I don't listen to many parenting experts as I believe that we, as mothers, instinctively know what is best for our children. I have read Maria Montessori's books and deeply resonate with her love and respect for children and her understanding that we need to "follow the child" if we wish to raise children who are to raise the vibration of this planet. Both my children attend Montessori schools and have each thrived, even though they are different in many ways.
I have been so pleased to find that Carol Tuttle has a deep love and respect for humanity, that she has beautifully articulated in her wonderful book, The Child Whisperer. She has drawn her understanding of children from her energy profiling system that she discovered through her observations of nature. It is a fascinating study, one that has impacted my life profoundly.
According to Carol, people can be profiled according to 4 distinct types. These types are based on our facial features and the way we move in the world. It is not a personality test. Personalities can change, but our unconscious actions and our features are here to stay. This understanding has vastly improved my relationship with my children.
I now appreciate Annie's bubbly nature and lightness. I don't get upset when she bounces around the house like a fairy, whereas, before I would have told her to be more serious. I understand that her nature is to be light and playful, I appreciate the gift that that brings. I now also appreciate Xavier's more serious nature and need for structure. I now know that he appreciates having the time to prepare for activities and I also understand why he doesn't cope well with spontaneous changes of plans, even though I personally think that they can be a fabulous idea!
This information has made me a better parent and it has had the added benefit of an increase in compassion and harmony in our home. We have all learned our energy types and we are much more understanding of ourselves and the other members of our family.
As an introduction, here is a brief summary of the 4 types from the book:
Type 1: The fun loving child
Primary connection to the world: Social
Primary movement: Bouncy and random
Primary need: To have fun and happy parents
May be described as: animated, fun, bright, light-hearted and friendly
May be negatively judged as: flighty, hyperactive, unreliable
Type 2: The sensitive child
Primary connection to the world: Emotional
Primary movement: Subtle and thoughtful
Primary need: To have feelings honoured and everyone in the family feel loved and connected
May be described as: tender, gentle, kind, thoughtful
May be negatively judged as: wimpy, shy, hyper-sensitive
Type 3: The determined child
Primary connection to the world: Physical
Primary movement: Active and determined
Primary need: To be challenged and have new experiences with support of their parents
May be described as: strong, active, persistent, energetic
May be negatively judged as: pushy, loud, demanding, rambunctious
Type 4: The more serious child
Primary connection to the world: Intellectual
Primary movement: Straightforward and exact
Primary need: To be respected by their parents and family members and respect them in return
May be described as: thorough, efficient, responsible, analytical
May be negatively judged as: critical, judgmental, know-it-all
Of course, people are unique and no one is saying that there are only four types of people in the world. But, nature has a certain flow and certain rules. And we are part of nature, so we are part of that flow.
My life has vastly improved, now that I understand my type (I am a Type 3) as I no longer judge my natural need to be constantly learning and growing. I now understand why I can't sit still for too long (I don't feel productive if I am not achieving something) and why my push forward nature has been the reason for my push, burn-out crash, then crash cycle my whole life. I realise that this nature is what has contributed to my diagnosis of Hashimoto's.
The book gives wonderful affirmations to share with your child for each stage of their lives. It gives the top 10 things each type of child needs from their parents. It also gives statements that we should avoid saying to each type as those statements become a negative label and do not inspire the highest out of our children.
As a Type 3, some things I need to thrive are physical activity, challenges, projects and needing to see results. This is why I love to tick off my to do list, dream of climbing mountains and am always passionate about something new! I have learned that I will always be this way, so I do not need to push myself to the point of burn out anymore - there is enough time to achieve all of it!
Some negative judgements that Type 3 children hear are things like: calm down, when are you going to relax, you're too loud. I know that these are things I have told myself all my life and reading this book has given me peace and allowed me to love myself as I am - someone who dreams big and is passionate about her projects.
The book goes into a lot more detail for each type of child and is the perfect combination of easy reading and profound wisdom - my favourite kind of book.
Clearly this book is not only for children, it is very supportive for parents as it helps us to heal our own inner child. If you would like to bring more peace and harmony into your home, I highly recommend Carol's book.