One of my favorite parts about my work as a youth coach is getting to walk alongside kids as they go through the ‘tween and teen years. I feel like I am constantly learning from each one of them and it brings me so much joy.
This incredible work also comes with a big task for me: How do I meet each of these kids where they are? How do I work with them and respond to them in a way that meets THEIR unique needs? There is no “one size fits all” solution for helping kids grow into the best versions of themselves. As I’ve thought about these questions for myself as a coach, it has prompted me to think about how this also relates to parenting.
In my Marriage and Family Therapy Masters Degree program, we recently learned a simple but very powerful concept: how a parent responds to their child’s temperament corresponds to how the child shapes their personality.
The way we respond as parents affirms the narrative of who our kids think they are. For example, if our kid’s temperament is cold and rebellious, our natural response is more likely to be harsh and critical. However, responding in this way is more likely to cause our kid to perceive the world as harsh and critical, and then their approach to the world will match this.