Even when you know your child’s nature, you can make some honest mistakes.
If you’re a Child Whispering parent, you’re committed to helping your child be their best self. But it can be easy to slip into some common mistakes.
In this episode, Carol and Anne share 3 ways you might be shutting down your fun-loving child without realizing it. Their suggestions will help you honor the child who’s naturally bright, bubbly, and playful.
This week’s Parenting Practice
Listen to this week’s episode. Which of the 3 mistakes do you see yourself in? What change can you make based on the suggestions? There’s no shame or guilt in these mistakes—just an opportunity to be more aware as a parent and support your child in growing true to their nature.
Transcript of podcast episode
Carol: If you have a Type 1 child, you may be making some of these mistakes unknowingly. And if you’re listening right now I know you do not want to shut down your child or accidentally wound them, so learning this about your Type 1 child is going to give you the awareness and the tools to better support them in living their truth. Welcome to “The Child Whisperer” podcast. I’m your host, Carol Tuttle, author of the bestselling parenting book, “The Child Whisperer.” I’m with my co-host, Anne Tuttle Brown. Let’s go over first, Anne, what the movement is of a Type 1 child right from “The Child Whisper” book. What we call the Type 1 child.
Anne: Type 1 children are naturally bright, bubbly, and playful, light, animated. They’re connected to the world socially. They have a brightness, joyful quality about them.
Carol: Yes. We call the Type 1 child, the Fun-loving child. And this can often turn into experiences where they get disciplined or they’re given the feedback that they’re naughty or it might be shaming to them in some of your responses. So we want to identify three things that you could be doing and how to work with them so that it’s not like we’re saying, “Children should be able to do whatever they want.” It’s just they’re going to naturally have a certain quality of expression that you want to learn to work with even if it’s correction or disciplining them or behavior modification or coaching them. There’s a way to do it without sending the message, “You shouldn’t be doing that.”
Anne: Well, it sets you up understanding their tendencies, it sets you up for compassion and also have a standard and expectation of where they’re at, why they’re doing what they’re doing, and then be able to meet them with more love and help them get to a place where they actually really can and not expecting something different than what they do.
Carol: Yeah, you can then…you pretty much can say, “Well, I would expect that from them.” And they’re not…their nature is not in any way in an effort to do something contrary. That’s the big thing. Children get disciplined for being contrary, like, they need to learn that, you know, that what they’re doing isn’t correct. So again, it’s not that it’s right or wrong. It’s just helping a child develop so that they’re aware of their tendencies, their nature so they’re able to make healthy choices with it. But if they’re shamed for it, they now have a conflict with it. So Anne, what’s the first mistake a parent could be making with raising a Type 1 child?
Anne: This has to do with Type 1’s method of communicating. They’re naturally quick and spontaneous and so they jump from one idea to another very quickly, or they could bring something up in the middle of something and you’d be like, “Where did that come from?” Brain jumping is what we’ve referred to it as before. Then all of these ideas are from The Child Whisperer book, so first tip to correct any of these mistakes obviously is to read The Child Whisperer book, if you haven’t done so, or if you haven’t done so I’d say in the last six months to a year, pull it out again. So right here on page 47, it says, “If you parent a Type 1 child, you may wonder if there are connections between the ideas they share in rapid succession. The connections are there but they are random and they come in spurts. Their quick movement from idea to idea often earns these children the label of childish or silly.” And that’s the mistake there is judging it, judging the style of communication as silly, as childish, as disconnected or airheaded.
Carol: Or even that you’ll think what they’re saying or thinking is irrational. It doesn’t make sense. It’s not true. You have to correct that and depending on the circumstance, you know, even to the point where you feel like, “My child is lying.” It’s like, “Well, maybe they’re just creating things in their mind.” And there’s a place where it’s harmless and then there’s scenarios where, yeah, you need to deal with what is more reality-based and guide them through that, to not use this as a way to get out of stuff.
Anne: The mistake you can make here is giving a lot of feedback rather than just listening and hearing them out. And as they’re supported by just you’re listening to their thoughts, they’ll be better able to communicate. Hear them out and then support them in sharing their thoughts. I think all children need support and communication tips in helping them engage with others and express themself more clearly. So give that from a place of love and encouragement rather than shutting them down, “Oh, you always interrupt me.” Or, you know, that needs coaching. Something like that would need coaching and how you would need to wait until I’m done talking to my friend to talk to me. That happens with parents. Parent…like kids will want to jump in and tell their parent what they’ve got to say.
Carol: Time to take a short break. But don’t worry, we’ll be right back after this.
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Anne: My Type 1 sister will often talk with her eyes closed and I think it’s because as a Type 1, she needs to close her eyes so she can really focus on her thoughts so she can get them all connected and get them out. Have you noticed that with Jenny?
Carol: No, I haven’t.
Anne: You haven’t? Oh.
Carol: When…recently as I say…
Anne: Oh, no. All the time I’ve noticed it. Yeah.
Carol: Apparently, I’m not looking at her enough. Okay.
Anne: But I’m…
Carol: I am making a mistake with a Type 1 child.
Anne: Yeah. This may be a…
Carol: Apparently, I’m moving around too much.
Carol: Look at your daughter.
Anne: So, and I found that interesting that she can share her thoughts just more randomly, but when she’s going more…
Carol: It probably grounds her. Yeah.
Anne: …deeply into her thoughts, she’ll…I notice she’ll close her eyes. You may notice this with your children and that may be a way that they’re connecting their thoughts.
Carol: Yeah, that’s a good thought.
Anne: So just create the space. Remember Type 1 movement is open, it’s air. Create that space when they’re talking and communicating. Have times where they can just go and share their most random thoughts and maybe ask them questions to get bigger about it and really allow them to just share.
Carol: Yeah. I’ve had that experience with Teddy, a Type 1 grandson. He’ll just ramble on all these things, very excited. And he’ll disconnect from one, jumps to something else, some of it doesn’t, you know, really make sense and I’ll sit there. I do look at him and I’ll shake my head, “Uh-huh, uh-huh.” And then by the time he’s kind of gotten it all out, I’ll go, “Okay. Like, thanks for sharing.”
Anne: Yeah. And…
Carol: There’s nothing I had to do with it.
Carol: And he’s only four. He’s just excited and he wants all these things to share. And I don’t…he doesn’t…it doesn’t make sense, some of it. And he is…he’s just so enthusiastic though.
Anne: Yeah. And most of the time that, like, when I go and visit my Type 1 mother-in-law, she just wants to share something with someone. It’s exciting, you know, and she’s engaging socially. And I think that’s a quality that will follow Type 1’s throughout their whole life if they are received and met with openness and acceptance and there’s nothing…there will be ideas. There might be some crazy ideas. You just kind of support and listen and then let them lead the way in those conversations.
Carol: I like to just enjoy their energy. It’s very uplifting.
Anne: Mm-hmm. Yeah. It’s very uplifting. Yup, definitely.
Carol: The second one mistake you could be making is—and I hand raised on this one, made this error as a parent of two Type 1 children—taking advantage of their spontaneous nature. They have an agreeable, adaptable energy. So, it’s very easy to be the child that you, in a moment’s notice, ask to do you the favor, the errand, the chore, something you want support with and they’ll start doing that for you.
Anne: We actually…you share the story in The Child Whisperer on page 56. It says that they can tend to become a people pleaser or the family helper. We had a running joke with our brother, Mario, who’s a Type 1. We’re like, “Who’s taking out the trash?” like, “Somebody will do it,” and it always ended up being Mario.
Carol: Yeah. Mario’s other name was Somebody.
Anne: And we always kind of knew like, “Oh, if we don’t do it, he will because he wants to make mom happy.” And, yeah, so we…
Carol: He would just respond in the moment with a yes. He wouldn’t even think about his situation.
Anne: And how is this…because, you know, like, that’s a great quality, being a very helpful person. But how is that…
Carol: Are you taking advantage of it?
Anne: …a detriment to the Type 1 child? How does that become a mistake?
Carol: They become your go-to. Like, in our experience…
Anne: But if they’re always willing to do it, like, at what point does it become, like, “Okay, I’m taking advantage of you.”
Carol: You’re asking him too much or you’re kind of training them to say yes without thinking things through for what’s best for them.
Anne: Will they see it as, like, a burden or will they just keep saying yes until so many times have passed and then it becomes, like, heavy for them.
Carol: It can…it’ll turn into that in their lifetime where they’ll be that person that is the people pleaser.
Anne: Always says yes.
Anne: Type 1’s have a hard time saying no. That’s…
Carol: They do. Right. That’s why I have in our Lifestyle content, how to say yes to…How to Say Yes to Your No.
Anne: Mm-hmm. So you’re saying yes but you’re saying no.
Carol: How to say yes to the no, I’m about to say. Because that was designed on a theory of their instinct is to agree and say, “Yes, I want people to be happy.” And yet to their own demise, they’ll say yes to too much. So are you training your child to do that by asking so much of them? How do you prevent that? Will you organize the things that they’re responsible in a way that it’s balanced with the other children in the family and you don’t…and really pay attention in the day-to-day moments how much you might call upon them and recognize…
Anne: How can you…
Carol: …yeah, I need to stop doing that. I need to stop putting him in that position. And I need to help them learn to say no to things.
Anne: Yeah. Can you give a couple tips on how a Type 1 can say no or whether…kind of a gauge of, like, I should say to this, no to that. Or is there a certain type of feeling they might get or inspiration.
Carol: Yeah. You can even stage…you could set these up, stage them, and even teach them. You’re going to be willing to help me out. Let’s say you’re working on a craft project, you’re having a lot of fun, and I ask you to go grab the mail, you know, because that would be helpful to me while I’m doing my thing.
Carol: I want you to say, “Thanks for asking, Mom, but now, I’m…I can do it after I finish my project.”
Anne: Oh, so you’re going to give them the words to use and play it out so, you know, I know this is…
Carol: And they do it in a favorable way. “Thanks for asking me, you know, I’d love to help you. And I’m going to choose to finish my project right now, so I can do that after.” So they’re learning these skillsets to…in a safe place with people that are encouraging it. So now with friends, that’ll be the next level they’ll get to practice this. If they’re being too agreeable with friends and letting their friends take over, they need to learn how to have a voice and make choices within a peer group. And so those are moments that you can coach them on what would you say, how would you stay true to yourself and say it.
Anne: This also helps the child to learn that their value of just their being is separate from their doings. If they’re always helping mom or wanting to do things for the family, that that might be so closely tied to their worth. And so you want to make sure to separate that.
Carol: Yeah. Do you praise your children separate from anything they’ve accomplished or done or put their efforts towards, just purely praise for who they are? So make sure you’re practicing that. The third mistake you could be making is telling your child it’s time to grow up.
Anne: Now, what scenarios would this be played out in?
Carol: Well, you have to consider you apparently have an idea of what growing up is referring to like what, they aren’t following through, they’re…
Anne: Being too noisy…
Carol: …too noisy.
Anne: …in a place where they know they should be quiet or…
Carol: They’re being too…what you might consider, “Well, that’s just immature.” Or maybe you have a Type 1 son who you think needs to be more manly. And this isn’t depictive of manliness when they’re 12, 13, 14 years old. Maybe they’re using…trying to use their animated nature and their very creative mind to get out of stuff and they’re not, you know…
Anne: Being really goofy.
Carol: Yeah, they’re being goofy. They’re misbehaving in a place that you feel requires a different behavior choice.
Anne: So is it just that phrase that you want to avoid or are there…
Carol: Yeah. I think that phrase is the big…
Anne: …certain actions and feedback?
Carol: Is it correct to…is it correct for a child to be taught what behavior is appropriate in different settings? Yes. If you go to church, is it appropriate to be loud and goofy in church? Not in a more reverent setting, no. So there’s a place and age is a big factor here too, you know. You don’t teach that to a 3-year-old.
Anne: You’re not telling a 3-year-old to grow up because they’re growing up. But you might…
Carol: No. You might start saying this around 5 though. Like, you need to grow up and learn to sit down at the table. You know, you need to be a big boy and…or a big girl and stay in your bed. It’s this reference that you’re falling short of who you need to be is what the message you’re sending them that…
Anne: Why is this message so damaging particularly for a Type 1 energy?
Carol: It teaches them…and I’ve worked with literally thousands of Type 1 adults who have had to heal this, that their natural expression of self which is light and buoyant…
Anne: And youthful.
Carol: …and spontaneous, has a youthful quality what we equate to being immature. And that if you’re going to be immature, grown up, you have to abandon that and they have to squash it or watch it or…just because that message is shaming. You can still approach the situation without sending a derogatory message. You need to grow up. What does that mean anyway? It’s like wouldn’t it be smart to say, “All right. It’s time to learn how to sit still.”
Anne: Yeah. Here you go. Focus on just the outcome, not the…
Carol: Yeah. Like, let’s just talk about what we really want here, not some reference that’s very old-school, derogatory shaming that comes from a really old parenting model.
Anne: Well, and even, like, trying to reason like that with a Type 1 won’t get you very far either.
Carol: Yeah, the only…
Anne: It’s like focus on the moment, the present, and make it a game, especially when you do…
Carol: Unless you outline for them. When I say, “It’s time for you to grow up.” it means this, this, and this. All it’s saying is, “I don’t like the way you’re behaving and you need to stop doing that,” without any reference to what you want. It’s even better to say, “I want to help you learn how to sit still.” You’re focused on what you want your child’s behavior to be. And it removes all guilt, shame methods. “I want to help you learn how to sit still in this setting because it’s appropriate.”
Anne: And then follow it up, “How can we make this more fun?”
Carol: Yeah. And how…
Anne: And see what they come up with because maybe sitting’s…they make us some creative ideas about how to sit still or how to stay in bed or whatever, you know.
Carol: Oh, yeah. Type 1 children…Type 1 children can learn to sit still in settings where they’re using their inner world of imagination or a book or, you know, there’s ways to do it that are very supportive to them. Your parenting practice this week is to take one of these three that you’ve identified with and, again, we’re not shaming or trying to guilt you. We want to help you be more aware as a parent so that you can make the changes that will support your child in growing true to their nature and have access to all the powerful gifts and assets that come with living true to your nature. So which one of these three do you see yourself? What change can you make based on the suggestions? And take the book out, read these sections that we’ve identified. This is not a one-pass book. It’s a book that you need to read over and over and over because every time you do, you get more aha’s. Be grateful for those beautiful bright lights in your family. They lift your energy and they’re a gift to your family experience. Thanks for listening. For more support, go to thechildwhisperer.com where you can purchase the book, subscribe to our weekly parenting practice email, and find a transcription and audio of “The Child Whisper” podcast.
Anne: If you’re listening on iTunes, thank you for leaving a review. If you have a parenting question, please send it to [email protected]