The New Times (Kigali)

19 December 2012

Rwanda: Privileges and Challenges of Raising Successful Children

opinion

"We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future," Franklin Roosevelt famously said. It's every parent's wish and desire to raise their children into successful adult life.

However, attaining this is one of the most daunting tasks to most parents irrespective of their economic status, rich or poor - challenges of parenting have no boundaries! What is more intriguing though is the fact that some parents are able to raise and groom their children into fruitful adulthood while others fail in this regard completely.

Understanding this concept and recognising that each child is different and unique is a step towards successful parenting.

For the sake of experience sharing maybe there should be forums where parents should meet and share their respective experiences on successful parenting! But this will be a topic for another day. Today I would like to share with readers one thing that can help in raising successful children.

Psychology pathologists believe that understanding your child's temperament and recognising their uniqueness is a significant step towards successful parenting. But is temperament?

Temperament can be defined as an inner mechanism that has been given to us by God which influences who we are, how we live our lives and our relationships with other people. As parents we should recognise that each child is born with a personality that is different from their siblings.

Understanding your child's temperament, will help you understand how you respond to each child's behavior and will help you to be a better parent.

Understanding this concept and recognising that each child is different and unique is a step towards successful parenting. If you understand uniqueness of your children, parenting will not be by trial and error but it will be a smoother journey.

This is so because as you understand your child's temperament, you will learn how they respond to life. The four temperaments are; Choleric, Sanguine, Phlegmatic and Melancholy. Sanguine Children characteristics are; friendly, nobody is a stranger to them.

They are steady talkers, a winning smile keeps them from being punished even when they are in the wrong. Sanguine children are very loud and most boisterous; they show off and love being the centre of attraction.

They have short interest span and are always restless. Children with this behavior traits act on a spur act now and think later person. They are eager to please, they say please and thank you easily.

They intend to be obedient and to please, but they easily forget. They don't keep anger, after punishment they get over it and move on. They like playing and sharing with others. They easily get angry, readily apologise and beg for forgiveness when in the wrong. Their emotions change quickly from high to low and this helps them to adjust to disappointments.

Normally, they are not good learners because they are restless in nature and undisciplined which hinder study habits. If parents are quarrelsome/unhappy, they reflect that by being sullen or withdrawn.

They are normally responsive to spiritual things and most receive Jesus at an early age. Also, children with Sanguine traits are compassionate at heart and respond to those who love them.

Some advice on raising the sanguine children; they need more help to be orderly and organized - to tidy up their rooms and wash their clothes. They need strong and careful guidelines to direct them through teenage/youth years.

Choleric Children's characteristics: They are easy to detect and are normally self-sufficient. They are very independent in nature and like attempting to do things for themselves. They will loudly and angrily proclaim their disproval, have strong willed and determined spirit; you may break their will but not their spirit. They love to lead others, they are active and strong. They are self confident and are not concerned about pleasing people. They speak out their mind freely even when it's offensive. They can be blunt, untactful and may tend to use sarcastic speeches/ language. Choleric children tend to dominate those with other temperaments.

Suggestions that will help in raising the choleric children; give them responsibility, teach them the importance of cooperation and team work, train them to appreciate, about dos and don'ts, and to always consider their friend's views.

To be continued...........

The author is an educationist, author and publisher.

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