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Helping families make the most of personality differences.

5 Results tagged "-Guiding"

Choices
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TAGS: Decision Making, Guiding, About MMTIC, Choices, Communication, Differences, Preparation, Self-Management

Using Choices to Increase Individuality

Elizabeth Murphy, Ed.D.
ELIZABETH MURPHY, Ed.D., 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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Teachers and parents often agree that individuality should be encouraged in the home and in the classroom, but sometimes we hear comments from teachers that sound like this: "How am I supposed to do that when there are more than 30 students in the class?"

Schedules and requirements can exhaust teachers, so even when their heart is willing the energy is not there. Parents and teachers can begin the differentiation process with their children by speaking in pairs of choices that resonate with Jung's theory.

Giving children a chance to select the way they think or feel is good for them because they will explore new and challenging ways of making decisions. The children may not know psychological type concepts but the parent and teacher can open the door to Jung's ideas by talking in pairs and giving type choices. Maintaining the same task expectation for all but allowing varied ways of accomplishing that task objective can increase individual development and expression.

Adults new to the theory of personality type ideas sometimes struggle with developing pairs of choices for the children. Having a standard set of options for each of the dichotomies can be a beginning point. These can be exchanged for a million other paired options.

It is important that the "choice pairs" contain an option from each side of the theory's dichotomies, and the children must have a choice. Offering these language choices several times daily gives children developmental opportunities and increases their chance to discover the best ways that work for them.

Some potential examples are listed for each of the dichotomies in Jung's theory. Encourage students to look at both perspectives but to start with their favorite way.

Extraversion-Introversion
  1. Would you like to talk about the story first with your friend and then complete the worksheet (E) or would you like to complete the worksheet first and then share your thoughts with your friend (I)?
  2. Would you like to study with a team (E) or on your own (I)?
  3. Would you like to talk out your ideas while you are forming your thoughts (E) or would you like to think about things before you share your ideas (I)?
Sensing-iNtuition
  1. Would you rather think about all the facts and information you know about this topic before you pick your idea of a project (S) or would you like to think of an innovative project first and then figure out how to make it real (N)?
  2. Do you like to follow directions that are clear and plentiful to do your best (S) or would you like a general idea of what to do so you can explore options of new ways to try (N)? If the child says they want directions, tell them they can remain and ask questions for as long as they need. More likely the Intuitive children will leave early and the Sensing children will ask questions until they are comfortable with their amount of directions given.
  3. Do you understand better when information is presented in order (S) or do you like making connections between ideas to learn (N)? Intuitive children seem to enjoy using mnemonic connections to help them recall specific information whereas Sensing children seem to like being able to memorize when the order is predictable and accurate.

Thinking-Feeling

  1. Do you decide what to do with your first thought (T) or do you decide what is more important and start there (F)?
  2. Do you choose what you think will produce the best project (T) or do you choose what you think will be important to the team (F)?
  3. Do you notice what is incorrect first (T) or what is well done first (F)?
Judging-Perceiving
  1. Do you want to get your homework done well but as quickly as possible so you have more free time (J) or do you want to determine the last moment you can start and still get it done well (P)? If the latter is your best way, calculate the last moment you can start and still get it done on time. You may want to add some extra time "just in case" there are unexpected interruptions.
  2. Do you do better when you know the plans for the day (J) or when there are unexpected surprises in the day (P)? Planful children can ask to be told when the schedule will change. Playful children can ask to take a personal "fun" break for 10 minutes if they have completed some of the work. The choice must be theirs. But all children must finish the work on time
  3. Do you like to work first and then play (J) or do you like to play around while you get your work done (P)? If your style is to be playful while you work be sure your playful style does not interfere with another person's working style.

What if your child can't choose? Tell them that either choice is a good place to begin. "Try one this time and try the other next time. The goal is to help you determine what is your best choice for you and to recognize there will be others in the class who might choose a different way."

Set a personal goal to incorporate dual options in your classroom daily and as many times a day as possible. Don't be overwhelmed-chose one set of differences to start and increase your use of language-driven choices from that point. Theoretically driven options encourage greater self-awareness in children, increase independence, and contribute to the healthy development of the child's personality.

The strategy and implementation are free. It takes only a moment of time and it makes a critical difference.


You can learn more about the dichotomies and your individual personality type by taking the MBTI® assessment; your children can learn their type by taking the MMTIC® assessment.




Setting Limits and Respecting Choices
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TAGS: Guiding, Boundaries, Discipline, parenting, Problem Solving

The Bungee Cord Between Setting Limits and Respecting Choices with Middle School Tweens

Elizabeth Murphy, Ed.D.
ELIZABETH MURPHY, Ed.D., 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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Parents of children in middle school can feel they are caught by a bungee cord that whips them between giving their child independence and being fearful that the child is not ready to make decisions. Children this age are trying to establish their values as separate from the family, while at the same time loving the family and wanting to be part of that value system. Both parent and child experience the push and pull of this time period.

At times, problems may begin when the child's devotion and commitment to something, such as a sport, may be seen by the parent as a less important goal to consume their energies. They may want their child to focus on 'real' schoolwork in preparation for high school and college.

During the elementary years the child is more responsive to direction from adults and authority figures. Beginning in these tween years the child starts to listen to the inner drives that guide them. As much as possible, parents should listen to their child's interests and merge these with what is required. If football is important and academics are slipping, the battle should not be between football or academics. Instead, the focus should be a merger to respect both.

The goal is not a compromise. A compromise may neglect parts of each. The language might sound like this: "Wow, football is important to you and as a parent, academics and knowing you are getting a good academic foundation is important to me. So how can you balance your time best so you can do what you need to do in your athletic endeavors without risking failing your classes and without being under constant emotional stress because you have to go to a class without your assignment completed? Let's talk about how we are going to balance that time and balance your energy so you can get the best of both."

At this age, the parent must show some respect for the child's choices, but not abandon the family value they know is equally or even more important to what the child wants to do. One of the rules that I used throughout high school clarified a template for the child. I would say, "Final decision is yours when there is an honest choice that is yours to make. If there is a law or a rule, you do not break the law or the rule, period. You negotiate to change the rule for the next time, but you never just break it because you suddenly disagree with it. So any time somebody wanted to change their curfew or change a house rule, I would say, "What we do in Congress is we revise the law; we just don't break it. So you have to obey the rule this time but you can always sit down and negotiate for a change for the future." That seemed to respect the right of input for both parent and child, and reduced emotional reactions in the moment.

What if the child violates a rule? Apply a natural consequence or an identified consequence. Then sit down and negotiate any changes if changes are reasonable. Some will not be and then you can say this is not a rule that can be changed at this time. My children always challenged why I would not pay them for good grades. That was not something I wanted to do so I would not yield. We could always discuss the issue and they could present their views but the negotiation did not always result in the change they wanted.

Any time the tween begins to complain about rules remind them you are willing to discuss the issue with them. Explain you will let them present their views and you will present yours. Do not have the discussion that moment. Set a time where everyone can dedicate at least 15 uninterrupted minutes to sit together to discuss the issue. Hopefully, that date and time can happen within a day or two of the request. Fifteen minutes is more than adequate.

If emotions erupt and a lecture or argument begins, pause the negotiation and reschedule a time after an hour has passed. You are teaching your child to solve problems in an adult way and to respect differences without necessarily adopting the other person's view. This skill will serve them well, and it will reduce the snap back of that bungee cord.


You can learn more about the individual personality type of your kids and students by having them take the MMTIC® assessment. Get a better understanding of your own preferences by taking the MBTI® assessment.



End of school...please!
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TAGS: Guiding, Procrastination, Boundaries, Encouragement, Homework, Learning, parenting, Teenagers, Testing

End of School, End of Report Period, End of Patience

Yvonne Nelson-Reid, B.Ed., M.A.
YVONNE NELSON-REID, B.Ed., M.A., is a mother of 5, writer, teacher, depth psychologist, and career coach. As a certified MBTI and MMTIC professional, she uses typology as a tool for helping others understand differences and communicate more effectively.
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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. 

Our school district has an online Parent Portal where parents can log in and monitor their child?s grades throughout the year. Now with five children this can become a full-time job in and of itself, so thankfully over the years there has not been a big need in my family to utilize this site, except with one child in particular. However, at the times I have checked all has seemed in order, then wham, near the end of a reporting period and definitely year end, chaos erupts! 

Year after year this has been the pattern with my daughter. Incredibly bright and high-scoring on standardized tests, yet negligent on doing homework or worse yet, doing it and not handing it in. As much as I appreciate her rationalization that doing homework is a waste of time when she already knows the material and can ace the exams, it does not help the grades. 



So far, she has been fortunate that teachers have allowed her to hand in assignments late, bringing a grade of D up to a B, although she is more than capable of an A. The anxiety in our house on that last night before graded assignments are due goes through the roof! To her credit, she will stay up all night long and get it done, but this Mom, who prides herself on structure and getting things done on time, preferably early, goes crazy in the process.

Dad, however, gets it. He has always been a procrastinator with little desire for schedules. Dad also recognizes, however, that there are times that structure and schedules are needed, and he often learned the hard way. His patience astounds me, and I for one am grateful to have him around especially at the end of the school year! 

Our daughter is going to be a Junior in high school this year, and I fear the leniency of teachers will diminish as she heads off to school, so perhaps like her dad, she will have to learn the hard way. In the meantime, I will continue to check Parent Portal and continually remind her to complete assignments and hand them in, encouraging her to keep track of assignments and due dates, and work a little each day to stay on top of things. 

Although she naturally waits until the last minute to get things done, she can learn to do them sooner, with a lot of guidance on our end. There will likely be some tough lessons in the future. But I will say this, I do admire her ability to take things in stride and get things done, even if at the very last minute.


You can learn more about the individual personality type of your kids and students by having them take the MMTIC® assessment. Get a better understanding of your own preferences by taking the MBTI® assessment.


Lesson in Self-Management
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TAGS: Decision Making, Guiding, Boundaries, Problem Solving, Self-Management

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

Elizabeth Murphy, Ed.D.
ELIZABETH MURPHY, Ed.D., 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.


It’s Your Turn to do the Dishes
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TAGS: Guiding, Chores, Problem Solving

It’s Your Turn to do the Dishes

Elizabeth Murphy, Ed.D.
ELIZABETH MURPHY, Ed.D., 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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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. 

My daughter (10) had a preference for “getting the job done.” She would go to the kitchen and clean everything as quickly as possible so she could have more time for play. My son (8) would see this as a moment to play while getting the job done. Of course, that plan takes more time. My husband’s approach to life more closely matched that of my daughter so he thought her way was good and effective. My son’s way drove him crazy. 

My son thought that every piece of work should be treated with respect but handled with fun. Therefore, he would make up games to play while doing the dishes. He would clean half the table, then do part of the floor, then play with the hose used to rinse dishes. He was fine. He was happy. He was working. My husband was pacing the room totally agitated. His comments included: “Why does he have to do that?” “Why can’t he finish one thing and then go to the next?” “Why must everything be a game and take so long?” 

 So when it was my son’s turn to do the dishes we made my husband leave the house. He had to go take a walk or do something else and when he came back, if there was anything wrong with the job that was done, he could criticize my son. If there was not, then my husband had to acknowledge that it was not the output that was problematic but the process—the way my son had chosen to get the job done. 

 

 

 Acknowledging we have children with inherent and different ways of getting a job done means we should shift our focus to the output. Did the job get done well? One child may take longer but that can be OK. If a time limit is necessary just tell the child that they only have an hour and the child will get the job done within that time frame. The other child may be more time efficient but the quality of work may be the same. Judging a child’s work by the product completed rather than the process allows different styles to each be effective in the home. 

 What if the child does not do a good job? Then likely it is not about style differences. Perhaps the child needs to be taught how to load the dishwasher. Perhaps the child is pulling a “con” to see if they can pretend incompetence and someone will take over the job. Perhaps they are just being lazy and refusing to do the job competently because they don’t care. 

 When any of these happen, you reach in your bag of parenting tools and pull out other interventions. I would suggest telling the child they can leave the kitchen when the job is done adequately. Then ask if they need any help or guidance to understand what is expected. DO NOT show them by doing the job for them. DO NOT lecture on what they should be doing. Instead, remain calm, state once that the kitchen cleanup is their task for the evening and you look forward to reading a book together or doing something fun when they finish. Walk away. 

 Praise the completed task. Make no comment on the way the job was done. You can ask if they need any advice for their next time to clean the kitchen but allow them to get the job done in their best way—but get the job done.