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Shifting your perspective to see the gifts of a child's personality preference can help you find gratitude in moments of frustration.

Thanksgiving: Gratitude Through Type

Oct 31, 2022
Sandra Etherington
SANDRA ETHERINGTON is a mother of two and the host of the Family Personalities podcast, a show that helps break down personality type models so that we can use them in our everyday parenting. A UCLA alumna, with a background in mathematics, Sandra has a love of models that help us understand humans and our interactions with one another.
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During a time of year that is about taking the time to recognize the things we are thankful for, I often find myself, ironically, struggling to do this even more so than ever. The holidays feel stressful. Our schedule is packed. The school is doing their annual holiday fundraiser and asking for volunteers. My daughter is in dress rehearsals for the Nutcracker. We have a holiday meal to plan. We have to figure out how to fit in all of our friends and family during the break. And so, instead of stopping and slowing down to recognize my blessings, I find myself instead getting annoyed by the everyday stressors of parenting during an especially busy time of year.

When I struggle with the everyday frustrations of parenting, I often find myself leaning on what I have learned about my children through typology to help me gain a new perspective. The best gift that personality type has brought me, is the ability to look at my children's way of being with appreciation. For every little thing they do that bugs me, I remind myself to appreciate our differences, and this helps me see these same behaviors in a more positive light. This is one powerful tool that helps me to stop being irritated, and instead take a moment to recognize the gifts in my child and how lucky I am to have them in my life.

One such everyday stressor is that my daughter and I have a difference in the way that we like to get things done. My daughter has a preference for Perceiving, and as such, she prefers to play around while she gets things done; she gets more done that way. I have a preference for Judging, and I am much more comfortable relaxing or playing only after the to-do list is complete, otherwise I cannot enjoy the fun.

In the mornings, when we are getting ready for school and we have to be out the door by a certain time, my daughter's preference for Perceiving can get on my last nerve. While she is supposed to be brushing her teeth, she has noticed her reflection in the mirror and has started singing a song to herself. While she is supposed to be putting on her shoes she has seen the puppy and wants to hold and snuggle the puppy first before she puts on her shoes. Meanwhile, with my preference for Judging, I am watching the clock and having trouble keeping the impatience out of my voice, "Lilly! What's next on the morning routine list, and why aren't you doing it!? We were supposed to be in the car 5 minutes ago!!!" Every morning, I struggle to understand why she cannot march through the morning routine as efficiently as her brother and I with our preferences for Judging. I tell her, "You can sing and snuggle the puppy AFTER you are ready for school and only IF there is time left!" The urgency to stick to my plan, can limit my enjoyment of spontaneous and precious life moments.

For example, in another context, on a rest stop during a long drive to see a friend, my daughter suddenly requests, "Mama, instead of getting back in the car, can I run into that amazing field over there?" I push aside my urge to get back on the road to continue toward our destination in order to make good time and say, "Yes." I watch in awe as she runs to the center of a grassy field full of dandelions, gently falls to her knees, closes her eyes, and lifts her face to the sun and sits silently for a few moments. Then she looks at me and says, "Doesn't the sound of the birds and the feel of the wind on your skin just make you feel like everything is going to be okay?" I lower myself to the ground next to her and am reminded to be open to what presents itself in each moment instead of rushing to the next one. And suddenly, I'm grateful for her Perceiving preference and her reminders that sometimes we can have fun or relax while we march forward toward our destination. I realize that my daughter's preference to have fun, while she's getting things done, has value too, and I feel grateful that she has shown me the beauty of making the most of every moment. I make a mental note to myself that perhaps we should start the morning routine a little earlier everyday so that we can hug the puppy before we put on our shoes, sing in the mirror while we brush our teeth, and still make it to school on time.

What are your kids' personality preferences and have you ever found yourself frustrated by them as I have? Where I thought my child's tendency to get distracted from the to-do list was aggravating, it turns out, if I look at it from another perspective, I am actually grateful for her ability to be spontaneous.

Check out the Personality Type--Gratitude chart below for the gifts of each preference so that the next time you feel bugged by their behavior, you can shift perspective to discover the reasons to be grateful for your child's respective personality preferences.

Practicing gratitude will help you appreciate the gifts of your child's preferences and abilities

This year, at the Thanksgiving table, I'll be thankful that my daughter's Perceiving preference allows her to be spontaneous, finding joy in all she does, and that she helps remind me to do so as well. What will you be thankful for?

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People tend to make inaccurate assumptions about themselves when faced with a problem to solve that requires them to go outside of their natural personality type. We can all use our opposite preferences when a situation requires it, however, it might feel awkward or uncomfortable, and we may be less effective in how we use them, leading to stress and a sense of personal failure. Children may experience this at a higher rate.

In this second article of "From the Kids" series, Yvonne Nelson-Reid chronicles a moment in her daughter's journey of understanding personality type differences and the compromises needed to succeed in school.

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Introversion or Just Shy? : Type Tip #12

There is a difference between the energy of introversion and shyness. Shyness is a social trait which causes a person to hesitate in social encounters. People who prefer Introversion only hesitate when the thought or situation is new. There is no hesitation with familiar settings. Also, introversion gives us a cue about how a person regains their energy. Shyness is a behavioral reaction. A person who prefers Extraversion may also be shy, gaining energy through interaction but hesitating in social situations.

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New Possibilities for Teaching: Type in the Classroom (Research Series – NC Part 2)

Oct 04, 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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This is the second article of a series on a large two-year study at Combs Magnet Elementary school in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the MMTIC® instrument and system was comprehensively incorporated into the school system.

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Nov 03, 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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Starting with an understanding of communication styles can make a difference in all our relationships.

In this third article of "From the Kids" Series, Yvonne Nelson-Reid discusses how understanding type differences can help teenagers navigate the complications of high school dating. Her teenage daughter describes the positive impact that learning about, and appreciating, communication style differences based on personality type, had on her own relationship.

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Feeling and Feedback: Type Tip #14

Young children with a Feeling preference may interpret a lack of feedback as being undervalued or disliked. It is not an issue of ego or self-esteem. Since the Feeling preference is typically about doing something for someone, they need assurance that what they did met the need. Parents with a Thinking preference may underestimate the importance of feedback to a child who prefers Feeling.

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Give the gift of type awareness. It can help you to spread peace, joy, and love this holiday season.

Happy Holiday Type Tips for All

Nov 29, 2022
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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Happy holidays from People Stripes! May these type tips be our gift to you, bringing you peace, joy, and love, with the hope of acceptance this holiday season.

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Thinking/Feeling - Both Decision Words: Type Tip #16

Those with a Thinking preference tend to hear the word "feel" as an emotion. Those with a Feeling preference hear that word as a decision, a choice. So, when I work with young children, I try to use a pair of words. Instead of saying "How do you feel about that?" I say, "What do you think or feel about that?" Children who prefer Thinking can latch onto the "think" word and children with a Feeling preference can latch onto the word "feel."


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5-Minute Warning: Type Tip #17

Use the "5-Minute Warning" to let a child know when closure to their task is imminent. "In five minutes, we will need to leave." Warning of the change in an activity is respectful to both the Judging (J) and Perceiving (P) preference. Those who prefer J are typically early starting and like to know what is coming next so they can formulate a plan. People who prefer P are often pressure-prompted and like to keep their options open, so advance notice reminds them to complete the task at hand. Time management for a J preference means following a schedule and reaching closure quickly, whereas, with a P preference, keeping options open until the last moment is optimal, producing their best work in those final minutes. 

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Mother and daughter understanding the type differences of how they manage time

Personality Type and Social Emotional Learning: Self-Management (SEL Series – Part 3)

Apr 04, 2022
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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Personality type awareness offers a way to manage stress, be more comfortable with our stretches, and further develop our strengths. This month, in this third article of the SEL series, on the core competency Self-Management, Yvonne Nelson-Reid highlights how we can resolve the conflicts that arise when dealing with one another's opposite preferences, especially the Judging and Perceiving preference pair. Self-management, especially in stressful moments, becomes easier with an understanding of personality type.

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A diverse group of students, working together, can develop empathy and appreciation for differences and similarities.

Personality Type and Social Emotional Learning: Social Awareness (SEL Series – Part 6)

Jul 05, 2022
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 the sixth article of the series, Personality Type and Social Emotional Learning, Yvonne Nelson-Reid highlights how Social Awareness, along with an understanding and appreciation of type differences, can make way for the constructive use of these differences. Differences often drive us apart, but valuing these differences can unite us and instill greater compassion and empathy for others.

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Judging Preference Play-time: Type Tip #22

Young people who prefer Judging enjoy play and spontaneity so long as these activities do not distract them from finishing a task they are working to complete. They tend to hurry to finish homework right away not because they are more "responsible" but because they cannot relax and enjoy the play if there is work to be done. They say, "I do my homework right away so I can have more time to play." 

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Siblings in conflict can use type awareness to navigate their differences and appreciate each other's natural type preferences

It is Okay to be Me! Navigating Sibling Conflict

Aug 30, 2022
Sandra Etherington
SANDRA ETHERINGTON is a mother of two and the host of the Family Personalities podcast, a show that helps break down personality type models so that we can use them in our everyday parenting. A UCLA alumna, with a background in mathematics, Sandra has a love of models that help us understand humans and our interactions with one another.
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This month’s article is by Sandra Etherington, a mother of two who is an MBTI® and MMTIC® certified professional. Sandra eloquently shares her own parenting experience dealing with her children and a conflict that arose between Thinking and Feeling preferences.

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PeopleStripes.org article

Trick or Treat : How Important are Holiday Traditions? (From the Kids)

Oct 04, 2022
Gracyn Nelson-Reid
GRACYN NELSON-REID is a junior at the University of Texas San Antonio. She is majoring in Biology and plans to attend medical school. Gracyn has been immersed in personality type theory from the time she was born! Her mom is a certified MBTI® and MMTIC® professional who introduced type theory and type language to her children to help them understand and appreciate differences.
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We are excited to add a new article to our From the Kids series, because this time it is written by a kid! Please welcome Gracyn Nelson-Reid, a junior in university, who grew up in a home where personality type differences were understood and appreciated. She shares the value of family traditions during holidays and special events, like Halloween, as it relates to her personality type.

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Thinking Out Loud with Extraversion: Type Tip #25

Because people who prefer Extraversion tend to think "out loud" they sometimes say one thing but change direction quickly. A parent with a preference for Introversion might overreact to a comment too soon. When talking with a child who prefers Extraversion, if they express something that is perplexing, I usually ask first, "Is this a final thought or a thought still forming?" If it is a final thought, you can react. If it is a forming thought, you can wait for the final version before reacting.

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"To Go" Mat: Type Tip #26

If you have a child with ESP (Extraversion, Sensing, Perceiving) preferences you may appreciate using a "To Go" mat. This type is energized by what is happening in the moment and can get so distracted by current events that they forget something you just gave them to hold such as a water bottle for the soccer game. Buy a carpet sample or a mat. Designate it as the "To Go" mat. When the child has something that will need to go with them in the car (e.g., book bag, water bottle, coat, homework) they take it immediately to the "To Go" mat and place it there. When they are ready to go to the car they stop and pick up the things that are on the "To Go" mat. It works much better than saying repeatedly, "I just gave it to you. Where did you put it?"

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