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Helping families make the most of personality differences.

4 Results tagged "Discipline"

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TAGS: Procrastination, Relationships, Chores, Communication, Differences, Discipline, Mothering Styles, parenting

School Morning Routines… or Not

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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As a parent, I am sure you will relate well to this one! School mornings... chaos! Everyone has somewhere they need to be, each with their own schedule and arrival times. Our society does not function on going at your own pace or getting there when you get there.

You would think that those who typically get up late and run out at the last minute would be the most stressed, but not in our house! Those are the kids who seem most chill about throwing on their clothes, probably yesterday's clothes, popping a mint, and putting their hair up in a messy ponytail.

They seem to go with the flow and handle what comes at them moment to moment. On the other side of this scenario, I have the kid who sets multiple alarms, just in case one doesn't work, who gets up an hour or more before they have to be anywhere. Although they could actually be ready in 10 minutes max, they take an hour.



The routine must remain constant. Slow breakfast, a little Netflix, getting dressed, washing face, brushing teeth, combing hair, organizing and reorganizing the backpack, and reviewing the day's schedule. Again, all of this could take 10 minutes, but it is about the process. So, imagine, when that person misses the alarm... pure panic! Even if there is still 30 minutes to get ready before leaving.

Let me be clear, yelling at them to get moving won't work! The more pressure they feel, the more panicked they become, and the less efficient the process. Rather than focus on getting ready, the panic takes over and they tend to run in circles, tears flowing, hysteria rising, not knowing where to start! Remain calm... that is the best tactic.

Even offering to help doesn't necessarily alleviate any stress, as the routine is what truly matters. I have found that as the kids have gotten older, it has become easier to help them remain calm and work through the process, reminding them that missing a short Netflix video in the morning won't ruin the day. They can always catch up at lunch.

Of course, when other family members engage in the chaos, telling said child to calm down, we arrive at what I would imagine Armageddon to be like. Needless to say, understanding how different we each are and doing our best to support those differences goes a long way in making the mornings run smoother.

It doesn't hurt to encourage those late risers to get up sooner, and an additional check in on those early risers is appreciated. The bottom line, my car leaves the garage at 7:40 am whether you are in it or not! Happy morning!



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.



PeopleStripes.org article
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TAGS: Consequences, Discipline, Rewards, Timeout

Time Out – Discipline or Reward?

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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Why is it that some discipline tactics are punishment for some, but a reward for others? We are all different. Understanding and appreciating those differences can be a helpful guide in how we choose to parent our child and the efficiency in doing so.

What works for one might not always work for another. As one who thrives on the interactions of being around other people, my greatest childhood punishment was time out. I could hear giggly conversations that I just knew were key to our human survival and I was missing it! World problems were being solved, and again, I was missing it!

Okay, well perhaps I exaggerate, but point made, I hated being isolated. Clearly, this type of discipline worked for me, in particular as a deterrent to bad behavior, but certainly not as rehabilitation as I fumed around my room like a caged animal eager to be set free.

Time out was a popular parenting tool when my children came along and was often recommended across the board. Knowing how it affected me, I of course employed this tactic with my first child. I would listen outside her door fully expecting outrage on the other side, only to hear nothing but silence. I would wait a minute or two then peek in her room only to find her playing peacefully in a corner content as can be.

My reflective and introspective daughter was fully engaged in play, enjoying her time to be on her own. Clearly, time out for her was not a deterrent for bad behavior, but more of a reward for much appreciated alone time.

Once my second daughter came along, time out for her was torment. She would consistently remind us that she was in her room announcing each minute as it passed or before telling time, asking us every few seconds if she was done yet, whereas, I’m embarrassed to admit, our oldest would often be in time out the longest since we would forget she was even there!

Time out, as a discipline tool, clearly works for some but not others. It gave my first daughter time to reenergize and reflect, my second daughter a time to rage and dispense her frustration, and Mom a little break to gather thoughts, find patience, and perhaps even complete an errand or two.

For me, the best part of time outs were the reflective conversations afterwards, all smothered in hugs.


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TAGS: Class Participation, Discipline

Persuasion Does Not Work for All Children

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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Usually children approach school and authority figures from two different perspectives.  One is a ?teacher pleaser.?  They want the teacher to like them so they will more frequently do whatever the teacher asks in order to be in the teacher?s favor.  The second style is a ?rule follower.?  If there is a rule (a reasonable and good rule), this child is willing to comply.  The first kind of child responds positively to persuasion from a teacher.  The second does not.  For the second child, persuasion merely suggests there are two choices.

Here is a preschool example.  It was time to come to circle for a story and one preschool child wanted to stay and play with the blocks.  The teacher used persuasion as her method of communicating with the children. The teacher said, ?Okay, kids.  Everybody come to circle.  It is circle time.?  One child continued to play in the blocks area.  The teacher approached the child with a gentle, charming voice and said, ?Wouldn?t you like to come sit with all of us on the circle?  It is time for circle, honey.?  The child said, ?No.  I want to play with the blocks.?  So the teacher pulled out even greater persuasive tools.  ?I?ll let you hold the special book.  You can sit right by me and hold the bear and the book and help me with all the projects.  How about that??  The child answered, ?No, I want to play with the blocks.?  The teacher became frustrated because her persuasive tools were not working.  She thought there must be something wrong with the child?s social skills. 

Persuasion Doesn't Always Work

Those ?non-teacher-pleaser? children hear persuasion as an option.  This child likely heard there was a choice between circle or blocks.  The phrase ?wouldn?t you like?? meant they could say no and choose something else.  The frustration for the teacher came because her primary tool was not working with this child.  The child does not consider the rejection of circle as disrespectful because there was a choice (?wouldn?t you like??).  They are then surprised when they are given a consequence for not coming to circle.

The second type of child responds to fair and reasonable rules.  They are black and white in their communication skills and respond to direct rules.  When the child first said they wanted to stay and play with the blocks they teacher could have used active listening skills and responded, ?You wish you could stay and play with the blocks but it is circle time.  When it is circle time we all come to circle.  Come now.? 

If the child persisted to get their way the teacher would repeat.  ?No. At circle time all children come to the circle.  Come now.  Blocks are for another time.?  If the child continued to resist we are going beyond style.  Something else is happening.  Perhaps the work addressed during circle time is confusing for the child.  Still the teacher needs to keep the rule front and center.  With a calm voice the teacher could repeat.  ?The circle rule is all children sit on the circle at circle time.  I will be there to help you if circle work is difficult.  I believe in you and believe you can learn everything we are sharing. Come now.?

Never bribe or promise something as a reward for coming to circle (e.g. you can hold the bear) because then the child is responding to the reward and not the rule, and you will be encouraging that behavior in the future. 

After circle, the teacher might say to the child, ?I am very proud of you.  Your decision to follow the rule and join the group was exactly the right thing to do.  I enjoyed hearing your thoughts during our time on circle.?