PeopleStripes.org - Helping families make the most of personality differences.

Helping families make the most of personality differences.

Lesson in Self-Management

A Bike, a Trash Can, and a Lesson in Self-Management

Apr 03, 2018
Elizabeth Murphy, EdD
ELIZABETH MURPHY, EdD, is a psychologist and type expert whose research focuses on verifying the development of normal personality differences according to the theory of psychological type. She works extensively with families and teams of people to improve communication and resolve relationship needs.
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A father was taking his young daughter on a ride using her brand-new bike with training wheels. I watched the little girl riding on the sidewalk. The father was running ahead moving any trashcan that was in the way or little twigs that might be a bump for her. Basically, he was doing his best to make it a perfectly fine path for the child to ride. Instead of making the world a perfect place, he could have seen the bike ride as a natural opportunity for teaching self-management to the child. We need to encourage children to make decisions and live with the consequence of those decisions.

The bike ride was a great opportunity for a parent to use guidance. They could have stopped before they took their walk or their ride, looked down the block and said, “Do we see anything that might interfere with our ability to ride our bikes safely and successfully? If there is something like that trashcan in our way, what can we do? What is our best solution?”

Guiding is helping the child process different possibilities and then evaluating their chosen option for its reasonableness and its importance. If a child’s behaviors are inappropriate or put them in a dangerous situation, you of course stop the behavior immediately. That is not a moment for guiding. But if we want them to use problem-solving methods in the future, then we should provide opportunities for decision-making with guidance. In the rush of events that envelop parents, many may become directive and take the lead in solving the problem for the child.

Recently, I saw a parent with a child about the age of 4 and the child was pouring his cereal. The space between the box, the bowl, and the milk measured a little over an arm’s length. The parent said, “No. No. Put the cereal box right beside the bowl. Pour the cereal first and close the box top and then put it over here because you are done with it. Here is the milk. Be careful when you take off the lid. Then pour it and put the lid back on. When you are done put it here.”

The child was clearly able to pour the milk and the cereal. This could be an excellent time to sit back and use guidance rather than directives. There is no rush. There is no danger present. The parent could give the same information in different words. “I remember when I was little. I did that once and I had such a long space between where my bowl was compared to the milk and cereal. I ended up making a mess and I thought I might do it differently another day. What do you think?”

If the child says, “It’s fine,” say “Okay, I was just sharing my experience. It didn’t work for me. It’s OK if you want to try and make it work for you. If not, what do you think might happen? By the way, the house rule is everyone cleans up their mess. Whatever you decide is fine with me.” Then walk away. Leave the final decision in the hands of the child, but you can guide them with your language to process their thoughts. Guiding is setting the stage for good decision-making.

What if the child says, “Leave me alone. I can do this," and then spills the milk all over the table? You can respond: “Sometimes even when we think we made a great decision, things go wrong. Sorry. You know where the cleaning supplies are stored.”

You can remind the child periodically that some decisions are the child’s to make, some decisions are Mom’s to make, and some decisions are made in a shared way. (That’s a topic for another day!)

You are always willing to talk through any decision as a way to help your child think of the reasonableness and the importance of their choice.

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When two siblings have the same family chore to do at different times it is easy to observe how each person approaches the task in different ways. Our family’s task of doing dishes came with a dilemma.

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All children in elementary schools have to learn how to “win fairly and lose friendly.” The task is harder for some children than it is for others. To learn the lesson, beginning in preschool, there should be moments for winning and moments for losing. When teachers try to create an environment where “everyone wins,” children lose the opportunity to learn this skill.

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Different Views of Decision Making

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Last summer we moved from Virginia to Texas, leaving behind our college-aged daughter who was about to enter her sophomore year. It was a tough year for us both. She was homesick and I missed her dearly.

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Parenting in a Crisis

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End of school...please!

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There is nothing I hate worse than seeing potential wasted. Getting that dreaded email or phone call from an exasperated teacher certainly does not help the situation.

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For Me: Type Tip #7

If you are adamant about an opinion or a procedure, add the phrase "for me" at the end so the child knows other opinions may also have value. Instead of saying, "pineapple pizza is disgusting," say "pineapple pizza is disgusting for me." That was undoubtedly your intent but the explicit phrase opens the door for the young listener to have a different opinion.


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ELIZABETH MURPHY, EdD, is a psychologist and type expert whose research focuses on verifying the development of normal personality differences according to the theory of psychological type. She works extensively with families and teams of people to improve communication and resolve relationship needs.
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Characters on Game of Thrones are looking to leave a legacy, and that is a tough job for them. Luckily personality type can provide a more peaceful path towards creating a legacy that imprints a positive message on our loved ones. Elizabeth Murphy shows the way in this People Stripes article.

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Failure might be an option

Failure is not an option - or is it?

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Elizabeth Murphy, EdD
ELIZABETH MURPHY, EdD, is a psychologist and type expert whose research focuses on verifying the development of normal personality differences according to the theory of psychological type. She works extensively with families and teams of people to improve communication and resolve relationship needs.
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How do you support your children when they encounter a failure in their life? Moments of failure might actually be essential on the path to victory. This People Stripes article gives you tips on how to support differences in children's reactions to failure.

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Not the typical gift

Not the Typical Gifts for Our Kids

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Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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Families all living at home together without a break are part of the reality of the pandemic life. Knowing about our loved one's personality type can provide insights into how stress is manifested in different ways. Accepting these differences can be a challenge - this People Stripes article gives some good tips for maintaining family equilibrium.

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What's next after high school?

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The Z Problem Solving Model

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The holidays bring a big challenge to families who want to be together, especially in a pandemic. Fortunately we have a proven model for decision-making. The Zig Zag method walks us through Sending, Intuition, Thinking, and Feeling and helps us arrive at a decision that honors the facts and the people.

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Still Coping with Covid

Still Coping with Covid-19

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Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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Coping with Covid-19 continues to be a major challenge for families. In this People Stripes article Yvonne Nelson-Reid explores more type-based techniques for getting through these tough times.

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How do you approach time?

Adapt or Manage: How Do You Approach Time?

Jun 02, 2021
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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Yvonne Nelson-Reid discusses the distinctions between preferences for Judging and Perceiving in her two youngest children, in grades 11 and 12, when they had the opportunity to take Advanced Placement Environmental Science together. The preferences indicate an important distinction in personalities, as preferences for Judging and Perceiving determine how people approach established deadlines.

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Introvert-Extravert Learners : Type Tip #9

We know from previous research that extraverts remember more of a chapter if they read it thoroughly AFTER the lecture or demonstration. Introverts tend to remember more if they read thoroughly BEFORE the lecture or demonstration. I would tell classes you must read the chapter thoroughly some time before the test but you can skim first before the lecture and read thoroughly later if that helps you be more efficient in your learning. Teaching students to monitor their best ways to learn is an important metacognitive skill.


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How Type Can Impact Responses to Change

How Type Can Impact Responses to Change (series: "From the Kids")

Jul 06, 2021
Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD
YVONNE NELSON-REID, PhD, is the Senior Development Associate at the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT®), the publisher for the People Stripes® website, a mother of 5, writer, teacher (BEd, MA), depth psychologist – Jungian and archetypal studies (MA, PhD), and career coach. Parenting, teaching in a classroom, or on the ice as a figure skating coach has taught her a great deal about relationships and the importance of communication.
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In this first article, of the series "From the Kids", Yvonne Nelson-Reid is dipping into her long history to share stories about the impact of type, on the kids who take the MMTIC assessment, from the perspective of the kids themselves.

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Type in the Classroom

An "Aha" Moment: Type in the Classroom (Research Series—Combs Part 1)

Aug 02, 2021
Kesstan Blandin, PhD
KESSTAN BLANDIN, PhD is the Vice President of Research and Development at the Center for the Applications of Psychological Type in Gainesville, FL, where she conducts research in Jungian typology and archetypes.
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In this new Research Series, we will highlight studies that are relevant and useful to all of us who work with the MMTIC system. This first series is on a large two-year study at an elementary school in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the MMTIC instrument and system was comprehensively incorporated into the school system.

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Sensor Creativity: Type Tip #11

Sensors begin with the concrete and move to the innovative. They build new creations based on what they know now. The Dyson vacuum is an example. The commercials say "we took what was, then changed the wheels for a ball, changed the suction to have no bag, and now, moved the power to the handle." A new machine was created by starting with the known and moving to the new. This is a great example of the creative process in Sensing types.


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