Sunday, November 20, 2011

Parenting Your Careful, Conscientious Child

children's dayImage by M@rg via Flickr
So your child isn't a high energy, steady or  strong willed child.  What is the last personality style?  My youngest daughter was the child who asked questions constantly. Not only did she ask questions until you thought you would scream, she would argue with you when you gave her an answer.  Here's an example.  One day she asked me how babies came out.  Trying to be the helpful, informative mom, I launched into  all the details.  When I finished, she looked at me with a sort of exasperated look and said, "No, I mean do they come out on a conveyor belt or what?"

That's an example of a 'C' or competent personality.  They are cautious, careful, conscientious, love to be correct, and consistent, just to name a few descriptive words.  They tend to be extremely gifted and make up about 20-25% of the population.  Sometimes they have a perfectionistic, idealistic personality and can be very loyal to ideas and traditions. They tend to see the world as black and white and are often impatient with other's perceptions that are different from their own.  They like to be right and follow the rules.  They expect others to do the same and may get frustrated with others who do not measure up.  Not as outgoing as the determined or 'D' type they tend to be task oriented instead of people oriented.  Quality and details are important to them, so they cannot be rushed or pushed.  They need time to make decisions since they like to gather the facts and do things correctly.  Sometimes this perfectionistic bent lead to analysis paralysis, where they cannot make decision and more forward because they can always gather more facts to analyze before making the perfect decision.

This is a child who benefits from sincere praise and appreciation of a job well done.  Criticism should be gentle. They need time to make decisions since they like to gather the facts and do things correctly. An important role of the parent of a 'C' child is to help them see the big picture and not get too caught up in the details.  Help them discover quality answers to their many questions and encourage their curiosity about the world and how it works.  Encourage them to interact with others and learn to empathize with feelings.  Celebrate the 'C' child's naturally inquisitive nature, and their desire to do things right and with high value.  Oh, and get ready for those challenging "where do babies come from..." questions.  Smile.