child on your hands because the type 3 child is the most noticeable. The determined child is naturally more physical, active, and…stubborn. He or she was born with a drive to get things done, usually in their own specific way. Type 3s are usually told to “calm down” or “stop being so demanding.”
The determined child’s mantra is: Let’s get results!
Some clues you might have a determined child:
- They have a strong will.
- They will pursue several big goals at once.
- Determined types are naturally active and adventurous—they are ready to go, do, and explore!
- Want to try leadership positions in school, home, or work.
- Self-motivated rather than motivated by others.
- Can be loud, forceful, or straight to the point (also seen as bluntly honest.)
The best way to connect with a determined child:
- Try not to let your stubborn personality butt heads with their stubborn personality.
- Instead of struggling to reign them in, try giving a determined child a bit more freedom to discover for herself.
- Cheer them on in their goals!
- Encourage their confidence and passion.
- Instead of questioning, “Do you think that’s a good idea?” try offering: “I’m excited for you and I’m here to help! But have you ever thought about…”
Type 4: The Serious Child
A more seriously inclined child is logical, independent, and focused. People often marvel at how “mature they are for their age.” They are the authority on many matters and relish in perfection.
A serious child’s mantra is: Let’s see what this is, let’s analyze it, and I know a way to make it better.
Some clues you might have a serious child:
- They are not as light and playful as other children.
- They can be pretty rigid and inflexible when it comes to doing things.
- He or she is an innate perfectionist.
- Their ideas for ways to make something better often come across as criticism.
- They like to arrange items (toy cars, crayons, etc.) in a specific row.
The best way to connect with a serious child:
- Try relating to them mentally before emotionally. Understand what they are thinking rather than feeling.
- Serious children crave adult respect; let them know you respect their thoughts and opinions.
- When communicating, speak in logical terms that they will understand. Some kids respond to: “It would make me so happy if you cleaned your room..” but a serious kid will respond better to: “I need you to clean your room because it poses a danger of me tripping or twisting an ankle.
- Ask for their opinions and solutions often.
So, what do you think? Are there only four types of kids and do any of your children fit these molds? I’m pretty sure I was a determined child and still am a determined adult. I’ll have to have a good chat with my parents on this one. Either way, it’s interesting to think about, isn’t it?
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