What's The Secret To Motivating Your Child?
The secret to motivating your child lies with your child. It will also help to enhance the quality of your relationship with your child.
When TedX speaker Jennifer Nacif asked her audience if they wanted better relationships with their children, she knew all hands would be up. And when she asked if anyone knew the secret to motivating their child, she didn't expect many hands to go up. And they didn't. But that's because most us handle parenting the way we were taught to: show your kids right from wrong; then enforce it.
But in this TedX video, Jennifer lets us into a dimension of parenting that we probably didn't know existed. And it has nothing to do with discipline or bribery, but everything to do with personality. She illustrates by describing four distinct personalities, explaining how hard it would be to parent and motivate all four personalities the same way. And if we care to admit it, this is what we've always done. So what are these personalities and what motivates them? Most importantly, how do we motivate them? Here's the secret to motivating your child, according to TedX speaker Jennifer Nacif.
Motivating Your Child Via His Personality: The Four Personalities And Their Traits
Speaker and Coach Jennifer Nacif explains all four personality types. She goes on to explain what motivates them, and how parents can take advantage of this to motivate their children. We've outlined them below:
The Dominant (Donna) Personality Type
This is a controlling child, and he/she knows it and they don’t care. They like things done, not fast, but super-fast. They're also very independent. Children like this have a lot of willpower, they were born that way. They like to get what they want; they demand it. Kids with this nature are adventurous and powerful.
They're motivated by challenges. Winning and control are very important. If you can only remember one word, remember this: they need power. They like to feel powerful. The next time you’re communicating with your dominant child, if you take away his/her power, you’ll bring the worst out in him/her.
So if you are at a party, and need to speak to your dominant kid about behaving well, Jennifer suggests you say: “Hey, Donna. I need to ask for a favor. Your sisters follow you. I wish they would follow me more and I need your help. I know I’m asking a lot because you’re just 10 years old. What I’m asking you to do, generally, we ask adults. I hope you can do this. Can you help me set an example for your sisters? Can you do that?”
They could never resist the challenge and the power in your request. And all will be well. What's a win-win again?
Social (Sally) Personality Type
Now you might have a Social Sally child. They're the fun-loving, party-going extroverts. If ever there was a life of the party, it would be them. This is a happy kid. They love fun, love doing happy things and connecting with people, talking to people and knowing people. To them, there's nothing more to life than knowing a lot of friends and having a lot of friends.
Kids with this personality believe that helping others and having a great time is wonderful. Their keywords are connection and fun. To get them to behave. Jennifer suggests you say something like: “Hey, look at all those trees. Don’t they make amazing hiding places? Why don’t you organize a game of hide-and-seek?”
It's easy to get a child to conform when you speak to them in a way that motivates them to do what they were born to do.
Patient (Patti) Personality Type
Patient Patti loves helping people, loves stability and family. These kids love being close to family. They miss home when they're away. They don’t enjoy pressure and hate confrontation. It really stresses them out because they like for people to get along, love each other, share and care. What motivates them the most? Harmony, safety, kindness, acceptance and helping others. The keyword for them is safety. When they feel safe, they'll go to the ends of the world. But if they feel threatened, they don’t do much at all. They freeze.
In speaking to the Patti of your household, Jennifer suggests this tone, if not the exact same words: “Patti, I know you want to please your sisters. I understand. I know you feel bad because you want to please me. But remember, life is not about pleasing others. I know, deep down in your heart, you know what’s right. Trust your heart, not people outside of you, but yourself. No matter what happens, I’m always here and I love you.”
That would make them feel so good. If you have kids with this personality, always be patient, loving and understanding. No pressure, please. They don’t do well with it and it is counterproductive if you're trying to motivate them.
Analytical (Anna) Personality Type
These are your very responsible children. The ones who do what they're supposed to do. They follow rules. That’s why they exist. They're very orderly. These kids are wonderful organizers, scoring good grades. You could almost say that they’re the perfect children.
The problem is they need to lighten up sometimes. They take so much responsibility and everything so seriously.
What motivates them? Order, structure and mental challenges. The keyword is clarity. These kids like step-by-step specific instructions. Then you’ll get the best of them.
TedX speaker Jennifer Nacif concludes by saying: "I hope that you remember when you talk to your children what motivates them. Is it power? Is it connection and fun? Or is it safety? Is it clarity? I invite you to create a chain reaction for all parents to change manipulation to motivation."
And now, here's hoping your relationship with your children is greatly improved from here on out.