|Genre:||Health, Mind & Body|
|Author:||Paul D. Tieger, Barbara Barron-Tieger|
Lamentably, when others confronted me about my child rearing habits, I didn't have any outside sources to back up my theories about the differences in my children. Now, at last, I've found something that supports my hunches. It's a book called Nurture by Nature : Understand Your Child's Personality Type - And Become a Better Parent by Paul Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger. The book first helps parents to try to identify their children's personality types (as well as their own) and then describes expected behaviors, attitudes and needs of children by type.
Unfortunately young children can’t take personality tests themselves, so determining your child’s type is done through observation and comparison. My son's profile fits him so well that it seems like the authors had been watching him and had written down things about him that I had thought were unique to him alone. In the same way, the profile for my personality type fit me so well that it even described specific events that had happened to me as a child (such as sitting at the dinner table for hours after the meal because I refused to eat something). For my twin daughters, however, I'm less convinced of their type and have yet to find a profile that fits them as well as the ones for my son or myself. All the same, what I have discovered about the twins so far has already helped me to better encourage and discipline them.
Each personality profile describes not only over all characteristics of a specific type, but also how that personality will be manifested at various points in the child's life from infancy through adolescence. Though I haven't found the infant characteristics very accurate (at least for my kids), the preschool and school-age descriptions have, for the most part, been right on. The authors point out possible problem areas (such as the tantrums that my son threw in preschool), reasons for the problems (difficulties with transitions), and means of avoiding or dealing with the problems that will set the child at ease rather than demanding something of them that doesn’t fit their personality needs (like taking time in advance to prepare the child for upcoming transitions rather than forcing him to deal with them without warning).
My mother's philosophy in raising my sister and myself was fairness. Whatever I got, my sister got exactly the same thing or something comparable. But my sister and I aren't alike. As children we had very different strengths, weaknesses, and needs. Nature by Nurture helps parents to identify the differences in their children and raise them more fairly not by treating them the same, but by treating them more in line with their personality types.
I'd highly recommend the book. In fact, I found several copies online for under $4 dollars (though it looks like the price has since gone up) and bought extra copies to hand out to friends and teachers. I still have to see if it'll get me through the teenage years, but I have high hopes.