Did you ever have one of those days that left you wishing your child came with an instruction manual? Have you ever wondered where this little person came from? Fear not, Carol Tuttle has a great book (The Child Whisperer) that recently hit the parenting shelves sure to give you some great tips to understand ways to connect with your child, even when doling out discipline, and restore harmony to the often chaotic parent-child relationship.
What Is A “Child Whisperer”
A whisperer is someone who can communicate with the subject in a way that gets to the heart of the matter, no matter the individual, in a way that is almost magical. Think about the movie, “The Horse Whisperer” or Cesar Millan who is the “dog whisperer”. In each case the whisperer seems to understand their subject in a way that the owners, or in our case parents, just don’t and can communicate to them in a way that brings about harmony and cooperation.
What Is The Book Really About?
The book is a companion title to her previous title, “It’s Just My Nature! A Guide To Knowing and Living Your True Nature.” In her previous book, she explains and identifies what she calls the four energy types. She believes that each person has a dominant kind of energy or movement that defines who they are and how they relate to the world.
Many of us have read about or experimented with personality profiling systems before like Carl Jung’s Enneagram or the Myer’s Briggs personality types. Tuttle’s book is different, in that it doesn’t try to pinpoint exact details of your personality. It is based a lot more on the thought patterns and physical movements and expressions of individuals.
“The Child Whisperer” re-frames this in a way that illustrates how these four energy expressions are evident in children and how identifying your child’s dominant and secondary energy types can help you parent them better, by understanding their thought processes and motivations. It can also help you understand your own energy type and how it is different from that of your children. Knowing the energy types of all of your family members, and honoring their true selves can radically change family dynamics, relationship quality and the overall energy in your household.
Why Should I Read This Book?
It is only natural that we tend to parent based on our own experiences and personal values. However, we usually don’t have children who are just like us. They don’t have the same thought processes, emotional experiences or feelings that we do and may not react well to the ways we think a situation should best be handled. In fact, we may be unintentionally wounding our children by parenting them the way we would want to be parented, simply because they are not us.
Here is an example from my own life:
I am a dominant type 4 (if you read the book, you will know more about what this means) but I have a very still energy and like a lot of quiet to think clearly. My children are dominant type 1 and type 3, very high energy types. When I need some peace and quiet to do some concentrated work, like writing or lesson planning, I used to be very guilty of throwing around “Just be quiet!”, “Will you Pipe down?!?” and “Please stop!” to get my two tornadoes to JUST STOP MOVING. However, I now know that this is one of the worst things I could tell them. I don’t want to tell them this because it may make them feel shame about their core nature, may cause them to feel that they need to stifle their true selves, causing them anguish and great discomfort, but most of all, because they aren’t intentionally blocking my flow of thoughts, they are just engaging their world in a more physical, visceral way than I do and that is okay.
How Do I Become A Child Whisperer?
You can become a child whisperer simply be discovering your dominant energy types and those of your children and interacting in a way that honors everyone’s true self. Knowing you and what you need, knowing your children and what they need and what makes them tick, and even knowing your spouse and what they need, can bring a lot more peace and harmony to a home, a work environment, or other platonic or familial relationships. It can help you recognize behaviors in yourself that are contributing to negative dynamics and can help you re-frame some things that you had previously thought of as negative in your children in a more positive way.
Here is another example to illustrate this:
My daughter, being a type 1, is full of ideas and floats from one to the next. This means she often doesn’t finish something she started and is easily distracted by a new idea. As a result, I am often finding several unfinished craft projects, one of her passions, around the house because she thought of something more fun to do in the middle of doing something else and never finished or put things away. It also happens that, when we are in a hurry to leave the house, she has a hard time just focusing on getting dressed because she is already thinking of something she wants to do, or eat, or thinking about a shirt she would rather wear, or a million other things. I used to constantly berate her to “hurry” “go faster” and “just hurry up!” I don’t do that anymore. Why? I don’t do it because she wasn’t going slow on purpose to derail me and my constant hurrying was making her feel self conscious and focusing on how “slow” and “stupid” she was. I never called her stupid, but she felt that I thought her slowness was a bad thing and labeled herself thus. Taking a page from the book, I have taught her to say, “I have as much time as I need to do this” when trying to focus on a task. This helps her stay focused, and not feel overwhelmed when she knows she needs to complete something quickly, like getting dressed so we can leave for an appointment.
Reading this book has really helped me re-frame my interactions with my children and has changed the flow and rhythm of our days. I am not a completely different parent than I was before reading this book, but I definitely am an improved parent. We are having far fewer meltdowns, yelling sessions, and temper tantrums at our house now, on the part of both the kids and the adults and my daughter now more often than not, proudly reports to her father when he comes home that “we had a really good day today.” That is something that I don’t take lightly. Grab a copy of this book from Amazon or your local book seller. You will be glad you did.