WT 120: When Multiple Personalities Collide
On today’s show we talk about what happens when all of your darling children’s personalities collide. We talk about the fighting and bickering that is so common among siblings as well as how we moms can give to each of our children so they feel known and loved. Karen and Sunny chat about what it feels like to be the mom caught in the middle and offer their insights into how we can maintain a peaceful home in the midst of what often feels like chaos.
Question 1: I would like to know how to develop loving, respectful relationships between my children. The 13 year old (green) and the 8 year old (red) have a fighting relationship and no patience and love for each other on a daily basis.
Karen’s Answer: Well, red and green are opposite personalities so it makes sense they collide. The red wants to be in control, is decisive, moves quickly in decision making, and is a born leader. The green however, is a people pleaser, wants peace above anything else, they don’t like confrontation, and has a hard time making decisions, and they move slower. If I were you, I’d sit both of them down and explain each temperament to them. I would share the strengths and weaknesses of each temperament. A lot of the time, when you are the opposite temperament than another person you just don’t understand why the other person does what they do. It’s your job as a mom, to educate them on what the needs are of the other person. The Red temperament’s four emotional needs are: Sense of Control, Loyalty, Credit for Work, Appreciation. The Green’s four emotional needs are: Peace and quiet, Feeling of Worth, Lack of Stress, Respect
Question 2: How do you teach young children to share? They are constantly bickering about the same toy. My mom used to buy two of everything but I feel like that doesn’t yeah the concept. I’ve even got to the point of saying “I’ll give all these toys to other children who will appreciate them and you girls will have to learn to get along, shears, and be nice” “ toys don’t matter it’s how you treat others”.
Karen’s Answer: I agree with you not to buy them two of everything. I think you should keep on doing what you are doing. Praise them when you see an ounce of sharing coming from them. Sometimes I do believe children act out because they have so much and they are just bored. I think it’s good to call out the behavior and let them know, that attitude doesn’t work in this household. Keep doing what you are doing, stressing the heart/relationships and not the material things.
Question 3: I have a 14 year old, a 10 year old, and a 2 year old! How do I balance what each of them needs, when their needs are so very different? I always feel like I’m not “enough” as a mom!
Karen’s Answer: I get it! I can’t tell you how many times I have felt like I was not enough as a mom. The fact of the matter is, we aren’t. Hate to be the bearer of bad news. But, the good news is, God is enough. Sometimes you just can’t be “fair” in the time you spent with each child. Because your children are at a broad range from 14-2, they all need very different things from you. I’d ask God to start showing you what each child needs. Learn what their love language is and start speaking that to them. For instance, if your 14 year old is words of affirmation, write them a letter telling them how proud you are of them, give him the praise he is looking for from you. Or if he is quality time, take him on an outing just the two of you. Same thing with your 10 year old. Love languages go a long way for a person to feel loved. Just by knowing my kids’ love languages, I saved myself a lot of time. Become a student of your child. Also, give yourself some grace. Do the best you can and let God do the rest.
Question 4: How do you handle tattle tales? My boys are 6 and 3 and it is constant bickering and coming to tell mommy what the other one did or said. They want me to break up every little argument and I want them to work it out on their own but I don’t don’t want the older boy taking advantage of being bigger and I don’t want the younger boy using the fact that he is the “baby” to get what he wants. Please help!
Karen’s Answer: I used to say to my children, “Think about what you are going to say to me, if you are tattling on your brother, then you are going to get in trouble as well. Is there blood or broken bones? If not, I don’t want to hear it. Go work it out. If you can’t work it out, and I get involved, you are both getting in trouble. Do you understand? As far as the older taking advantage of the younger, that will happen, so teach the younger to stand up for himself. Role play with him. The younger taking advantage because he is the baby, well, that will happen too. Do your best to let them work it out. The more you get involved, the more they will come to you. Stop.
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