Knowing your children

When I started this website in the late 1990s, I never thought I would write about my kids. Mainly because I never even thought about settling down in the first place. And then I got married, and a little baby started dancing inside me. He turned out to be just as precocious outside the womb as he was inside.

Baby #2 was far more quiet and his general lack of activity got me a little worried. He turned out healthy but much more introverted. Baby #3 felt like she was somewhere in between in terms of movement, and so far, she has proven to be somewhere in between her brothers although a little more outgoing, like Baby #1.

Then, having learned about Meyers-Briggs types while at INSEAD, and being profiled again when going for coaching sessions, I decided to profile the various teams I managed to understand everyone’s working styles better. Then, after attending a parenting talk, my interest in Gary Chapman’s book was rekindled as well. What were our children’s preferences and love languages?

Baby #1, who is no longer a baby of course, seems to have Words of Appreciation as his love language. I can empathise – that was mine when young too, but I think over time I’ve simply come to not expect too much, and am happy to settle for people doing things for me and occasionally hanging out with me. And he’s looking like an ESxJ given his need for structure, wanting to know everything about everyone, and wanting to get things done. Aesthetics is also of great importance to him.

Baby #2 is quite the opposite. Possibly an IxTP as he loves to tinker with things and is far more interested in how they work than how they look. He’s oblivious about the names of some of his schoolmates. And quite clearly he loves Acts of Service. We changed our approach to him over the weekend, making sure we did everything he wanted us to do for him, and he has become even more affectionate towards us. If only we realised this earlier!

Baby #3 is only eight months old so it is too early to tell, but she seems to be happiest when she is with her immediate family. She has been displaying this happiness since she was only a few days old, when she was brought home from the hospital. Maybe I should read Love Languages for Children.

So, to whoever is left reading this blog: Do you ‘profile’ your kids as well, and has this improved your relationship? Leave a comment below.