A common statement from parents is: Why are my children so different? My kids are so different, it makes no sense! They share the same genes, environment, routines, and parents! What makes them so different?”
My simple answer: It’s their Nature. Each child leads with a Nature, one of 4! An innate temperament that can be seen simply by looking at the way they do things. Think about their movement and expressions, their preferences and tendencies. These are all reflective of their Nature.
The Four Different Natures
The words I have chosen to classify the four different Natures are Social, Strong, Sensitive, and Structured.
The first two are high in movement:
The Social Nature is playful, upwardly buoyant in movement, fun-loving, random, cheeky, and creative.
The Strong Nature is active, forward, and swift in movement, reactive, determined, and competitive.
The other two are low in movement:
The Sensitive Nature is cuddly, downward flowing in movement, caring, intuitive, and timid.
The Structured Nature is still or stepping back in movement, literal, perfecting, and serious. The old soul.
Children (and adults) can express all four of the Natures listed above, however, they tend to lead with just one dominant Nature, supported by a secondary Nature. As an example, I am a Social Nature myself – with a Structured Secondary. I love people, surprises, and variety – I love to talk and laugh and joke! I’m always moving, starting new projects, and full of great ideas. I am also at times rather reserved. I like to observe first, I love facts and research. Neatness and order make me happy. I am energized by being around people, but I sure love my alone time too. Just to recharge and think through all the ideas in my head.
Understanding your Child
The key to understanding your child, why he behaves the way he does, and what he needs, is learning about his Nature. The first step is to sit back and observe. Who are they? In my work with families, I help parents and Nannies who are scratching their heads wondering why ONE child is acting out, when the OTHER seems to be following instructions just fine. I explain that a harmonious balance occurs for a child when their Nature is recognized and supported. That is when the environment provided supports the NEEDS for the nature of the child, THEN they become happier and more cooperative, almost instantly!
This information can be used as a tool for Parents, Nannies, and other caregivers who want to:
1: Create a good match between the environment and the child’s nature.
2: Raise the level of self-esteem in their children and teenagers, and
3: Strengthen the relationship with a particular child they are struggling with.
Parenting requires continuous observation and reflection.
Seeing your children, with this information in mind, will help you to see who they are and what motivates them. If you can imagine putting on a different pair of lenses, a pair that helps you to see through the behavior, through the circumstances, and see things from your child’s point of view. This will help you to see that their tendencies and preferences are not wrong, they are just different – a very important part of who they are.
Your children are sending you messages all the time, clues about who they are and what they need. The problem is, if you don’t stop and observe, you cannot decode these messages.
That Strong Natured child of yours, has an intense need to be challenged. They are quick learners and often very bored at school. If they don’t feel challenged at school they will come home and challenge you, or their siblings! They can’t help it! It’s like there’s a fire inside of them they just have to poke and annoy – just to get a reaction, or to control the situation. This need can be easily met positively so they don’t have to look for it negatively.
My best-selling book The Nature of Children is loaded with behavior strategies and explains many practical things parents can do at home to ensure their children’s needs are met positively. With information on each of the four different Natures, you can create an environment that Nurtures their Nature. In turn, you will see happiness and cooperation.
Which Nature do you have in your home?