Being a parent has been both my biggest gift and biggest challenge. Recently I was asked to lead a local life coaching workshop called, “Parenting with Purpose.” I gladly accepted and was excited because I had just come across a gem of a book called “The Child Whisperer” by Carol Tuttle and was eager to share the knowledge gleaned with other families.
The Live Your Truth website introduces the book like this: “The Child Whisperer helps you customize your parenting and create deeper bonds of trust with each unique child in your life. [The book] is based on the idea that every child is unique. But they do express similar patterns in how they move through the world. People move through life in 1 of 4 distinct ways that show up in their behavior, feelings, thought process, features, and personality. And it starts when we’re babies.”
Now that the workshop is over, I wanted to share the same information with all of you because helping our children discover who they are and live out their truth from a young age equips them to become adults who feel comfortable and confident. That’s one of the most important things we can do for our children!
My kids are opposites (as many are), and I originally saw one of my kids as being a “better kid” than the other because I wasn’t understanding their differing behaviors. My obedient daughter was much easier to parent than my strong-willed son. Because of the difference in ease, I grew frustrated with my little boy. But I quickly caught myself and realized the problem was not my children, it was me!
Families need all the tools they can get to understand each other better and honor what each individual brings to the table—even the differences! Because we are all good and we are all enough, we just need to be given permission to be who we are.
In order to fully extract all the goodness from this book, I wanted to prepare resources and a guided learning exercise to help equip parents to teach their children more about who they are and how they fit into this world.
The book takes a look at four different energy types and how each child’s energy is the key to decoding what’s really going on with their behaviors, worries, and motivations.
The book identifies four types:
1. The fun-loving child.
2. The sensitive child.
3. The determined child.
4. The serious child.
Ultimately, when we know our children’s types, parenting becomes simpler. As soon as I started parenting my children according to their “types,” my family began to have a peace and unity we hadn’t had before.
Everyone has a dominant and secondary type. Depending on how they work together determines the behaviors and movements of the person. Also, a person’s type encompasses their entire being, including their appearance, which is why physical features are listed on the print-out in addition to behaviors.
Details of every single type can be found in the book. My goal is to simply introduce you to the concept because I am confident you will see how this knowledge will transform your family. Everyone wants to be heard and understood, and this is a key step in the right direction.
Children adapt their personalities to the expectations placed on them. But they consistently move through life true to their natural energy. We can support them through their expression by taking the time to learn what it is!
So how do we identify who they are?
It’s a combination of behavior and appearance. To narrow down our children’s types, we must assess their movement (not just their personalities), ask them about their energy (when they are old enough), and trust our intuition.
In the process of assessing energy types, observe your child. Does he move with random, bouncy energy? Or is he more methodical and planned out? Does she get things done with swift, punchy movement? Or is her movement more exact and linear?
We are going to think through these things through a coaching tool called a “visualization.” A visualization is something I use for my life coaching clients to help them try on a new perspective while they view a situation. Through this practice, we are more likely to be accepting of messages that we often miss because of distractions that surround us.
In a visualization scenario, we close our eyes and keep our minds open so we can learn something new. In the recording below, I will walk you through an experience as you meditatively follow along. Let your intuition lead and don't try to take control. I will ask many curious questions, but don’t try to remember them all. Below is a sheet with similar questions you can use as a resource to refer back to once the visualization is complete.
When you are ready, click “play,” close your eyes, and begin.
Use the questions below to help you identify your children's types.
Now that you have narrowed down your children’s types, look at the resource below about how to parent each type of child. This gives us action steps and is also how my family dynamic changed for the better.
When I discovered my daughter was a type 2, I tried to move slower for her as she is an observer and needs time to take notice of all the details around her. I also gave her space to be heard as it’s much easier to overlook her and her needs.
When I discovered my son’s fiery personality, I learned to love it more and nurture it instead of doing everything I could to put out his fire. I gave him room to explore and supported his need for a challenge.
Decide, how do you want to honor your child’s type?
No matter what steps you take, remember to parent with purpose. Many kids grow up not knowing who they are, but YOU have the power to change that and support your children’s natural tendencies in ways that help them succeed as adults!
Check out The Child Whisperer website for more information on how to help your children live their truth.