After attending many parenting meetings at church, reading a gaggle (Mindee- what's up!) of books, listening to friends with older kids, etc. I have picked up on a central theme in Christian parenting: "learn how God has bent your child".
So first I prayed and prayed for the Lord to give us His wisdom in how He made our child so we will train her up in the ways He would have her be. And honestly, I hadn't heard back... Until this past week when I attended Pam Thompson's Free to be a Joyful Mother meeting.
Through Bible studies/small group settings I have found there are two great standards in classifying people's personalities and how they give and receive love. Now- wait a minute don't get feisty with me about making generalizations or boxing people up. This is helpful! Of course, there are exceptions to the rule and people can be more than one thing- a mix of traits and love styles.
Personalities-- Otter, Lion, Beaver, Golden Retriever.
a great book: The Treasure Tree by John Trent
I wrote in a question to Pam Thompson (see blog list for Second Baptist Women's Ministry for all Pam Thompson posts- she is incredible!) of course she read it aloud when I was home with bronchitis child, it read:
"How do you know what type of personality your child has? How can you tell what is the age and what is the personality?"
I missed the answer, but she did recommend a book and that was The Treasure Tree.
So I Kindled it (thanks Lezlie!!) and Leelah and I have been reading a chapter a day. She LOVES it. I LOVE it too, because I have learned I am raising a Lion.
Pam says it's key to find out how your child works to tailor your consequences and choices to your child's personality. Thus, being able to give them rewards and consequences based on what they like or don't like to do.
OTTERS: are sanguine type people. They go for laughs and attention and fun over everything. Joyful and hopeful. This is me. Sometimes a flibberdigibit albeit. Take away fun from these folks and you have your consequence! (I'm recapping heavily here you need to check out the Second Baptist Women's blog for the whole enchilada).
LIONS: are the boss! Choleric-spelling? In control. Do things with haste and impatient at times. Great leaders! My sweet daughter Leelah is TOTALLY a lion. I was watching her color today and she just slaps on the crayon and narrates the coloring she's doing and totally breezes through it. Doesn't take the time to color in the lines, just "WHAT'S NEXT MAMA!?" Phew. For these guys you are more likely to battle over control. But Pam gave us great verbage for them, "I love you too much to argue with you."
BEAVERS: are the perfectionists! Everything must be done right. Careful checkers. Observative. Great with numbers. Methodical. My husband, the mechanical engineer (with otter tendencies). I'm so over writing this already- do you know how hard this is for me, an otter!?
GOLDEN RETRIEVERS: are the caregivers, loyal hearts. Peace loving. Calm. Phlegmatic- why stand when you can sit? The chilled folks. Don't rock the boaters. Compliants.
Isn't this interesting if nothing else? I love it!
So the lovestyles...
A Great book I buy for all newlyweds: The Five Languages of Love by Gary Chapman.
My marriage was totally altered for the better upon studying these! Hope John doesn't mind me sharing that!
The Gifts person: (my Leelah I just realized) I was at a store and I noticed this for you so I bought it. Sound familiar? People that are constantly giving gifts/treasures/things/drawings to show others love and they in turn like to get gifts. With children: they are very territorial of their belongings (my child). Pam said her daughter would sit on her toybox when kids came over! Leelah wears and holds her fave things and then freaks when people touch stuff. What an epiphany it has been to learn this about my child!
The Physical Toucher: (Leelah's besty) Leelah has a friend and I have a couple too, whenever they get around you for the first time- a hug is required. A hug is also required upon leaving. They are huggers. It's great. Not for me so much. But great! I always make sure I know who a touch person is so I can give them hugs- girls- guys will only get CHRISTIAN SIDE HUGS from me!
The Words of Affirmation Person: ME ME MEEMEMEMEMEMEMEAHAHHAHAHAH.
I. Love. Words. Feed on them. These people must be told verbally or written that they are loved every day or they will emotionally shrivel up and die. It's true. These people love to give you pep talks all the time. Even when you didn't ask for one. Words are huge for them.
The Quality Time Person: I just want to spend some time with you. This person requires one on one time. Not staring at a TV, but with the focus on them doing an activity or just hanging out. Like going to a park, museum, talking, having coffee, come play with me mommy!, etc. I think all kids are this. I'm a little bit of this too.
yes you can be more than one!
The Acts of Service Person:this person has a list of things they need to get done running through their heads at all times. They have told you their list and you probably didn't catch it. If you ask them for their list of things they need you to do for them or to help out with you have won the way into their heart!!! (Husband is this to a Tee). They show love to you by doing the dishes, taking out the trash, cleaning your car, folding your clothes, running an errand for you, etc. They are pretty simple to please! Gotta love it! For kids it might be, make me a special snack or make me a craft or something.
Most of this I learned from our church's Marriage Prep course. Which my hubby and I took after being married for 4 years. It was so helpful!!!
I hope this info was helpful to you as it has been to me.