I attended a few seminars on personality types of children and I felt it would be neat to share some of those thoughts. As we look into the personality types, it should make you think about the young children that you work with daily.
As you know, each child is unique and they have different ways of looking at and interacting with the world. Children also have different talents that develop as they grow and practice them. If a child’s natural talents are held back by a well-meaning adult, that child could probably develop self-doubt and may have a long, difficult road ahead of them overcoming that obstacle. As teachers, we should recognize children’s different styles of learning and interacting and promote the best possible development of their natural strengths and weaknesses.
One very powerful way to encourage the optimal development of a child is to use the model of Psychological Type to better understand the child and ourselves. We need to not only understand why our children act in certain ways, but also to understand why we have certain expectations of their behavior. It’s equally important to remember not to box children into categories that may limit their development. Discovering children’s personality type will help us to understand the children better and to create environments for them that enhance their natural strengths. It should not be seen as a absolute predictor of behavior or as a description of a child’s limitations as we learn more next week. There are no “best” or “worst” personality types. Individuals of all types have their own “special” gifts for the world. This model works for children who are developing in a more or less normal fashion.
As children grow, learn and develop their personalities which began to take shape, we see it influences their behaviors and attitudes. Example: By the age 13, a child’s baseline personality can be considered fairly set and we can usually identify which of the sixteen “adult” personality types a teenager fits. Prior to age 13, the child’s auxiliary function is usually not developed sufficiently to be recognized. Accordingly, we can identify 3 out of 4 of the personality preferences for children ages 7-12. For younger children, we can identify 2 out of 4 personality preferences.
As we continue in this series, we will be looking at the first type extraverted perceiver and its characteristics for children ages 2-6.