So… we are out on a playdate, enjoying watching our children playing on one of their favourite playgrounds, St. Matthews, when there’s a commotion.
Now, this is nothing out of the ordinary. When you’re out with a group of toddlers, play is frequently interrupted with some argy-bargy. This one wants that toy, or that one wants to drink this one’s milkshake, this one thumps that one on the head… all par for the course.
In this case, my son had just slipped down a little from the rope he was climbing, and burst into tears. I thought he had hurt himself on the rope
Nope! When I listened closer, I found he was crying:
“I want to be first, I want to be first!”
3 of us Moms, looked on, knowingly… leaving just one Mom puzzled at Ben’s reaction.
2 of us had just completed Tall Trees, a brilliant course on personality profiling and how it fits into parenting.
And 1 Mom, Juanita Oosthuizen, was the Trainer of said course.
3 of us knew that Ben’s personality profile is strongly Rose Bush – bright and beautiful with some prickly thorns.
As a driven leader, he needs to be first!
Juanita resigned from teaching when she adopted her daughter.
She then felt called to a new teaching career, one which finds her self-employed (an incredibly inspiring Mompreneur), and one which Juanita calls her Ministry – she became a Facilitator for Tall Trees and Evergreen Parenting.
I did Tall Trees with 3 of my Mom friends and we all got so much out of it, that we signed up for the longer, Evergreen Parenting course. I’ll write Part 2 of this article once we’re done.
Before we started our course, we all completed a short (10-15 minute) online test to determine our personality type.
Tall Trees (as the name implies) describes each personality type as a tree, which gives a lovely visual reminder of characteristics of each type.
Of course, people are seldom just one personality type. They are usually combinations of 2 or 3 or even all 4 types, and each unique in their own way.
What was wonderful about our course, was that we all turned out to have different personality types, and we learnt about ourselves and each other through discussion.
In this way we were also able to work out what our husbands and children might be, to make up the pieces of the family puzzle.
And this is where you start to learn how to parent a child with love…
Knowing how you and each of the members of your family like to operate in the world goes a long way to helping you celebrate rather than criticise your differences.
I learnt that young Ben’s Love Languages are Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation, whereas my husbands love languages are Words of Affirmation and Quality Time. I can see how much happier my boys are as I apply these principles.
I also learnt that to teach Ben any new skill or to ask him to do any task, he needs to be offered a choice or a challenge, whereas a Lollipop would be more co-operative through teamwork, a Pine by giving them ample time and space to finish a task, and a Palm, by making it fun.
This led to a breakthrough for myself in my mental block against housework. I realised I could find a way to make it fun, by bopping along to music while I work. My house has been a lot cleaner since! 🙂 This in itself, improves the family dynamic. 😉
Juanita also emphasised how important it is to constantly teach, coach and train our children, showing them what we want from them. Discipline or punishment becomes a last resort. This made a lot of sense to me, as I’m loathe to punish Benjamin when I feel he is only just starting to understand what’s expected of him.
There were many aha moments and bonding moments with the Moms on this course, and our household is more peaceful and happy since I completed it.
I would highly recommend this course to any parent.
If you’d like to get in touch with Juanita, email her on: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to: Tall Trees Training
I’m definitely filing that idea for when my daughter is a bit older 🙂 She already loves Barney, so we are already halfway there.
It sounds like this is a really great program. I once did a training about personalities of adults that was a bit similar. What works for some folks doesn’t work for others. We are all different and kids are the same.
When you mentioned your breakthrough with housework, I was reminded of my struggle to get my three kids to clean up the toy room. And it suddenly occurred to me to put on Barnie and I started singing the “clean up” song. I started dancing and picking up toys and to my amazement so did the kids without me even asking. 🙂
So cool Wendy! Love the Barney idea!
Music works for most things with my toddler too.
Very nice – one thing I really love about this is that it is so important to know what your child needs and raise them in that light- rather than doing a one size fits all type of parenting. I think this is really great and it sounds like this program really helps provide a clear picture of what everyone in the family needs but particularly your children. I think I saw something a while back where they were asking children “how do you know your mom loves you?” and their answers were very enlightening and not necessarily what you would think. Not “she gives me candy” or “she bought me a toy I wanted” but more specific examples of compassion and attention.
How interesting Maria. I would love to hear the children’s answers.
Thanks for your comments.
Yes, every personality type experiences love in different way! Where the Palm tree might need a surprise snack in their lunch box or a visit by the tickle monster, the Lollipop tree would appreciate a sympathetic ear and words of encouragement. We are all so uniquely and wonderfully made.
I learned these types a decade ago. I think that I am a Choleric-Melancholic and my wife is a Sanguine-Choleric.
It is a fun ordeal every day to manage our differences. And now I think we have a super sanguine daughter. She just loves to laugh and plays tricks on her parents. She is only 18 months old. Imagine that.
The second trait that I noticed that she has a strong mind. I think it will be her choleric personality.
Thats wonderful Arief! Amazing how early our children start displaying their personality types! Your daughter sounds like a bright ray of sunshine.
Lots of Rose bush in your family! Good luck managing all those thorns!
In Tall Trees language that would make your daughter a Palm-Rose 🙂 This is such a dynamic combination! Enjoy every minute and you and your wife are definitely up for the challenge with those combinations.
Super interesting! I’ve taken personality quizzes to find a career match before. I also remember taking the Myer Briggs personality test in high school so that the teacher could teach to each of our learning styles. It is cool that there is a similar thing for children’s personalities! What is the research behind these categories?
Hi Christina, thanks for your comments. I also did Myers-Briggs & DISC, both for career moves.
As far as I know these tests are based on those tests, but I will ask Juanita to answer your question more fully.
Hettie and Annatjie, the brains behind the operation, are both DISC consultants, amongst their other qualifications. They appointed an international profile development team that helped them with developing what we now know as Tall Trees Leadership Profiles. It is simply brilliantly accurate and so easy to use with children! You can read more on their website: http://www.talltreestraining.com/main_pages/aboutus
Tall trees sounds very interesting. I am going to look it up and see if it can help me in how to work better with my kids. I adopted them at 4 and 6 and we have our challenges! Thank you for sharing this..,it is not something I have heard if and it definitely seems worth a look!
Hi Ilyssa, thanks for your comments. Here are the links to the websites: http://www.talltreestraining.com/http://www.evergreenparenting.comWishing you all the best with those challenges.
I agree with you – the road of adoption is not easy, but it is worth every challenge that comes our way 🙂 Tall Trees will definitely help you ease over the personality differences that you might experience. Please contact me when you feel ready to attend a workshop.