Understanding Temperaments

Understanding Temperaments

I can remember pulling my hair out many years ago wondering how to make headway in parenting. It seemed I was always correcting and never seeing results. Sometimes I would butt heads with kids and be so frustrated. What an enigma! It seemed like I was forever shaking my head, wondering what was going on!

I still remember the day that a close friend of our family told my husband and I about a great book that would make all the difference. He claimed it would take more than 50% of the stress out of family life! We were eager to hear more. He encouraged us both to read The Temperament God Gave You by Art and Larraine Bennett.   My husband, who is typically not into self-help books, couldn’t put it down. He liked that it was clear, to the point, constructive and multi-faceted in its application.  It wasn’t long and he took that book down to his workshop, sawed off the spine with his circular saw, took it to work and fed it into the machine to make it a pdf/eBook. He then commenced highlighting and writing all over it on his tablet for future reference. That was the impact that book had on him!  I too realized for the first time why some of my children upset me more than others, and why different kids needed different approaches. It explained so much!! It helped me see where I was making mountains out of molehills, why certain strategies worked for certain kids, and others caused explosions.  Since then, I have bought the books  Temperament God Gave Your Spouse and The Temperament God Gave Your Kids and gleaned many more insights that have helped me accept and work with the very different dispositions of those in my family. With twelve of us, we certainly have every combination. Growing up in my household, there were many fireworks and challenges.  Understanding the temperaments helped us make some changes to our approaches, understand why we had conflict and come to accept the other person better for being different and valuable.  I highly recommend these reads to you.

Recently a friend of mine had shared with me a video series on Temperament that she had stumbled across on Youtube. She was impressed how simply it was presented and how impactful the series was on her marriage and parenting. I checked it out and found it to be an excellent resource that I wanted to share with you. Although I have not read the manual that goes with it, I encourage you to watch the six sessions at  ISaidYouHeard.

As well,  my son and his wife started doing podcasts for their website on Temperament. You might be interested.  Here they are for you to enjoy:

The Four Temperaments

The Choleric Wife and Phlegmatic Husband

The Sanguine Husband -Interview

The Sanguine Husband – Part 1

The Choleric Wife – Part 1

The Choleric Wife – Part 2

Difficult Temperament Moments Cheat Sheet

I know they hope to post many more interviews of temperament blend couples, since their podcasts are a big hit. Stay tuned!

All in all, understanding the temperaments help all of us to see the value in ourselves and others, despite the differences. We can all improve our listening skills and change our strategies to really build relationships, especially those we find difficult.  It is never too late to begin. And, if you’re like me, it’s always good to begin again, and again, since we are creatures of habit and it takes a while to make these insights our own.  Good luck on your journey and enjoy the ride!


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