Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Parenting by Personality: Part I

According to an article in the June/July 2010 issue of Working Mother magazine, raising a child who's nothing like you can feel like a voyage to an alternate universe. "Every child is born with a particular temperament, which doesn't change, only evolves," explains child development specialist Bestsy Brown Braun, author of You're Not the Boss of Me. Below is 1 of 6 "dynamic duos" opposing parent-child personalities that clash more than mesh. The experts sort through their challenges and confusion, so you can discover ways to help your own child thrive.

SpongeBob vs. Zen Master - Your child is high-spirited; you're laid back. You should understand that he/she doesn't bounce around and beg for attention just to bother you, but how you guide and respond to children can influence their personalities.

What to do:
1. Try not to quash your child's intense feelings. Telling them to "calm down" may make them feel frustrated and rejected. Try saying, "I see how upset your are; that situation made you really anger," suggest Jenn Berman, PsyD, a Los Angeles based family therapist.

2. Give your child a schedule and set limits. Parents who are laid-back may not provide enough structure for a child who is more Type A.

3. Think beyond your own personality to accommodate your child's. According to Roni Cohen-Sandler, PhD., schedule time for your child to have active, vigorous and ideally, outdoor play to blow off steam and energy, and realize you may have to speed up sometimes.

4. Take care of yourself. Carve out a little down time for yourself. Consider mom-kid yoga sessions or deep-breathing exercises to find some calm for both of you.


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