Survive the Holiday Season - Activities that Suit Your Child's Nature
Every child is born with a unique nature, and when that nature is nurtured and honoured, the child develops a powerful sense of self-worth and personal value. The home environment is the perfect place to ensure the activities and experiences are meeting the needs for each nature.
There are Four different natures of children and each nature has its own unique preferences.
Social Natured children prefer activities and experiences that incorporate interaction, creativity, novelty and fun.
· Anything creative such as cooking and crafts;
· Opportunities where they can socialise or interact with people online;
· Activities that have very few rules, such as drama or make-believe;
· Singing or playing musical instruments; and
· Free style dancing.
Movement that is limiting will not honour their nature and needs. For example, ballet may be too restrictive, but contemporary dance will give extra movement and creative expression.
Because Social Natured children have a short attention span, they may have difficulty with disciplines such as learning the piano and other hobbies that require extended focus periods. If they want to learn instruments that require long practice periods, you will have to help them to remain focused by sitting with them and giving them encouragement and approval. Short blocks of focused work where they have the freedom to disconnect and connect again will see them being more productive.
Caleb, a Social Natured 10-year-old loved playing the piano but the extended practice times had him sitting down stationary for longer than his nature and age could handle. Therefore, he lost interest and became irritable and restless. Caleb’s mother knew his nature, so she turned his practice sessions into short games where prizes were won and fun was had when goals were reached.
Strong Natured children love a challenge. Give them activities and experiences that keep them moving forward and seeing their results.
Activities that honour a Strong Natured child are:
· Tree Climbing or Jungle Gyms;
· Dancing (preferably freestyle, over ballet or structured dancing);
· Helping around the house and in the garden;
· Arts and Crafts – any sort of hands on project;
· Ball games, especially shooting basketball hoops or hitting targets;
· Competitive family sports and games, and
· Caring for pets.
A great experience for an older Strong Natured child is to be given the position of family “sheriff” where all problems and disputes need to be reported in the first instance. The “sheriff” is expected to make kind and fair decisions to keep the law and order among siblings. This is great leadership practice and offers them opportunities to see things from another person's perspective. They could even wear a badge if they wanted to.
Sensitive Natured children need comfortable areas where they can snuggle down with loved ones, read a story, or nurture their toys in a cosy environment.
Consider your Sensitive child’s daily schedule and see if there are any opportunities where you can add in some nurture time. Be careful not to over-schedule their day with activities that will result in them feeling overwhelmed. Remember they are slow, graceful and steady movers.
Activities that honour a Sensitive Natured child are:
· Planning for events; (Virtual Dinners with extended Family)
· Writing cards for loved ones;
· Caring for pets;
· Cooking or baking; (Including writing the shopping list)
· Scrap-booking, knitting or sewing;
· Dancing; and
· Sports and games that have less contact and are not aggressive.
Of all the Natures, the sensitive child has a high need to feel appreciated and supported emotionally. They also need opportunities to give back the same. Seek out a variety of activities that require nurturing movement, such as helping to care for nature, people or pets. For instance, baking for an elderly neighbour, making a hut for their cat or a bird house.
Structured Natured children prefer solo activities where they can work on their skills to better themselves at their own pace.
They have a need to perfect their craft which requires precision, concentration and time, and this can usually only happen when they are alone or playing against just one other person. Some of them may not enjoy being part of family games as they do not have a preference for socializing and need more alone time than others.
Activities and experiences that provide opportunities for the structured child are:
· Tennis, (Ball against a wall) practicing a golf swing, or shooting hoops;
· Lego (where they can spot problems and fix them);
· Chess, cards, or board games such as Monopoly (where they can follow a strategic process to win);
· Piano or other musical instruments;
· Scrap-booking, knitting or sewing;
· Dancing such as ballet or anything that requires structure and precision; and
· Cleaning and sorting.
A great experience for an older Structured child is to be given the position of family CFO (Chief Financial Officer) where part of the family budget is allocated for their authority. The family CFO is expected to make financial decisions to support the families needs. This is great management practice and offers them opportunities to see the big picture and to plan to make improvements. They could even be given a clipboard or access to a P.C for spreadsheets.