As a person in the parenting advice space, I follow many other experts on social media. My social media feed is filled with lots of parenting advice – many of it really great! Often the advice is that you have to be 100% emotionally available for your child at all times, that you should never lose your temper, that you should always give them time and space to express themselves.
But, even though I can see the benefit of it all, before school in the mornings, I just want everyone to do their part – get up and get dressed, help with breakfast, eat your breakfast, brush your teeth, gather your stuff and get in the car on time and without a fight!
As a Lion Mum, I have my moments of guilt for not being soft and gentle and kind enough for my kids. But then I realise that every temperament has their own strengths and weaknesses. My weakness might be that I am not soft enough, gentle enough, kind enough, but I also have lots of other amazing traits that makes me a great mum. I’m great at seeing the big picture, at planning and being organised, I motivate my daughters to be the best they can be, I act with confidence and that makes them feel more confident.
Thank goodness for my knowledge of temperaments! Otherwise, I will be second-guessing my parenting all the time!
So, in a very small, generic nutshell, how does your temperament influence your parenting style?
Monkey parents are great at creating a fun home environment, as they enjoy playing with their kids and they priorities happiness in the family. On the other hand, they are not always the most organised, and this can create some level of anxiety for non-monkey-kiddies who need more structure and routine in their lives. Often koala-kids can’t keep up with the social schedule and then can feel overwhelmed and overloaded.
I’ve already touched on Lion Parents, but for the sake of completeness, I’ll include it here too. Lion Parents are great project managers, so they successfully manage their family and all the activities everyone is involved in. And yes, they might be great at organising the extended family and big family gatherings too, even though not everyone might appreciate this! 😉 They act with authority and confidence, and encourage their kids to be their best and to succeed. On the other side, they might expect immediate reaction and obedience and they can be too strict in their discipline. Unfortunately, this might lead to kids feeling criticised, pressured and pushed to succeed, and not just loved for who they are.
Meerkat parents are totally committed and devoted to their family and children. They are sensitive to everyone’s feelings and will sacrifice their own needs for their family. They are also often very organised with charts, lists, schedules and dairies. Unfortunately, Meerkats are often perfectionists and they have a very high (often unrealistic) expectation and standard. They can discourage their kids who are still learning and growing, not only with their high expectation, but also with their criticism.
Koala parents are calm and good-natured. They are often the strong anchor in times of need and crisis, and calms everyone else down. As Koalas love traditions and routine, they often create a warm, homely atmosphere at home, a place filled with calm and peace. On the other hand, kids quickly notice that Koalas don’t like conflict and they can easily use this against a Koala parent to get what they want. As it takes effort, Koala parents can shy away from enforcing rules and consequences, leaving it to the other parent. This might lead to frustration and a feeling of unfairness and unpredictability. Lion cubs will also lose respect for a Koala parent, as they might perceive this as a weakness.
As you can see, no matter your temperament, you have something great to offer your family!
Even if it doesn’t fit the ‘perfect social media model’. Focus on those strengths, work on the weaknesses to smooth the edges and love your family in your own unique way. I truly believe you are exactly the parent your child needs to grow into the person they need to be.
This was really just scratching the surface on temperaments. If you would like more detail on your own temperament, your children’s temperament and the impact this has on your family, you can book a discovery call with me HERE to see how best I can serve you and your family.