Why are my children so different?
A common statement I hear from parents is, “My kids are so different, it makes no sense! They share the same genes, environment, routines and parents! What makes them so different?”
My answer in one word: Nature.
Each child has a unique Nature, an innate temperament that can be observed through their:
The key to understanding your child, why he behaves the way he does and what he needs, is his Nature.
I have helped many families who were scratching their heads, wondering why one child was acting out and the other seemed to be following instructions just fine. I explained that a harmonious balance occurs when the Nature of the child is recognised and supported. That is, when the environment provided supports the nature of the child they become happier and more cooperative, almost instantly!
This information can be used as a tool for Parents, Nannies and other caregivers to:
1: Create a match between the environment and the child's nature,
2: Raise the level of self-esteem in children and teenagers, and
3: Strengthen the bond and relationship with their child.
The terms I use to classify the four Natures are: Social, Strong, Sensitive and Structured.
The first two are High movement:
The Social Nature is playful, upwardly buoyant in movement, fun-loving, random, cheeky and creative.
The Strong Nature is active, forward and swift in movement, reactive, determined and competitive.
The other two are Low movement:
The Sensitive Nature is nurturing, downward flowing in movement, caring, intuitive, and peaceful.
The Structured Nature is thinking, Still or Stepping-back in movement, literal, perfecting and serious.
Children (and adults) have the ability to express all four of the Natures listed above, however they tend to lead with one dominant Nature, supported by a secondary Nature.
The first step in understanding which of the four Natures your child leads with is to sit back and observe.
Parenting requires continuous observation and reflection. Seeing your children, with this information in mind, will help you to see who they really are and what motivates them. If you can imagine putting on a different pair of lenses, a pair that helps you to see through the behaviour, through the circumstances and see things from a child's point of view, you will start to see that their tendencies and preferences are not wrong, they are part of who they are.
Your children are sending you messages all the time, clues about who they are and what they need. The problem is, if you don't stop and observe, you cannot decode these messages.
For Example: That Strong Natured child of yours, the one that won't take no for an answer, is showing you his gift for negotiation and persistence, and may someday be the CEO of a successful company. Of course, you should not give in to his every want, but that idea and even that whim is a very valid feeling. That feeling needs to be validated lets him know you hear him, you understand, but your firm and consistent response, will send him the message that you are in control and he is safe.
You could say:
“Wow, I can see you really want to do that. I know, it's hard when we really want something right now”.
With information on each of the four different Natures, you can create an environment that Nurtures their Nature. In turn, you will see happiness and cooperation.
Which Natures do you have in your home?