Creative Child

Making Positive Parenting Work with Different Personalities

by Rebecca Eanes on May 22nd, 2017

One of the things I have heard time and again is this – “Positive Parenting might work for some kids, but not mine!” Some parents feel that their child is too strong-willed, too headstrong, too hyper, too intense, too (insert any adjective) for Positive Parenting to “work” on them. 

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Positive Parenting works for all kids because kindness, respect, and love are universal. All human beings need these and all respond to them. This is the foundation of Positive Parenting. I believe these parents mean to say that not all children respond the same to a particular kind of discipline strategy or technique, and that is certainly true, but the beautiful and freeing thing about Positive Parenting is that you are not tied to strategies, tricks, or techniques but instead your focus is on relationship. Through relationship, you will know and understand what your child needs. 

 

My two children are quite opposite. On the Myers Briggs scale, one is an INFP, the other an ENTP (a mediator and a debater). One is an introvert, the other an extrovert. One is highly sensitive, the other is not. While my Positive Parenting philosophy covers them both, meaning both are treated with kindness, respect, and unconditional love, they each need parented according to their uniqueness and strengths. My sensitive son requires very little in terms of “discipline.” I use the quotation marks because, in reality, discipline is teaching, but I realize that most see it as synonymous with correction and so I’m using it in that way here. A verbal correction is enough for him. He is always thinking of others and being considerate of their wants and needs. He wants to please us. He inherently understands the hierarchical nature of the parent-child relationship and he doesn’t test that. This is his personality. 

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My younger son will often brush off the same verbal correction. He is true to the ENTP profile. He likes to debate and he hates to be controlled. He will tirelessly make a case about why a boundary or rule is unnecessary and pushes back against many things. He will quickly step into the alpha position if he doesn’t feel an alpha presence already. He is also enthusiastic, imaginative, curious, and a ton of fun! 

 

If you have two or more children with opposite personalities (which is likely if you have two or more children!), I’m hoping this article will help you understand how Positive Parenting looks when parenting both sensitive children and their non-sensitive siblings.

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