The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Privileges and Challenges of Raising Successful Children Part II

opinion

"If we never have headaches through rebuking our children, we shall have plenty of heartaches when they grow up," observed Charles Spurgeon.

In last week's article I discussed the first two sets of children's temperaments. Today, I will tackle the last two sets. Understanding these features is an important step towards successful parenting.

The last two sets of children's temperament are melancholy and phlegmatic children characteristics.

Melancholy children's characteristics: Children with dominant melancholy temperament may exhibit some of the following characteristics. They are most gifted, have brilliant mind and are deep thinkers. They are very creative and naturally creative. They are very sensitive and don't normally like criticisms. They are easy to heart and get depressed quickly. They are always fully of inferiority complex and they believe that other people do not like them. Their moods change drastically. They never take responsibility and tend to blame others for any wrong doing. These children tend to look at the negative side of life and feelings of failure and inability. They usually set high goals and get depressed once the goals have not been achieved. They are very strict and a perfectionist type. It's generally hard for these children to find friends and when they become adults they find it hard to find a marriage partner because not too many people can meet their perfectionist and idealistic standards. Children with melancholy traits have the greatest strength and most devastating weaknesses.

Suggestions to help raise children with melancholy traits include; closer and proper guidance or else they become gloomy, pessimistic and self-pitying individuals. They need to be taught the pleasures of being joyful, thankfulness, positive attitude and a spirit of praise. They need to be trained not to be so critical of others; they should be encouraged to replace negative statements with positive ones. They should be guided to fully exploit their God given abilities/talents to full potential.

Phlegmatic is the last group of the four temperaments. Children with dominant phlegmatic traits will exhibit the following traits. They are naturally quiet, easy going and calm. They are slow talkers - they love just to watch and not to get involved. They are slow eaters and don't enjoy food much. They are introverts and can be stingy and selfish. They lack self motivation, if asked to do something it takes a long time. These children love teasing their friends as a way of getting touch with friends. They are usually less destructive and like to entertain themselves. They are easy to parent and are peaceful and calm.

Suggestions on raising phlegmatic children; they need to be taught responsibility. Also parents should motivate them and help them set goals to achieve in life.

Understanding children's temperament will help understand our children and appreciate the fact that each child is a different child with unique behavior and characteristics. Temperaments help parents understand each child's interests, special abilities, weaknesses and strengths. It's not a simple task to identify and differentiate each child's traits because it requires time, patience and analytical skills on side of a parent.

As mentioned in the previous article, temperament is not a standalone concept in parenting, but it arms parents to understand the uniqueness of each child and this helps to know how to handle each child according to their personalities.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas.

The author is an educationist, author and publisher. 

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