Understanding personality types will change how you see yourself and your child. Hippocrates identified four personality types almost 2,500 years ago. You can use them today to understand how to connect with your child, family, friends, co-workers, employees and anyone that is part of your life.
In Part 1 of this blog series we will explore personality types and how to identify which fits your child. Part 2 will help you understand your child’s love language, which is also important to learn, so you can better communicate with them.
What Are the Four Personality Types?
Have you ever wondered why one of your children is social and outgoing, while the other is quiet and introspective? The answer is differing personality types. Everyone is born with his or her own personality type and unique characteristics. Categorizing your child’s temperament into one of four main types can help you understand why your child does the things he or she does. It may even help you solve behavioral problems. The four personality types according to Hippocrates are:
- Choleric – This personality type is passionate, outspoken, competitive, determined, strong-willed, and adventurous. Usually Choleric are goal-oriented and may be very logical and analytical. They may not be particularly social.
- Sanguine – This types is lively, playful, imaginative, talkative, and sociable. Sanguine kids may be carefree, optimistic, adventurous, and not afraid of risks. These children might get bored easily and have a hard time without entertainment.
- Melancholic – This personality type is deep, detailed, respectful, tidy, careful, and fond of traditions. They are also social and want to be helpful. These children are not as fond of adventure or risks as other personality types.
- Phlegmatic – This personality type is thoughtful, attentive, controlled, and diplomatic. Kids with phlegmatic personality types often need close personal relationships. They are loyal, avoid conflict, and enjoy helping others.
If you can’t tell which personality type fits your child right away, take a short quiz to help you decide. It’s normal for a child to have characteristics of more than one personality type. Once you know which type or types suit your child, you’ll have the ability to use this information to tailor your parenting strategy toward what will work best for his or her personality.
Using Personality Type to Inform Parenting
Knowing personality types can help you understand why one child is fine entertaining himself, while another seems to need constant attention. Recognizing that not all kids think or feel alike can help you tailor your parenting techniques to match their personalities. For example, your energetic (probably sanguine) child may need more time playing outdoors to release energy, while your calm (melancholic) child might be fine staying inside with a good book.
Just as no two kids are the same, no two parenting techniques should be either. It’s important to identify your child’s individual personality type to know what he or she needs to thrive. Continue to Part 2 of this series to move on to love languages.