Taylor was my most difficult child for a season because he was just so different from me! I didn’t understand why he reacted to people or situations the way that he did. It was frustrating and sometimes embarrassing for me as a mom. Once I learned about the temperaments and finally understood that Taylor was wired very differently from me, I learned to empathize with him and was much less frustrated by his moods and his particularities. It doesn’t make your difficulties with your child disappear, but understanding how God has wired your child will help you navigate those difficult times. Here are 4 things that have helped me understand and love my Blue/Melancholy child:
1. Blues tend to be negative – don’t argue with them about the way they feel.
Learn to listen and affirm their emotions. Blues often have trouble expressing their feelings verbally – a feelings wheel like this one (link) may be a helpful tool to have in your home for all your kids, but especially for your blues. Blues tend to internalize their emotions, so the more you can provide a safe space for them to share how they are feeling, the more comfortable they will be telling you.
2. Empathize, but don’t cater to their moods.
A Blue in a mood can bring the whole house down. Once you have listened and empathized with what they are feeling, demonstrate healthy emotional boundaries by saying something like, “thanks for sharing that with me, I’m going to go start dinner now.” Blues need to learn that we do not have to be ruled by our emotions. Making sure that you do not let all of your family members get sucked into a Blue’s mood will help them learn boundaries as well.
3. Blues need quiet spaces to recharge – protect their down time.
Blues need stable environments and like order, stability and dependability. Make sure they have a private space at home where they can go to when they need to be alone. Our homes can be a sanctuary for them, away from the noise and the chaos of the rest of the world. Don’t interfere if they go off alone. Let them have their time, and eventually they’ll come out more willing to interact.
4. Blues can be moody – pray!
One of my favorite Scriptures is James 1:5, “if any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask of God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” When you find yourself in a situation and you have no idea how to handle your Blue, pray. God is ready and waiting to help us! He knows our children intimately and promises in His word to give us the wisdom we need.
Instead of focusing on your Blue’s weaknesses, look for and find their strengths. Blues are deep thinkers, incredibly loyal friends, and great leaders with tender hearts. Parenting from their strengths is more effective and more pleasant in the long run.
Not sure what “color” your child is? Take our personality color quiz HERE!
For more on the Blue Temperament – listen to Wire Talk #136