We are all thinking about January 1st and New Year’s Day. But did you know that tucked right behind New Year’s Day, on January 2nd, is World Introvert Day? Now, of course, we’re not all introverts, but this got me thinking about personality types in general. We each see the world through our own personality lenses. So as parents, it’s pretty important to know our children’s personality types. Knowing your child’s personality type helps you to know how they interpret the world around them. And when we understand where our children are coming from, it helps us to be better parents.
So do you know your child’s personality type? There are so many ways for us to find out. There are several personality assessments and systems available to us. Some of the major personality assessments are the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and the popular Enneagram. Or there are the more basic, but still relevant personality types offered by Hippocrates centuries ago.
Some help from Hippocrates
Even if you know your child really well, you still might like some help in figuring out your child’s personality type. Hippocrates’ basic personality types could help you. He presents four types:
Choleric: strong-willed, fearless, and outspoken
Sanguine: friendly, imaginative, and playful
Melancholic: (not sad!) deep thinking, respectful, and orderly
Phlegmatic: flexible, kind, and attentive
It’s typical for two of these types to be more dominant in each of us. Usually one type will be the obvious personality type. The other type will have the second highest score.
Here’s a funny story about this idea of what’s typical and usual. In college, I took a class on administering these personality assessments. So we each had to take every personality assessment and then discuss and evaluate our results. We would often sit in groups according to our results. That way we could see how the results looked throughout the class. I scored a perfect 50/50 between two of Hippocrates’ personality types, and sat all by myself as an example of the unusual results.
So, if your child fully fits into two of these types, it’s OK. Some of us don’t follow the typical and usual results.
Many personality assessments are free to take, and some of them have versions for children. So look around and see which of them would be a good option for your family.
Communicating with different personalities
Once you figure out what your child’s basic personality type is, you’ll be more equipped to communicate in a way that is helpful for him. When your child is upset by something, you’ll understand better and know how to help her interpret the situation. And so, knowing your child’s personality type can really make a big difference in your parenting. If your phlegmatic child is upset because another child was being bullied, you might be tempted to tell him that it’s not his problem and to stop being so upset. But knowing that he is literally built to care deeply for others will help you to process his hurt with him.
Signing Time Tools
Signing helps kids to express themselves more easily, especially young children who aren’t very verbal yet, or children with language development issues, or children who are in high pressure situations. Sometimes it feels safer to sign to those you need to communicate with. Or it’s easier to choose a sign than to come up with the right words. And again, for the youngest children, signing helps them to communicate before they are able to use words. So check out the Feelings Section in our Signing Time Dictionary. And while you’re there, look over the other sections and categories available. The Signing Time Dictionary has tons of signs you can learn with your children.
And then there are our My Signing Time shows.
If you don’t have a My Signing Time digital subscription, look through our free video section to see if a digital subscription would be a good fit for your family. And remember, you can try out a My Signing Time digital subscription with a 14-day free trial right here!