Perfecting the art of parenting

By Henrietta Aba Lartey

Managing and training of children in the twenty first century has become a herculean task many parents relinquish to nannies and house helps. Ironically parents who encourage this trend tend to complain about the questionable discipline their children have received in later years. Forgetting that they were the architects of the situation the very day they left their children at the mercy of house helps and care takers. How many times have you heard a friend or a neighbour complaining about their child? Perhaps you have a child who has literally become a thorn in your flesh and have decided to eliminate his or her thoughts from your life- out of sight, out of mind! However, the reality cannot be ignored; it is the responsibility of every parent to manage his or her child.

It is amazing how many managers in the corporate world today claim to be in control of their staff whiles they have no clue on how to control their children! What happened to charity begins at home? Although many factors affect childrearing, a fact is constant; you need to know the child you are dealing with! Gone were the days when parents dealt with their children the cookie cutter way. Be real, Ama is certainly different from Adjoa! The fact that all your children are calm does not mean Yaa would tow that line too. Until parents accept the fact that there is need to study and know each child before effective parenting can take place, there would be continual conflicts and squabbles between parents and their children. Unfortunately, some of these problems escalate into serious conflicts which could be life threatening.

Children are humans too! The key to successful parenting is raising your children in their personality type and not merely heaping your innate characteristics on them and expecting them to view things like you would. Wait a minute! Do you as a parent know your personality type? As a parent, you owe it as a responsibility to know who you really are before you can take on the task of understanding and training another person (your child).

One of the leading personality assessment tools in the world is the Myers Briggs (MBTI®). Every parent is one of four broad categories of temperaments; namely, NF-the Intuitive feeling Type, SJ-sensing judging type, NT-Intuitive thinking types, and sensing perceiving types (SP). Strict parents tend to fall under the Sensing Judging Type whiles the Sensing Perceiving type parent tend to be more permissive in their parenting style. Children with parents who fall into the Intuitive Feeling type would observe that their parents are more emotionally attached to their lives and would want to be a part of their decisions every step of the way. On the other hand Intuitive Thinking parents present options and set boundaries which have consequences. The afore mentioned characteristics are only a tip of the iceberg; each group has a host of other characteristics.

Do you by any chance identify your group among the above? If you do, then know that it is only the beginning of an important self discovery journey; sixteen personality type descriptions fall under the above mentioned temperament groups! As such, you need to take an MBTI® assessment today, to be able to have the bigger picture! After a revealing discovery of personality type and attendant characteristics, parents are in a better position to understand why they react in certain ways at home and even at work.

As reiterated earlier, knowing who you are as a parent is a puzzle half solved! A parent needs to know the personality type of his or her child in order to strike a fine balance between instructing the child in his or her personality type without imposing the parent's characteristics or temperaments. You might wonder how a child can take a personality assessment. This is very possible with the Myers Briggs assessment for children below fifteen years; Murphy-Meisgeier. The entire family should have their personality assessment carried out today!

With the introduction of MBTI® assessment and interpretation in Ghana, many Ghanaian families can now have the opportunity of knowing who they really are. Ultimately, parents can now manage their children in a more tailor-made manner which would sharpen their parenting skills and create a happier family life. After all, the good book states that “Train up a child the way he should go….” How do you train someone you really do not know?

The writer is the training manager of PMI First Consults

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