Decoding Your Child

Puzzled little girl princess

Often, it holds true that in relationships, opposites attract.  In my own marriage, my husband is a confident and strong leader who relies on logic to make his decisions in life and in the business world.  I generally shun leadership roles and live my life based almost solely on emotions.  We are an excellent balance to each other.

What happens when you combine these opposite personalities in creating offspring?  You get a blend of each of parent, sometimes creating a completely stand-alone personality in one or more of your children.  With my oldest son, he is a clear, carbon-copy of my husband in looks and in personality making him quite easy to understand.  My youngest, is combination of both of us with a few random traits thrown in making his personality a little more mysterious yet equally wonderful.

Why is it important to think about this?  If you are having a hard time understanding why your child is acting the way they do, learning more about their individual temperament may be the key.

For instance, during this very busy and very social time of year, you may have a child that is easily overwhelmed or becomes withdrawn.   If you tend to be more outgoing and thrive on an ever-expanding social calendar, it is helpful to learn why the opposite may be true for your child as well as get them better prepared to face the world.   Susan Cain is the author of the book Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talkingand is a well-respected expert on the subject of introversion.  In a blog entry on her website, she listed helpful strategies when dealing with an introverted child.

Get to social events, like birthday parties, early.  Let your child feel as if others are joining him in a space that he “owns,” rather than having to break into a preexisting group.  Similarly, if he’s nervous before school starts, bring him to see his classroom, meet his teacher, figure out where the bathroom is, and so on.”

-Tip #7 from Susan Cain’s Ten Tips for Parenting an Introverted Child

Educating yourself  about your child’s specific personality is a great place to start.   Whenever you need extra support to help you decipher the mysteries of your child’s behavior, contact Riverview Counseling Services.  Our team of experts can help you with a wide range of parenting challenges and give you the knowledge and confidence to parent your wonderfully unique child.  If you have further questions or are interested in scheduling an appointment, please contact Cheryl Denz at 630/587-3777 x103.

Written by Diana DeVaul, MSW and Parent, June 9th, 2011