Celebrate Your Child’s Personality Style!

One thing I love about children is that you never know what clever but misquoted phrase will come out of their mouths.  I have a friend whose child used to call fly swatters… fly swappers. Makes you think doesn’t it? What would you swap a fly for if you had a chance?  Well, there are probably a lot of things.

cherokee christian school

When it comes to personalities, do you sometimes wish that you could swap your personality for another? Maybe if you are a parent, you wish you could swap your child’s personality for another, at least long enough to get them to finish their homework or do their chores!  If you are reserved, do you wish that you could be more outgoing? If you are task oriented, do you sometimes wish that you could be  more sensitive to people and their feelings? We all have aspects of our personality that we sometimes wish we could change.

Understanding Personality Styles Leads to Accepting Different Personality Styles

One of the goals of understanding the four basic personality styles is to move from tolerating a personality style in ourselves or others to accepting and ultimately celebrating that personality style.  Every style has it’s own unique blend of strengths and weaknesses. In ourselves as well as in our children, we must first come to accept and celebrate those strengths rather than focusing on changing or eliminating those undesirable aspects. No one personality is better than another.  Each one can use it’s strengths to grow and develop. In the same way, each one can push them to the point of being a weakness.



Four Personalty Styles

There are four basic personality styles and here’s a short description of the characteristics of each one:

D: dominant, determined, doer, demanding

I: inspiring, influencing, interactive

S: stable, supportive, sweet, shy

C: cautious, competent, calculating, concerned

While we are all uniquely wired and more comfortable operating out of our own personality type, it is certainly possible to “visit” some of the other personality traits. I In order to do this, we have to recognize the area of need and consciously develop those traits.

Personality Blends

Within the four personality types, there is the possibility of a total of forty personality blends! It is important to note that very few people have only one personality type. In fact, about 80% of the population have two components that are high. The trick is to identify what characteristics are called for based on the situation. Each of us needs to spend most of our time working in our strengths. At the same time, we need to recognize when we should raise our less dominant characteristics based on the needs of the situation.

What does this mean for you and your child? What is the best way to encourage your child’s strengths while at the same time helping them deal with situations that challenge them? Firstly, it is important that when your child is old enough to understand their personality type that you explain to them what you see as their strengths. Point out to them when you see them using those qualities in a positive way.  It is also important that they recognize situations where they are challenged so they can enhance those qualities when called for. Finally, celebrate the unique qualities that make up your child. The differences we all have is what makes our families special and unique.

Want to read more about personality styles and blends?  Join Wyatt’s email list and receive a Personality Style Information Sheet to help you understand and celebrate your child’s personality style, while encouraging them to work in their strengths.

Want to determine your personality style?  Visit the Wyatt store and you can take a personality assessment online and print out the results!

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foxtale1Tackling Those Back to School Blues…

It’s back to school and there is excitement in the air! As the school counselor in an elementary school, the beginning of school was always a mixed bag of smiles and tears.  I frequently spent lots of time  comforting crying children who missed mom, dad, brother, sister or their second cousin once removed. It was always interesting to me that I didn’t often have crying children on the first day but for the next week or so, I usually had several. What’s going on? Why cry on the second day but not the first?

I’m reminded of a Peanuts cartoon,  where Charlie Brown says to his little sister, “School starts Monday.” To which she replies, “Not for me!” “What do you mean, not for you?” Charlie Brown asks. “I went last year!” Lucy says. I think many kids could empathize with that statement. On the second day of school, they feel that the newness of a fun first day is over and there is the realization that this school stuff is more than a one-time-thing. There’s a lot of anticipation and hype about the first day, but what about the 2nd day or the 50th or the 150th day? As one crying student told me, “My brother didn’t tell me kindergarten would be so hard!”

Different Strategies for Different Personality Styles

What’s a mom, a dad, a counselor to do? Taking personality styles into consideration is important.

  • For the ‘D’ wired  or in charge dominant child, find a way for them to be challenged and have choices within the structure of their day.
  • For the ‘I’ wired  or inspiring, interactive child, be sure to include lots of social time with others and some fun activities both in their school day and in preparation for it.
  • For the ‘S’ wired sensitive and shy  child provide plenty of reassurance and ensure a peaceful, stress free morning.
  • Finally, for the ‘C’ wired cautious, conscientious child emphasize routine and doing things the best way.

Finally, all students benefit from getting started well with a nightly schedule and a morning routine.  Expectations are important.  If we as parents and educators expect students to look forward to school, we are more likely to transfer our enthusiasm and excitement to our children.

As with many situations, being consistently understanding but firm is the key. Of course you check to see if there is a bully on the bus or recent trauma in their lives, but my experience is that just the opposite is true. The child, who has faced adversity of some kind and made it through, is not usually the child crying in my office. The child crying in my office is more likely the child who has so far lived a very safe comfortable life with few challenges or conflicts. The best thing we as parents, educators and counselors can do is to encourage, support and teach them the skills they need to be strong enough to handle the new experiences that come their way.

How do you help children prepare and adjust to new experiences?

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Wyatt Visits Foxtale Book Shoppe!

One of Wyatt’s favorite bookstores to visit is Foxtale Book Shoppe.  That’s because it’s the BEST BOOK STORE IN ATLANTA!!


Last Friday, Wyatt the Wonder Dog shared the podium with some other great emerging authors like Robin GoodFellow and Beth Hermes.


We had a blast talking about Wyatt’s latest  adventure where he learns that winning sometimes involves failing first.


It was a pretty magical night.  Wyatt and I could have sworn we even saw a little fairy pixie dust floating around, but maybe we just imagined it…emergingauthorAugust

Back to School:  Stress Free Morning Routines

A lesson that I often teach early in the  school year is on organization;  We talk about what it means to be organized and even young children can look around the room and give great examples of organization. They point out the books on the shelves, the jackets hung up together on the coat rack and sometimes even supplies stacked in their desks.  We talk about the benefits of being organized: being able to find things quickly, keeping up with stuff rather than losing it. I’ve even written a book about Wyatt being organized.  If you’ve read it you know it’s mostly about establishing a morning and evening routine and the advantages of that.  An interesting note is that frequently when I sell it to parents they inform me they are buying it for their child or grandchild but secretly hoping that the adult in their lives will read it and take note.  Many adults tell me they need to read and follow the book.




One of the most stressful times of the day for many parents and children is the early morning rush of getting to school on time.  Here are a few tips for creating a stress free morning.


  1. Plan ahead by getting things ready the night before.  I’m a big fan of this approach and I often discuss it with children.  When my children were little we got clothes out and backpacks ready the night before.  Even now I prepare the night before for my next day.
  2. Leave yourself enough margin  to arrive on time.  While I followed this advice for work, (I was usually early), I’m not so good at following this advice for other activities.  The idea of margin is a good one and so often I find myself not planning on the needed amount of time with some extra  time added in for unforeseen difficulties.
  3. Spend some quiet time in devotion. This is a definite part of my morning and I think this is a great idea for families as well.  I love the thought of sharing a devotion with the family as you eat breakfast.  This is very different from the rushing-out-the-door, pop-tart-in-hand approach that often characterizes the morning routine.
  4. Share a positive affirmation that sets the tone for the day.  One example is: “Make it a great day for someone.”  Sharing a positive thought at the last good bye can create a positive mindset.

What about you?  What suggestions do you have for creating a stress free morning?

Wyatt Goes to the Home School Expo!

Wyatt at expo

What a great time Wyatt and I had at the Home School Expo in Marietta Georgia!!  We met parents and kids from all over the country.  I met a mom from Charlotte, North Carolina whose daughter had been given a Wyatt book by her grandmother, who also lives in Charlotte.  Isn’t the internet wonderful?  Wyatt has traveled to places and met with children that I didn’t even know!  Wyatt and I shared our booth with author Vicki Sewell who wrote the Magnificent Sprinkles story.  You can see her in the picture below sharing her story with a dad who later bought the book for his daughter.  We gave away a basket of books and other goodies.  The winner was Tiffany Richardson from Opelika, Alabama.  Congratulations Tiffany!!

in addition to sharing the Wyatt story with lots of parents, I also taught a class for parents on DISCovering your Personality Style and the Personality Style of Your Child.  It was really great fun  as parents learned all about the secret fuel for motivating their child and how to work in their strengths.  If you belong to a group that would like for me to present a similar workshop please let me know.   You can use the contact me form on this page.

Magnificent Sprinkles

Summertime Reading Fun

Summer is a great time to encourage kids to spend time reading. Not only is it entertaining but studies have shown that over the summer months, students typically lose many of the reading skills that they have worked so hard to gain throughout the school year. Parents can prevent this by making sure that there are plenty of opportunities to read. Even reading for just 15-20 minutes a day can make a big difference.  It’s so important that the state of Georgia has issued a summer reading challenge designed to keep kids engaged in reading.  You can read about it here.

There are a lot of great books out there too that are not only exciting adventures but wonderful messages as well.

Young adult author, Martha Orlando has a  trilogy that is packed with action, humor and inspiration. For a young adult book that is a real page turner pick up A Trip, A Tryst and a Terror, Children of the Garden and  The Moment of Truth.

My friend Erin Casey, has penned two terrific young adult books in her Zany Zia Hats To Where series. In the first book, An All Knight Adventure, Evan Tanner is transported to a castle in the middle ages where he conquers his fears in order to battle dragons and bullies. In Lost in Comanche Country, Marianna bravely navigates between Indian warriors, hungry mountain lions and cowboys out for revenge, while learning that despite all our differences we still have much in common if we will but take the time to get to know each other.

Jordan Crowl, author of Ed’s Journal is a talented author and illustrator who has written a series of character education books which allow the reader to determine possible choices and consequences.  These books make for great discussions between children and parents, as well as a wonderful lesson too. Check out all the titles in this interactive series.

For the younger set, my favorite author is Helen Lester.  Her books are humorous, clever and teach an important lesson as well.  A couple of my favorites are Hooway for Wodney Wat  and Listen Buddy.

Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns About Winning

Finally, I just have to mention my own series of books about Wyatt the Wonder Dog.  In the first book, Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns About Good Manners, Wyatt learns what to do about a bossy friend who doesn’t use his manners. In the second book, Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns About Being Organized, Wyatt learns how to plan ahead and organize his day, a skill that I’ve had many adults tell me they need to develop as well!  In the third book, Wyatt the Wonder Dog Goes to Kindergarten, Wyatt learns that adjusting to change can often be very rewarding.  the fourth book has Wyatt wondering what he will get for Christmas in, Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns about Giving.  And new out this summer, Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns about Winning.  In the latest book, Wyatt learns what it takes to be a winner after the disappointment of not being chosen for the traveling baseball team.  Happy Summertime Reading!