How to Raise a Happy, Successful, and Cooperative Child While Disciplining Less

The more I deal with conflict and difficulties in family relationships, the more I am convinced that we need to have a better understanding of temperaments. Different wiring in different people will often lead to misunderstandings, hurt, and pain; all because we simply don't understand the differences.

In the midst of a marital conflict, our internal dialogue usually involves some form of this: "Why can't you be more like me? Why can't you feel what I feel? Why can't you approach this issue how I do? Because, obviously, my way is the right way." When it reality, your partner is wired differently than you are. And that's a good thing. Understanding the differences is the key, but few people take time to consider them. For the record, we have found The Flag Page to be the clearest and most concise tool for couples and even kids to use to discover how God has made each of us in unique ways.

With regards to our kids, our temptation is to parent them as if they were little versions of ourselves. Our assumption is that we think and feel a certain way so they must feel and think like us. That is rarely true. It will serve us well to take time to understand the differences and parent them accordingly. God's Word speaks to this in Proverbs 22:6 when it instructs us to "train up a child in the way he should go..." The translation of that implies "according to his bent," or how he is wired. Again, this requires careful evaluation and (heaven forbid!) parenting each of your children differently.

I found this infographic on Pinterest and I thought it was worth sharing. Author Carol Tuttle has created it as a resource for her book The Child Whisperer.  Please note that I am not a huge fan of all of Tuttle's teaching and I have not read her book. Please do not see this as an endorsement. However, the infographic is helpful as it relates to understanding the unique temperament of your child and leading them accordingly.

Insights like these require a little observation and a whole lot of prayer. The next time you encounter a "tantrum," ask God to reveal to you the unique needs of your child and the foundational root of what's going on in his or her heart. God is for you and He is with you!

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