Skip to main content

MMP165: Supporting Your Kids By Understanding Their Natural Temperament

By November 30, 2021November 8th, 2023Mastermind Parenting Podcast
MMP165: Supporting Your Kids By Understanding Their Natural Temperament

This week’s episode includes a coaching clip with my daughter Avery who dropped in on one of our weekly coaching calls. Listen in as Avery shares her natural temperament,  the tools you need to increase self awareness and why it’s important to understand how your kid is wired so you can best support them.

Links & Resources

Thanks so much for listening to the Mastermind Parenting podcast, where we support the strong willed child and the families that love them!

If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it using the share button in the podcast player above.

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher.


(1s): My name is Randi Rubenstein, and welcome to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast at Mastermind Parenting, we’re on a mission to support strong-willed kids and the families that love them. You’re listening to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode 1 65. Well, hi guys, this week, we’re going to include a little coaching clip that I have my daughter Avery, that I called in impromptu to join me at the beginning of a coaching call because the mom had a specific situation with her kids that basically she was wanting help with her child, that whatever Avery, it reminded me of, of the role that Avery played in our family.

(46s): So I called Adrian to help me coach this mom, which all of my masterminders, that that come to my weekly coaching calls. They love when, you know, I ambush one of my children and they come on one of the calls. And so this call, I called Avery in and I was like, I think you could answer this. I don’t know, at least weigh in because you lived it. And so before we start coaching the mom, we’re just sort of sitting and talking and riffing. And what we ended up talking about, my coworkers were like, we want you to include that clip in a podcast.

(1m 28s): I’ve got lovely Avery Rubenstein with me, who I’m taking to college tomorrow. Exciting, very exciting. We were just looking. We were just starting to pack, of course. Yup. This is the nine quick start. Three fact finder, two follow through our child. Who’s packing for college the day before. Oh, I have a lot of stuff up there. Well, and this is, she works. She works well with immediacy and a deadline. If you had started five days ago, I wouldn’t have done any. She would have just been like chasing her tail.

(2m 11s): So yeah, rather than nag her all week, I just trusted that she’s working. You got to silence your phone. I mean, I know it’s important. I just put it away also a little add happening here. So, you know, we’ve got to turn off all distractions. This is about knowing your child and knowing how they’re wired. And when she was little bitty, she was a trier. Whereas Corey’s a sire. I made Corey try recently. I know I tell the story. We were wakeboarding or wake surfing, which we’ve never done before.

(2m 53s): We’re both good at wakeboarding, but we don’t know how to wake surf. So I went first and if I’m not immediately good at something I like, and it’s not a sport, I have to keep doing it until I’m good at it. Tryer The puzzle that you put them in front of the 18 month old, the trier is you’re like time to go time to go to swimming lessons. But until they complete that puzzle, they’re not leaving. So, so, so I did it until I stood up and like surf the wave. And then Cory, after falling twice, he was like, all right, I’m done Sire. He moves on to the next Thing. And my dad was just like, okay. And I was like, make them do it again. They can do it one more time.

(3m 33s): And so my dad was like, please done. I was like, no, make them do it one more time. And so he’s like, all right, Corey, why don’t you try it one more time? Where he was like, Ugh, okay, ends up doing it. Six more times stands up surfs. The wave comes home saying it was the most fun experience that he had a blast. He just has to be pushed or else he’s a sire. Okay. You’ll hear in the clip. First, we talk about the fact that she was leaving for college the next day. And she had just started packing. And so her natural temperament and how she’s wired, we kind of go into the fact that she is she immediacy and a deadline is the way Avery operates best.

(4m 19s): Like that’s when she pulls out her best work. And she’s just, I mean, whether it was a school project, she sort of worked in that way and whether, or, you know, packing for the next day, she just will stay on track, get it done, knock it out. And she’s just sort of balls to the wall. And that’s, I’m kinda like that too. So I understand it. So it might’ve been easier for me to understand. Whereas my husband is more like if he had to give a talk or give a presentation, he’d be preparing for a month and a half and he would have everything well spelled out and all the details would be covered. And then he could walk into his presentation just knowing it like the back of his hand.

(4m 60s): And that would make him feel safe in the world. And that’s when he would be as most dynamic self. I am not like that. If I start preparing for something too soon, by the time it’s time to actually present it, I’m bored with the material. And so I will go through it, but I’m not good with rote memorization or just going through the motions. I like to think on my feet and have sort of a basic outline of what I’m going to go over and do some prep right before when it’s like immediate and it’s about to come up and I’m excited about it. And then I come in and all of my enthusiasm shows through. So I’m wired differently. And the bottom line is, is that we all are wired differently.

(5m 44s): And quite often we don’t fully understand exactly how we’re wired and exactly how the people we love or have to live with are wired and how we’re not meant to be wired the exact same. You know, I like to say it’s a family team and it’s just like any winning sports team. You’re not going to win the soccer game. If everybody’s a great goalie, like you need to have people that are wired differently and have bring different skillsets to the table. So Erin and I are starting to talk about things that, you know, how she’s just about to start packing and, and, and she launches into a story that had happened the day before when her and her brother went water skiing with her dad, wait, wait, surfing.

(6m 30s): I don’t even know. I don’t even know the right terms. Anyway, they did one of the, one of the, one of the sports that you do on the water. Obviously that’s not my forte. So she was talking about her brother and I kind of launched into this is your temperament. And this is his temperament. And it’s something that I teach with new people who work with me when you have a little baby around 18 months old, there was a study done years and years ago. And they basically did this study with, with 18 month olds. And they put these puzzles in front of them and they could tell who, you know, what their basic temperament was just based on how they engage with the puzzle.

(7m 14s): And so Avery is a trier, which is that she’s going to stick with a task until she figures it out and coincidentally or not, she loved puzzles as a little one, like loved. We stopped those little Walgreens, 25 piece puzzles that you could buy in the little boxes. We’d like a million of them because she would just do these puzzles and do these puzzles. She is a trier. That’s what she likes to do. And, and Corey has a temperament, more like me, which before I had done the self-awareness work, I just said that I was a quitter because I tend to pivot. And I T and I’ve talked about this in other podcast episodes.

(7m 53s): So a lot of times, if something’s not working, I just pivot to something else. And that temperament, they, they call a sire. So it’s like, can’t figure it out. Oh, well, move on other next thing. So sires are usually can be kind of easy going, don’t sweat the small stuff. And quite often we have an inner dialogue that we are quitters. And sometimes we do need somebody to encourage us and to push us along. And sometimes other people can learn things from us that, yeah, it stops what, in the small stuff. It’s not that big of a deal. We can try a different, you know, tactic to solve this problem, to solve this puzzle.

(8m 37s): So she talked about, you know, we talked about her being a trier, her brother being a sire. And just so you know, the other two temperaments are a flier and that’s the child that the minute they get frustrated, they would just like throw the puzzle at someone or go and hit someone because they just get so frustrated. They just, you know, they they’re, you know, they’re going to lash out and then there’s the crier. And that’s the child who, when they’re frustrated, they just get so worked up, you know, immediately. And they just cry and kind of melt into a puddle of tears. And so, so I, I like lots of different assessments, but that’s kind of the basic assessment that you start with.

(9m 20s): And I think it starts to build self-awareness, which is, this is how am I wired? How is my kid wired? Like, why am I trying to make them just like me? It’s sort of like when my husband, he knows that I’m a rebel tendency and I’m a, pivitor, I’m a sire. And he know, you know, we do some other assessments, I’m a researcher, but I jump into action and I’m not great with details. And I hate spreadsheets. And I don’t like anyone to tell me exactly how to do things. So for years before we had started having this type of conversation, you know, he wanted me to develop his systems and sometimes his systems can be helpful, but he knows that like he can plant the seed, but it sorta has to be on my terms.

(10m 9s): And my systems are never going to be exactly like his systems, just like my systems are never, he’s never going to really adopt my systems, but understanding how I’m wired, understanding how he’s wired, allows us to work together and pull from each other’s strengths. And so I think it’s a great conversation in terms of parenting, understanding your kids, understanding when the sire like Corey and the situation that Avery described, he needed a little push. He was ready to give up on an activity. And, and if he had, and if he didn’t receive the push, he would have missed out on a fun experience. So sometimes we sires need a little push, and sometimes we don’t and the trier, sometimes the trier needs help realizing like it’s not gonna happen.

(11m 3s): And you can, you know, take a deep breath and it’s time to go. We’re not going to solve this problem right now. We can come back to it later. Right? So, so this is just, I think, I think these are just practical tools to help you become more self-aware and more willing to work with who your kids really are and getting to know them. And when you start to talk about temperaments in this way, I think it also changes the conversation in terms of like most of us have a negative inner dialogue, because unfortunately we received messages that the way we were wired was the wrong way.

(11m 42s): Instead of having adults in our life, that, that took the time to really kind of study us and, and support us in the way that we were designed and meant to be supported. So, so quite, you know, like it’s like me calling myself a quitter, I’m sure. I’m sure I received that feedback somewhere when I was pivoting and maybe I needed the right kind of encouragement and support without shame when there’s shame involved. It turns into this negative inner critic that so many of us have idiot. Why did I do it like that? Why can’t I just be better at, and that doesn’t mean that we never want to get better at certain things or strengthen a skill set that doesn’t come naturally.

(12m 28s): It just means we don’t have to involve shame and the process. So it just feels better for everyone. And you don’t have all that mental exhaustion causes you to be healthier, have just more, be more productive and not have to waste your bandwidth on all of those exhausting thoughts and sentences running through your head, telling you yourself, how you suck, because you don’t suck. You were designed in a certain way, and it’s time to start learning how to support yourself in the way that you were born, right? Like your natural temperament is a certain way. You were designed to be a certain way. So, so learning what that is, I think is really step one, because you really can’t do it with other people unless you do it with yourself first.

(13m 15s): And so it’s, it’s connected. And then once you start to do it and understand with yourself how you’re wired and how you’ve maybe created this negative story about yourself, which is really unkind, and you learn how to have some self-compassion and to embrace the person that you were born to be and work with it and strengthen the skills that you want to strengthen without beating yourself up. You, you, you learn how to do that with your kids as well. And then we stop passing on this, this, this generational pattern. I really think it’s like, I’ve heard that there’s this epidemic of feeling not enough, not smart enough, not organized enough, not, not thin enough, like all that, not N not successful enough, right?

(14m 4s): So when we’re spending all this time, beating ourselves up and feeling not enough, guess what we’re not doing, we’re not kicking ass and taking names. We’re not out there accomplishing all the things that we want to accomplish in the world and, and feeling proud of ourselves and, and living a life that feels purposeful and meaningful and intentional. So, so often I meet people who are like, I just feel stuck. It’s like, you know, the mom, who’s like, maybe I have a job, but I don’t love a job. What am I really going to be when I grow up, maybe I’m staying at home with my kids, but I kind of feel like there’s gotta be life beyond this. What am I going to do next? And I think that it’s this negative inner dialogue, which really comes from being told that you’re not okay.

(14m 51s): The way you were designed to be is the real, it’s the real obstacle. So this is all connected. And of course we want all of us. I can’t, I’ve never met a parent who wants their kids to grow up, beating themselves up inside and feeling not enough because that they’re not going to be able to go out and do the things that they are meant to do in the world. If they’re spending so much time and energy in their own mind beating themselves up. So starting to learn and study what is my kid’s temperament and, and being an observer noticing how do they react? What do they do when they’re frustrated?

(15m 33s): When they can’t figure something out, when homework’s too hard, what do they do? What’s their, what did they naturally do? How can we sort of shift into that coaching role when they’re in a moment of struggle, instead of adding to the struggle by shaming them and, and just, just adding to that negative inner dialogue, because the things we say to them in those, in those moments, that is what becomes their negative dialogue, you know, forever not to put any pressure on you, but this is the thing we want to start with ourselves and get curious about ourselves. Whenever you can bring curiosity into the mix, that’s when the growth starts to happen.

(16m 17s): Right? So you start to get curious, why did I just do that that way? Why did my kid do it that way? Hmm, interesting. Right. And so you start starting to notice like different behaviors and when frustrations on the scene, how you know, how people are doing, dealing with it. And when our kids go into this like intense, overwhelmed state, or they’re super what we call dysregulated, which is their nervous system, just going wonky, because they’re frustrated, like how do we help support them to, you know, realize that they can find that inner calm. And I think it really starts with not making them wrong.

(16m 57s): Like if I had made Avery wrong, when she’s talking about packing for college, the day before college, if I had started saying, you always do this, you known that you were leaving on this day. We bought the plane ticket tickets however long ago. Why do you do this every time? When are you going to ever learn? I don’t understand that. Just sends her the message. What’s wrong with you. Is that going to support her in developing a better skillset? No, but when I don’t add, and it’s probably going to stall her out and she’s going to freeze and she’s not going to get the thing done and it’s going to be midnight and she’s not going to have knocked it out. But when I just meet her yeah, you do well with immediacy and a deadline.

(17m 37s): And she sat, she’s like, I’ll knock it out in an hour. And she knocked it out in an hour. It’s exactly what she did. So, right. Like, it’s like, I didn’t need to add to the pressure of the day of needing to pack for college. It’s just like, yeah, we know this and you’ll, you’ll do it. You’ll get it. I believe in you. And then she gets it done. See, so this is different than I think what most of us have known and, and just, you know, have some patience and know that like no one ever starts as an expert with anything, have some patience with yourself and just be willing to, I don’t know, maybe approach it in a little bit of a different way than you ever received.

(18m 20s): I don’t know when you’re buying in, I’m telling you it works. It feels good. Okay guys, and have a great week. Thanks for listening today, guys. I hope you picked up some tips tools, maybe some baby steps for creating more balance and boundaries in your life. And I just wanted to let you know, if you want to continue moving the needle forward in creating this for yourself, having a happier household. I want you to go to my website and check out Mastermind, Parenting dot com. We have three beginning programs, and if you need some accountability and more support, then please look for the one that would be a good fit for you.

(19m 1s): And as always, we’re on all the social channels under Mastermind Parenting on Instagram, it’s Mastermind, underscore parenting. And you know, periodically I do pop up on different Instagram lives, Facebook lives, where I give you teaching and coaching. And I love engaging with you live to help you help your strong-willed kids so that they can feel better because when they feel better, they do better. And I love, love, love, getting to know you guys. So thanks for listening. If you liked this podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review super, super appreciative.

Happy Household Cover

Sign Up for Our Newsletter and Get Our Free Guide

Creating A Happier Household

by Randi Rubenstein