Teaching Our Kids to Understand One Another
How do you get along as a family when multiple personalities are often at odds? Education! Honestly, if you will take the time to study your child and educate yourself on their temperament, it will pay BIG dividends almost right off the bat. I am constantly recommending the book Personality Plus for Parents to moms because it truly changed the way I parented after I had Taylor. Taylor is a Melancholy (we use the term Blue around Birds on a Wire) and he was a total mystery to me. After reading Personality Plus I realized it's because I am so Sanguine (Yellow) and just didn't understand his emotional needs. I love being equipped with this knowledge so much that we have incorporated the temperaments into our Mom Core study during week 2 “Being a Student of Your Child”. Take a look at those resources or take our personality quiz and then, once you as the mom feel like you understand what is motivating each of your children, you can help educate all of your children about their siblings.
Understanding breeds acceptance, so have conversations in your family about each of your personalities. You could make it a fun dinner game (“which of these words do you feel like describes you?”) or make observations and ask questions of your children (i.e. “David really likes having lots of friends over to play, do you like it when we have lots of people over at our house? What is harder for you, saying hi to a stranger or keeping your room neat?”) Hearing their brother or sister's responses will open your kids' eyes to how they are wired differently and will help create empathy.
Being understood is a powerful thing, so keep that in mind and work to help your children understand each other. Like Sunny and I mention on this week's Wire Talk episode, this is not going to happen overnight! These talks will happen over and over again during the course of your children's time at home, but hopefully as they mature, they will grow less frequent and you will see in time that they are treating their siblings with greater empathy.