Cloudy or Sunshine Kids

By Joey & Carla Link

September 16, 2020

My 2-year-old granddaughter loves Winnie the Pooh stories. In these stories there are 2 friends who are extremes in their personalities – gloomy Eeyore and bouncy Tigger, yet they both have an important role in the circle of Pooh’s friends. As parents, it’s easy to be drawn towards the happy-go-lucky “Tigger” kids with the Sanguine temperament. But their quiet and withdrawn “Eeyore’s” with the Melancholy temperament need just as much approval and acceptance as the ones who get it so freely. Your positive optimistic joyful kids can be so much fun to be around that parents can easily overlook some of their weaknesses that later on can turn into real issues. Even when they are deliberately being silly to cover up wrong-doing, parents have a hard time coming down on them when they are cracking up over their latest antics. When your gloomy, “the glass isn’t just half empty but is almost empty” kids with the Melancholy temperament get easily depressed and don’t come out of it quickly, parents often fall in the trap of becoming this child’s cheerleader. They  try talking them into a good mood or giving them what they want just to see them happy. How can parents help their kids learn from their feelings, whether sunny or gloomy?Don’t tell your “Eeyores” to buck up or put a smile on their face no matter what. This denies the child has feelings that might need to be explored. This child needs to know Mom and Dad are understanding and will listen.Love your child unconditionally. For Tigger’s or Eeyore’s to be willing to take a chance on working on or changing their emotional thought process, they need to know they will be loved no matter what. Fear of rejection is a full-time companion of those with the Melancholy and Sanguine temperaments.Talk to them.Melancholy: When they have feelings of failure or letting others down, talk to them privately in love and understanding, not telling them how wrong they were as they already know that and are struggling with the guilt of what they did. Instead ask them questions to help them climb up out of the hole they are digging for themselves.Phelgmatic: These kids need to learn to talk about what they feel. Don’t let them off the hook. Give them a time-frame they can think about what they want to say and tell them you will get back to them to talk some more.Choleric: Their primary out of control feeling is anger. Teach them that anger is not wrong but what you do with it can be very wrong. It is a signal something isn’t going well and that is what they need to deal with.Sanguine: These kids don’t understand what is wrong with being silly to the point of annoying everyone around them. They need to learn to deal with what the root of their silliness is – a need to be the center of attention or trying to hide something they did wrong for example.How can you work with your feelings so they don’t control those around you?What can you learn from this situation so you won’t make the same mistake? Both sunny kids and gloomy kids are blessings from the Lord. You have the great privilege to train them up in the way they need to go for the purpose He gave them to you for. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)