This is a guest post from Eleanor Formaggio from Parent with Potential in response to this question: How do you raise a child according to their personality?
Wow, what a great question, and to put this in words was incredibly difficult. I do know raising my children according to personality has made parenting more enjoyable and rewarding. Parenting is more enjoyable because I parent according to their personality — which means less time wasted doing things that don’t work, and more rewarding because I can be creative in my parenting. My philosophy is when a child’s emotional needs are met, they feel loved unconditionally so are less concerned about being disciplined or rewarded differently.
How do I raise my children according to their personality? It’s easier to start young, but never to late to start. That’s why I developed The Preschooler Personality Rating Scale that can be used from age two. Most personality traits in young children are quite easy to see in the way they speak, words they use and how they behave. These behaviours are identified and, rather than boxing a child in, allows the parent to put behaviour in context.
Children will go through a few personality changes and may start to develop more strongly in certain areas. Personality is not set in stone and is constantly being refined by our environment, expectations of others and consequence.
“My children, who have been raised according to their personality, are developing a strong sense of who they are and that is based on the acceptance and acknowledgement they have received.” -Eleanor Formaggio
It comes down to being able to identify who a child is: their traits and behaviour. This gives an insight into their perception of the world, their thinking and the motivations behind their behaviour. As a parent this knowledge is invaluable and I have seen many a parent nod and looked shocked when I describe their child, simply by the behaviour they have told me.
Finally, the easiest way to explain how I parent according to personality is to tell you what I’ve learnt from my own experiences.
* I don’t treat my children the same. They are individuals and I respect each child for their talents, interests, abilities, strengths and weaknesses.
* I understand my children respond differently to the consequences I choose for them, so sometimes I adapt my consequence to a more appropriate and effective one for each child.
* I develop myself by adapting to my children’s needs. They are the child and I am the parent; for example, I am not a naturally “touchy feely” person, so I initiate and institute “cuddle” days because that is what my child needs.
* I need to model the behaviour or alternative trait I expect to see in my children because they don’t know any other way.
* I need to help my children develop skills they don’t have, and this is not a negative, it’s an opportunity to help them understand who they are and what they can achieve.
Eleanor Formaggio developed The Preschooler Personality™ Kit in 2005 and uses personality knowledge to parent her own children ages 8, 7 and 2. Eleanor is the founder of Parent with Potential which specialises in child behaviour and personality. For personality products for parents visit Parent with Potential.
Note from Kelly: Parenting by personality is like saying this to a child: I love you for who you are and see all you can be. I was raised this way by my own parents and it made me feel loved, secure and special.