Monday, June 21, 2010
Otters, Lions, Beavers and Golden Retrievers - Oh My!!!
Otters, Lions, Beavers and Golden Retrievers...beware!!!
Do you have these animals living at your house? Well I do! A FAMILY CAN BE A REAL ZOO!
Years ago, when there were five children in our home, a friend gave us the books "The Treasure Tree" and "The Two Trails" by Trent and Smalley. I had read books on personalities, (that was a big thing in the late 80's), but I hadn't read one that put it in such easy terms for my kids.
I remember first reading on personalities - Choleric, Melancholic, Sanguine, and Phlegmatic - "Personality Plus" by Florence Littauer, many years ago. I guess I was too wise in my own young eyes because I didn't like being put into any category. Well, age brings some wisdom and when the different personalities started to display themselves in my own home....well, let's just say I became a believer.
I wanted my children to accept each others personalities and not become prideful in their own eyes. I would use illustrations about how we were each part of a recipe and without one of the ingredients, the end product wouldn't taste good. I wanted us to embrace our differences and not allow them to tear us apart.
So, when these books hit our home, we had a high schooler, a middle schooler, two elementary scholars and a toddler. The personalities were in full swing. The Lion had entered his teen years, the otter was playing through his middle school years...on and on!
These books have helped my children see how to work together and appreciate each others' strengths. They enlighten them as to the value of each of the personality types.
Lion - daring and unafraid of new situations, likes to be a leader, ready to take on challenges, is firm and serious about what is expected, makes decisions quickly
Golden Retriever - always loyal and faithful to friends, listens carefully, likes to help others, is a peacemaker, doesn't like it when others argue, patient and willing to wait for something
Beaver - is neat and tidy,notices details, sticks with something until done, asks lots of questions, likes things done the same way, tells things just the way they are
Otter - talks a lot and tells wild stories, likes to do all kinds of fun things, enjoys being in groups, likes to perform, full of energy and always eager to play, always happy and sees the good part of everything
Now most of us are a combination, but we usually have a dominant side. Our family is very heavily weighted in the Otter department, with the other personalities spread through the rest of us. Our otters tend to steal the stage and the rest of us have learned how to create order out of the chaos that they might sometimes leave behind....but we never have a dull moment round here. They are also the ones missed when we have a lion/beaver planned family gathering (even though the other personalities have shown up) because the party tends to be less entertaining.
These little children's stories have helped us...and me, to remember the strengths and weaknesses associated with each of our personalities. They have allowed us to give grace to each other and to understand the various personalities as God adds to our family. God has given each of us our own special outlook on life...but isn't it a good thing he didn't make us all alike? Variety is the joy of having a family!!! We get to know these personalities at home first and then we can embrace them in the world.
How have you taught or learned to accept different people's personalities?