Saturday, November 12, 2011

Parenting The Shy Sensitive Child

You gotta love kids.  I was recently teaching a class on feelings and the book I was reading had the line in it... "Are you feeling bold?".  I've learned never to assume that children know what I am talking about, so I stopped and asked the kindergarten class if they knew what bold meant.  Being five and six year olds they of course did.  The child I called on confidently replied "You know, it's when you have no hair."

We have been talking about the different personality styles in children and today's post is about the 'S' personality style.  Bold is definitely NOT a word that would be used to describe them.  In fact, they often tend to be shy, reserved and reluctant to move outside of the status quo.  They have lots of wonderful qualities including:  steady, stable and supportive. They are people pleasers with a servant's heart, who often  consider others and their needs first. 'S' type children are delightful to be around and if you have one in your family, you are blessed. Teachers especially enjoy having 'S' type students in their classroom. They are highly motivated to perform and please the adults around them. They are the students who draw a picture or write you a letter to let you know that you are the best teacher in the world. About 30-35% of the population is wired with the S type personality and as adults, they are most commonly found in service industry jobs. Teachers and nurses for instance, are usually S types.

What is the downside of the S type personality? They can be too devoted to pleasing others. They may need to learn that friendship sometimes needs to take second place to other aspects of their lives. In addition, they need to learn that conflict can be healthy and necessary. Be sure to balance doing things for your 'S' child with encouraging the child to do things for himself. They often need help starting tasks and making decisions although they are great at finishing tasks once started.   They will need to learn to form opinions for themselves and not to be easily influenced by others who have a more dominant personality.  Make sure you offer lots of appreciation and support to the 'S' child and they will thrive. Take a softer and more gentle approach by speaking in softer less demanding tones.  Show appreciation for who they are rather than on what they accomplish.  Celebrate the dependable, compassionate nature of their personality which always strives for peace and harmony in the family.

Image by Andrei! via Flickr


  1. That child’s response to “Are you feeling bold?” is adorable!
    Excellent advice on showing appreciation for who they are rather than on what they accomplish. All children need this treatment. Enjoyed!
    Newest follower here.

  2. Thanks Debra for your comment! Children do say the darndest things!