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Nurture by Nature: Understand Your Child's Personality Type - And Become a Better Parent Paperback – May 1, 1997
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Personality-type assessment helps parents learn about a child's individuality. Armed with knowledge of that individuality, parents can add understanding and acceptance to their unconditional love, gear their parenting to the needs of the child, and help the child develop lasting self-esteem and happiness. According to Myers and Briggs, inventors of the personality inventory scales that bear their names, there are 16 types of personality, each of which is characterized by preferences in interpersonal interaction, sorts of information noticed and remembered, methods of decision making, and degrees of structure found desirable. Tieger and Barron-Tieger offer detailed interpretations of each of the Myers-Briggs types as they flesh out personality assessment as a valuable parenting resource, stressing that how valuable will depend quite heavily on specific parents' insights, perceptiveness, and imagination. Some prior familiarity with personality-type assessment will help in making the best use of their advice, yet this remains a remarkable tool for relating to children. Kathryn Carpenter
From the Back Cover
Every parent knows that children, even babies, have distinct personalities. Any parent with more than one child is probably well aware of how different from each other children, even siblings, can be. So it's only natural that the parenting strategies that work with one child may be less effective with another child. How can you be sure that your nurturing is well suited to your child? With this one-of-a-kind parenting guide, you can use Personality Type analysis - a powerful and well-respected psychological tool - to understand your child better and become a more effective parent. In Nurture by Nature you'll learn which of 16 distinctly different types best matches your child's personality; how this personality type affects your child in each of the three stages of development - preschool, school age, and adolescence; how other parents, whose experiences are recounted in scores of case studies, deal with a wide array of challenging situations you may encounter: reining in a preschooler whose boundless energy constantly gets him into trouble; communicating with a child who keeps her thoughts and feelings secret; understanding an adolescent who seems not to care that he is forever losing things (his homework, his baseball cap, his keys); broadening the horizons of a child who resists trying anything new or unfamiliar...; and how you can adapt your parenting style to your child's type - and get better results when communicating, supporting, motivating, and disciplining. Whether your child is a tantrum-prone toddler, a shy third-grader, a rebellious teen, or somewhere in between, Nurture by Nature will give you the power to understand why children are the way they are - and to become the best parent you can be.
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I gave the book 4 stars for 2 reasons:
1) most websites I've read say that you cannot accurately tell a child's personality type until after age 7, but the authors of this book state you can tell as early as age 2...not so sure about that, but I'm keeping an open mind.
2) the personality descriptions in the book, while very helpful and informative, do not always line up with what I have read from various other sources. Not to say the book is wrong and others are right, or vice versa. I don't know the final answer on each type, and I am definitely not an expert. But I just noticed some marked differences in a few descriptions which I found a little confusing when trying to pinpoint which type most closely fits my daughter.
All in all, a good book and very helpful. I don't want to box her into a certain category at any age, much less such a young one, but certain traits and behaviors are so marked that I really can see her personality described accurately in one of the categories. (If anyone is familiar with MBTI already, it's INFP, which explains why I needed the help communicating, being sensitive to her feelings, being patient with her, etc.!) I can see how using this tool to be a more effective parent could help many people.
Nurture by Nature has given me a sort of peace. Now when he's doing something that seems so completely useless to me, I can step back and see how important it is to him and enjoy the moment with him.
One description fit my daughter to a tee -- many of the type-specific behaviors I've seen first-hand, negotiating everything, the non-stop imagination, doesn't know a stranger. And the description of my type, INTP, is entirely consistent with how my parents described me as a child.
The book contains a brief description of each type, including how the type manifests itself in preschoolers, school age kids, and adolescents. There is a page recapping what works best with each type. The insight is useful -- some children thrive with structure; others are suffocated by structure. One-size-fits-all parenting fails to bring out the best in each child.
Given that the book covers all sixteen Myers Briggs types, only ten or so pages are devoted exclusively to each type. Those ten pages are very valuable, though! I highly recommend this book and the other books by Paul Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger, such as The Art of Speed Reading People: How to Size People Up and Speak Their Language.