Weekly, I speak on the Four Temperaments and – invariably – am asked, “Can you describe each temperament in one sentence?”
Here goes: REDS will HELP you do it RIGHT…IMMEDIATELY!
YELLOWS just want to have FUN and FRIENDS.
BLUES are PLANNERS, who care VERY DEEPLY.
GREENS are the NICEST, who love PEACE and QUIET.
Done. Of course there is SO much more to each temperament, because each has its strengths and weaknesses. Also, the same temperaments can look different considering the age, gender, background and, sometimes, special physical challenges of each person.
Let’s focus on YELLOWS for a moment. I guarantee each YELLOW person wants FUN in his/her life.
This is also obvious in very young YELLOWS. Our YELLOW granddaughter has never missed attending a birthday party to which she has been invited. Actually, she has been known to invite herself to parties and, sadly, has had to learn not everyone in the world wants to meet her.
Of the four temperaments, I think REDS most often get a bad rap. Since this is my second temperament, I feel responsible to point out some great RED characteristics which may be sadly misunderstood by the general population.
Charles Schultz captures this temperament in the character of Lucy Van Pelt, from the Peanuts and Gang cartoon series. Charlie Brown’s dear friend, Lucy is characterized as strong, somewhat stubborn with a bossy personality. However, she is very bright and deep down has a soft side when it comes to those she loves.
Our RED granddaughter has potential, strength, spunk, and self confidence enough to be a future President of the United States – all this at 11 years old. The fact that she has fiery red hair is an added bonus. RED children are strong kids.
I was speaking last week to a group of young moms of pre-schoolers (MOPS). After I finished, a young woman came up to question my philosophy of teaching children the meaning of the word NO before they are a year old. I suggest consequences to make a small toddler obey his/her parents. Usually, it takes only two or three events before you have an obedient, respectful child!
No more yelling, threats, punishments or guilt.
This young mom had tears in her eyes as she described her 3-year old daughter as an adorable, fun-loving child to whom she has never given consequences. She has never told her NO because she doesn’t need to. “My little girl doesn’t obey me all the time; but, I honestly don’t think she understands it is disobeying. I would never want to squelch her free, creative spirit.”
I asked if her daughter comes when she calls her name. “Well, sometimes,” she smiled as though it was funny, “But, she is an absolute joy.”
I asked if she would respond to her mom’s voice in an emergency- maybe a warning about a hot stove, an oncoming car or a stranger who would attempt to grab her?
Her eyes widened…
I was probably 10 years old when our parents announced we were going on our first camping trip as a family. I believe we borrowed a very large tent, if memory serves me right; because, I never saw it again after that trip. My brother was allowed to take a friend so, counting my sister and me, there would be six of us in close sleeping quarters.
I remember getting brand new sleeping bags and helping mom with meal ideas. We had a large new cooler, for storing our food, and the Sequoia National Park campsite furnished the barbeque stove and picnic table.
This was going to be a trip of a lifetime! We had never been camping as a family. I was so excited I could hardly sleep for days before our trip.
We drove, what seemed like forever, until we finally arrived at our destination. Our tent was pitched close to a creek!! Could this vacation get any better? Within minutes our shoes were off and we were wading in the ice cold water by the campsite.
Everything was going perfectly, until it was time to go to the bathroom.
“Is it possible my TEENAGER’S temperament has changed?”
My first response: “A temperament is a pre-disposition. A person is born with primarily two dominant temperament types (out of four) – and they are his/hers for life.”
A temperament can certainly take on different appearances, however, depending on age, living conditions, changes in life and various situations. The temperament does not change. BUT, one may notice new behavior, because circumstances have changed.
The most important information to remember-temperaments are transformed when you include God in the equation!
Each temperament has positive and negative characteristics. So, when God takes over a temperament, He evens out the negatives and enhances the positives, using their finest qualities for His Glory. God created us, and our temperaments; therefore, it makes perfect sense to give Him the reigns if we want successful lives!
The mom, who prompted this post, asked me, “Now that my sweet daughter is a teenager, she is suddenly belligerent! She has turned into a totally different person. She refuses to talk to, or acknowledge, me or her dad because we have new cell phone rules in the house! Has her temperament changed?”
I prefer living in a fantasy world. It is more fun. As a child, I loved reading fiction. I grew up dreaming and pretending, because my childhood seemed boring and uneventful. Nancy Drew Mysteries filled my days with excitement!
By high school, I had read every Grace Livingston Hill book
in our school library. I was determined to grow up experiencing thrilling romance, and of course, meeting the Christian man of my dreams. We would have beautiful children, buy our dream home and live happily ever after.
I accepted Jesus into my heart as a small child, but never gave much thought to God having a PLAN for my life.
One of “my kids,” who grew up in musical theatre as a small child, made a point to say good-bye to me the weekend he left for college. I was leaving church, out the side door to make a quick getaway, and he surprised me with a big hug as I came around the corner.
“I knew I’d see you if I came to this side door, he smiled, “You always went out this way when you were in a rush to leave church.”
“Seriously? You knew that about me?”
“Yes,” he said, almost blushing as he stood over 6 feet tall now. “Miss Kathleen, you were my favorite teacher. I watched every move you made for most the years I was growing up in this church.”
Hoping he had no stalker tendencies, I questioned, “Can I ask you why?”
“Sure, because you were one of the people who I knew loved me; and, I watched everything you did.”
Whoa. I never knew that.
The rest of that afternoon I walked around the house, doing my Sunday afternoon routine stuff, wondering what ELSE he might have seen me do.
I love kids. They fascinate me.
We were surrounded by kids this past weekend. We love it when our ten grandchildren are together in our home; but, this time there were three young cousins in the mix. Our nephew, and his family of five from Sacramento, was visiting also.
I have been tempted to set up a video surveillance camera system for occasions such as this to prove my “temperament” assessments as you watch thirteen children interact.
Out of four total temperaments, the two strongest are RED and YELLOW. They are most recognizable by being loud, bossy and in charge. We had seven, out of 13, in this category.
The remaining six are BLUE and GREEN. They assist, cooperate and enjoy following the leaders. These adorable kids seemed to enjoy the louder ones – each one letting the others BE who they are! (One, at 10 months, appears to be a quiet, sweet, happy GREEN.)
I wish I had been more aware of temperaments when our children were young. It certainly would have been easier to parent them. Our three kids have a combination of all four temperaments.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Valentine’s Day should have something to do with love…and smiles.
We were out of laundry detergent. I realized I needed a certain article of clothing washed for the next morning. I was seriously bummed. This meant another trip to the store. Already exhausted from the days chores, I remember thinking, Oh Lord what should I do? It wasn’t really a prayer- but, it could have been. I was putting on my shoes, as the mail arrived. How long has it been since YOU have gotten a sample laundry detergent in the mail?? Years! There it was – THE BRAND we use!
Wow, I felt loved.
You know those times you see or read something that unexpectedly takes your breath away?
I’ll admit, it has been a stressful couple of months.
I have no idea where my thought process was headed this morning; but, when I read today’s Bible verse of the day www.biblegateway.com as it popped up on my computer screen, I felt like the weight of the world was lifted from my life – literally!
“O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.” Ps.86:5
I read it again.
I am certain I’ve read this verse before. After all, it is in the Psalms and, at some point in my Sunday School past, Psalms was required reading! I probably have a “completed Psalms” badge somewhere in some bottom drawer.
God has unfailing love for all who ask for His help!
In December we desperately asked God for help when our son-in-law was in a serious accident. God performed miracles and Bob is on the road to complete healing. (Thank you for your prayers!)
I know I have prayed for help many times in my life.
However, this morning, the “so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help” words jumped out at me as if for the first time ever.