Seriously! Why do I have to tell you the same instructions that I told you just five minutes ago? I thought I told you to put those things away. Why are the counters still dirty? Why can’t you just do what you’re told? Sometimes you really drive me crazy!
Have you ever thought such questions or comments? Or worse, have you ever uttered them from your mouth to one of your children? Regretfully, I’ve done both.
While homeschooling my children I could never figure out why this one child wouldn’t follow my simple instructions. My expectations of her were proven to be realistic through the compliance of the rest. Or so I thought.
Reminiscing in my mind the array of frustrating conflict that arose between my wide-eyed, optimistic, and care-free daughter and myself – detailed, focused, and stringent – I’m pleasantly reminded of a conflict that quickly turned humorous. While each of my elementary age children were engaged in activity at their appropriate learning stations, I gave clear instruction for them to stay at their seats and work on their individual projects. Upon returning from my five-minute absence I quickly noticed a vacant seat. As you may imagine, I was not a happy mama to see that my daughter didn’t follow my simple instruction to stay put. I called out her name asking where she was. I heard her little voice behind the bathroom door letting me know her whereabouts. My response, filled with irritation, said, “Ugh! What am I going to do with you?” Oblivious to my annoyance, she cheerfully responds, “Love me, feed me, never leave me.”
What type of child responds to an irritated mother like that? A Popular Sanguine child whose only care in the world is to have fun. She was unaware of my irritation, as obvious as it was, and merely responded with the first thing that popped in her little mind. I must admit the innocence in her response softened my frustration…that day.
On another occasion I recall giving her a stern correction about something that seemed important to me at the time, but now seems quite trivial. In her happy-go-lucky self she responds, “Yes, mamacita burrito.” How dare she speak to me like that when I’m correcting her wrong behavior! I angrily responded, “Don’t you call me a burrito.”
What kind of mother responds to a silly little child like that? A Perfect Malancholy/Powerful Choleric whose Choleric personality had taken her captive.
What I didn’t realize then is that I labored to conform her to my own personality, rather than allowing her to be the person God wired her to be. I wish I knew then what I know now, but I didn’t. I can’t change the wrong choices I made, but every day gets better and better. Knowledge and understanding of the Personalities has allowed me to love better. I’ve witnessed, through my confession and repentance, God’s amazing grace as He continues to restore what the locusts have eaten.