Let us answer that by quoting what a dad from one of our Temperament classes wrote to us: He said:
“I would encourage any and every parent to dive deep into temperaments to better understand their child’s sin nature. Whether your children are 4 or 14 or 24, this class provides a keen insight as to the make-up of your children, in that they are beautifully and wonderfully made in the image of God. In addition, it can assist in providing the “why” that so many parents ask such as “Why does my child behave this way?” or “Why does my child keep doing the same thing again and again?”
– Dad in TX
Knowing your kids’ temperaments gives you perspective and insight into what they are thinking and why they respond to you in the way they do. It helps you learn how to best parent them. Your child with the Cholerictemperament for example is going to express most emotions in anger. You need to be prepared for that and know how you are going to handle it before you talk to them about something you know they aren’t going to like. Your child with the Sanguine temperament appears to be listening to you but the phrase “in one ear and out the other” came about because of those with this temperament. Your child can walk away and completely forget what you said by the time he gets to the next room in the house.
Your child with the Phlegmatic temperament will listen to you but gives one word responses. Having a conversation with him/her is a frustration. We learned to ask lots of questions that one word answers would tell us what we wanted to know. Your child with the Melancholy temperament’s actions are determined by wat he is feeling in that moment. We asked our Melancholy daughter how she was feeling about what we wanted to talk with her about before we could get to the facts of the situation. Dealing with her feelings always had to come first.
How does knowing our children’s temperaments help us to communicate with them better? This is from another dad who took our class on Temperaments titled “How Temperaments Impact You, Your Spouse & Your Kids”:
“I felt like I was speaking a different language to my son whom I love, as he just wasn’t hearing what I was trying to say to him. It’s like I was speaking German and he was hearing me in French. Once I figured this out by understanding the difference in our temperaments and the way he was hearing me and the way I was trying to speak to him, it totally changed our relationship because I wasn’t so frustrated with him, and he felt loved by me, and could hear what I was saying.” -Dad in CA
How does knowing our children’s temperaments help us in training their character? Knowing the strengths and weaknesses that make up each of their temperaments gives you specifics to work on. We had one hour scheduled with each child every week during which we worked on one character virtue, both positive and negative sides of it. We stuck to one a month as we wanted them to understand this virtue and how it affected them when they used it wisely or unwisely. Our kids kept a journal of this time and consider them treasured possessions. We had them grade themselves every week on the virtues we had already worked on and if they got a “C” or below they had to come up with a way they were going to work on it that week. We started doing this when they were 8 yrs. old. They each got their own hour because we were working on the strengths and weaknesses of their own temperament blend.
What about adult children? When your kids get married, knowing and understanding how temperaments affect their individual spouses helps you get a handle on how to interact with them as a couple and family.
We are gearing up to lead 3 classes this Fall on “How Temperaments Impact You, Your Spouse, & Your Kids.”
· The class is one night a week for 4 weeks
· You need to stream the video teaching at home and watch it prior to the class each week
· You also need to answer the questions in the workbook each week
· You will get more out of the class and be on the same parenting page if couples take the class together
· Classes start August 16, Sept. 18, and Oct. 12
· Registration info here.
“We learned to understand and appreciate each other’s uniqueness. It’s not that one is right or wrong; it’s just how God uniquely designed us. It’s so much better when you can appreciate the positive parts of our different temperaments rather than focus on the negative parts.
-Mom in IL