The holidays are just around the corner and Wyatt the Wonder Dog is wondering how long he will have to wait until the big day and what gifts he will get. His mother however, has a more important question, “What will you give for Christmas?” Join Wyatt as he learns a valuable lesson about how anyone can be generous and giving at Christmas and all through the year.
Purchase Wyatt Learns about Giving and any two other Wyatt books for the special holiday price of $30.00 plus shipping and handling and receive a free Christmas bandana from Wyatt. Here is my favorite walking partner (sorry Sherran) modeling the bandana:
Here is the bandana design:
Be sure to put the titles of the two additional books in the comment section on Paypal.
I’ve been traveling and driving a lot lately which means that I’ve been listening to a lot of books. One book that has some amazing information relevant to parents and educators is Daniel Pink’s book, Drive. No, it’s not a book about driving a car… it’s a book about what motivates people to learn and to perform.
It’s Not What You Think
The author reviews a lot of research that confirms what any parent or educator who has tried to motivate children with carrots (rewards or incentives) and sticks (punishments) knows; it is not an effective way to create a lifelong learner. While children (and adults for that matter) will often perform to achieve a reward in the short term, in order to maintain interest and commitment to the task, one must create an ever expanding system of rewards. While an M & M candy may be rewarding the first time a child ever gets one, before you know it, a whole candy store is necessary to keep her engaged.
There’s More to the Story
Here’s the really amazing thing the research shows about rewards; once they are taken away, the student is less likely to continue the activity even if they initially found the activity itself rewarding. This means in the long run rewards are actually detrimental to the overall intrinsic motivation of the student. In one study of preschoolers, students who initially chose to color in their free time and who were later rewarded for choosing to color, did not return to coloring once the reward was taken away. Schools actually sabotage their own environment by establishing reward systems because children become dependent on outside forces in order to be motivated and without them lose their natural curiosity.
What is the alternative?
What is left for parents and teachers to do?
- Great educators develop a relationship with their students. Because they know and understand their students, they celebrate their strengths.
- Great educators give students ownership of their learning–Teachers are responsible for providing a creative learning environment, but ultimately students have responsibility for taking the initiative.
- Great educators give students a choice-while students don’t always have a choice about what it is necessary to learn (because of curriculum requirements teachers don’t have that choice either!), they can have a choice in many aspects of how, when and where they learn. Creativity and critical thinking is encouraged.
- Great educators make their lessons relevant to students’ current interests and their lives. This doesn’t mean that they have to be knowledgeable about every current fad, only that they relate the information to the practical world.
Teaching without carrots and sticks is possible but it takes a new and creative mindset on everyone’s part.
Want to learn more about personality style and what naturally motivates different personalities? Sign up for the email list and receive a personality style info sheet.
Strengths of the C Wired Child
So your child isn’t a high energy, a steady or a strong-willed child. What is the fourth and last personality style? Maybe your child is a C personality style which is described as cautious, careful, conscientious, 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. They like to be right, follow the rules and can be very loyal to traditions. Not as outgoing as the determined or D type they are however similar in that they are task focused and like to stick with something until it is completed.
Sometimes C wired children have a perfectionistic, idealistic approach. 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 can be very hard on themselves and others when they don’t measure up to their high standards. C personalities like to be right and follow the rules. 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 can lead to analysis paralysis, where they cannot make decisions or more forward because they can always gather more facts to analyze before making the perfect decision.
Parenting the C Wired Child
This is a child who benefits from sincere praise and appreciation of a job well done. Correction should be gentle. 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 appreciate 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, inventive 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.
In a favorite comic strip, a little boy tells his Dad, “You’ll never be as smart as me Dad. Back when God built your brain…he was using older technology.” Pretty clever, huh? Probably hits home for many parents like me who rely on younger children to tweak their websites, blog posts and download all kinds of materials that seem beyond our older antiquated computer competencies.
D Wired Children
There’s another aspect of this cartoon that I like to focus on: How is this kid wired? What is his personality style? Not hard to guess if you are familiar with the DISC personality profile. Sounds like a ‘D’ profile to me. Often represented as a lion or an eagle, here are some words to describe them: determined, decisive, demanding, takes charge, bold, self-reliant, independent, confident, direct, competitive, challenges the status quo. In a word, strong-willed. Sound like anyone in your house?
If so, I bet you are wondering how you can create a climate that promotes peace in your household while still ensuring success for the ‘D’ wired child. Here are a few recommendations: First of all, celebrate their unique qualities! The same characteristics that make them a challenge to parents, can also be traits that put them in charge of their own corporation or make them the next president of the country. Find ways to channel that talent into productive pursuits. What can they be in charge of at home? In the community? At church? If you can pique their interest and develop in them a passion for excellence in a productive arena, you will make your job as a parent much easier.
Provide them with a challenge as well as some control and choices in order to get their best cooperation. Give them room to not only grow but fail when necessary. ‘D’ wired children especially need to learn that there are consequences to their behavior. Crystal clear boundaries, preferably written down, so they know your expectations will be essential. The more you can encourage ownership of the situation, the better will be their cooperation and participation.
Develop Empathy for Others
‘D’ wired children are often not naturally sensitive to the feelings of others, so it may be your job to help them recognize how their behavior and words affect others. Help them learn compassion and develop a servant’s heart while accomplishing their goals.
How Are You Wired?
Your own personality profile often determines the type of struggles you may have with the ‘D’ wired child. If you happen to be a ‘D’ wired parent, there is the possibility of power struggles and as you both vie for control. Be firm but consistent, avoiding threats and ultimatums. ‘ I’ wired parents may need to focus on establishing rules and clear expectations, while following through with consequences and discipline. If your own wiring is the ‘S’ personality profile, you will need to visit the ‘D’ traits in order to maintain control and teach her to recognize and respect authority other than her own. Be firm and consistent. Finally, ‘C’ wired parents may need to give their ‘D’ wired child some responsibility while refraining from stepping in when their own perfectionist goals aren’t met. Keep in mind that while ‘D’ wired children are similarly task oriented, their pace is faster and less exacting than the reserved ‘C’ wired individual.
This is the first of a four part series on parenting through speaking your child’s personality language. Next post will discuss parenting the Inspiring or ‘I’ type child. Sign up for the Wyatt email list to receive a description of each personality style and strategies that work well with each one.
If you would like to read more on parenting and personality styles, I suggest Personality Insights for Moms! by Susan Crook with Robert A Rohm Ph.D. or Different Children, Different Needs, by Dr. Charles F. Boyd with Robert Rohm. Ph.D.