As parents we know children have different personalities. And we know healthy child development is key. So I find it an exciting prospect that understanding the nature of our child allows us to parent them in a more effective manner.
In honor of being a better parent, here is a review of my pick for Book of the Month, March 2015:
Nurture by Nature by Tieger and Tieger
Rating: 5/5 Stars ♦♦♦♦♦
Paul D. Tieger & Barbara Barron-Tieger
Understand Your Child’s Personality Type – And Become a Better Parent
New York: Hachette Book Group, 1997
287 pp. $19.99 ($15.80 or less on Amazon)
I found this book extremely comprehensive and very readable. It is designed so a parent can determine the overall nature of their child, read their profile, and quickly implement individualized parenting strategies for fast, and lasting results.
The authors are parents themselves, internationally recognized in the arena of personality type. They’ve written multiple books on applying personality type to successfully communicate with co-workers, significant others, and children. A few of their other books include The Art of SpeedReading People, Just Your Type, and Do What You Are. The coauthors propose in Nurture by Nature that ~
“many of the common conflicts between parent and child are very frequently the result of a clash of different personality types…[in reading this book] you will come to know your child in a deeper and clearer way…you will learn that adapting even slightly to your child’s personality type can help you better manage conflict and communicate a strong message of acceptance and unconditional love that will last a lifetime.” (pg.11)
The book is sectioned into two parts.
- Part 1 is learning the basic principles of personality type through descriptions, examples, case studies and check-lists.
- Part 2 is comprised of in-depth chaptersforeach of the 16 personality types. It describes children of each type in 3 stages of development:
- birth to age 4
Then each chapter ends with guidelines, bulleted recaps of what parenting methods work for each personality type.
I appreciated the that each personality type is well documented with real-life examples while at the same time, emphasizing that all people are unique. You as a parent don’t have to feel like the authors are attempting to pigeon hole people. At the same time, while your child may not reflect all traits or characteristics described, you can feel confident that there will be enough traits exhibited to give you some clear insight into even your preschool child’s behavior.
I especially appreciated that it was presented in a simple, straightforward manner. You don’t have to read through pages and pages of material to gain some insights. You can dive into the material that is pertinent to your child’s age. The recaps at the end of each chapter are a wonderful “cheat sheet” if you will, for the times you need a quick refresher.
This book initially grabbed my attention, because I was familiar with Type Testing in the workforce. I experienced firsthand the benefit of communicating with people according to what drives them. I wanted to apply the same principles with my children, to adapt my parenting style to their type and communicate better. I didn’t want to wait till my little ones were teenagers, then attempt to “understand” them. I wanted to do my best to support my sensing child and my intuitive child equally. This book empowers me to do just that.
I’d caution of course not to be so anxious to use Personality Type analysis on your child that you determine an inaccurate type. Many children will exhibit certain character traits by age 2 that suggest they are a particular personality; however, some children will be more vague until school age.
For instance, my oldest daughter was extremely hard to understand from infancy. Her cues for hunger, sleep, boredom etc. were very unclear. By age 2 though her personality emerged crystal clear. I’ve gone through each personality type about every 6 months since then, and now at age 5 she remains solid in that personality as an ENFJ.
On the other hand, my youngest daughter was extremely easy to understand even in the womb. I knew what she needed from the moment she was born. Her personality type though has only begun to emerge at age 3. Certain facets of her personality are self-evident. I know she’s a strong sensor. Beyond that, I think she’s an ESFJ, but I’m still not convinced that I know her personality type, and I may not for a couple more years.
Even limited information can help you parent better, to empathize. You can turn a challenge into an asset. You can turn a foible into a gift. Taking the time to understand your child is a pronouncement of love!
Here’s Tieger & Tieger’s more popular book on Personality Typing:
P.S. Tell me, have you read Nurture by Nature? Did you enjoy it?
P.S.S. Have you read any other Personality Type book?
*This post contains affiliate links