Have a Type 3 Child? 3 Big Mistakes Parents Make

How to parent their big energy, without shutting them down

What to do when they get into everything… including matches.

You love your Type 3 child. They’re dynamic. They’re strong. But you might make some mistakes along the way that squash their big energy. In this episode, Carol and Anne share three mistakes that shut down your Type 3 child’s nature (and might actually make life harder for you). They give you tips of things to say and do to help your child grow into their best self.

This week’s Parenting Practice

Listen to this episode and choose the mistake that feels strongest to you. Use that as inspiration to make a change, so that your child doesn’t have to heal from this later in life. What can you do today, this week, that validates your Type 3 child’s true nature?

Transcript of the podcast episode

Carol: Do you have a Type 3 determined child? I’m pretty sure you’re making one if not all of these mistakes. 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.

They are the child that comes with a substantial energy, that they push forward in life. In fact, Anne, let’s read right from The Child Whisperer book, the description of the Type 3 determined child.

Anne: They are strong, dynamic. They have a push of Niagara Falls. These kids are determined. They have a swift quality about them, and they’re physical, they’re physically drawn to the world. Their primary need is to be challenged and have new experiences with the support of their parents. And that leads right into mistake number one, is being thwarted, is the word we’ve used before, and not recognizing their need for results.

Carol: That they’ve started something with a mission in mind, so to speak.

Anne: As a Type 3, do you relate to this, you start things to finish them?

Carol: Oh, very much. You still feel it. If your dad suggests, I do something different or stops what I’m sharing, or corrects me, I’m like, “Ahh.”

Anne: I’ve learned in the many years of working together, you’ll share an idea, something you’re excited to do, and I could meet you immediately with my questions or why I don’t think that would work. And I’ve learned a better response is whether or not that actually moves into action is, “Cool, okay.” Just keep it open. And then, when we need to actually start taking steps…

Carol: Make a decision.

Anne: …then we can have a discussion and ask the questions in that setting. So, that’s your first tip, is just be open. Okay, cool.

Carol: Type 3s will share in a way as if we’re convinced. Your children will say things in a way that they’ve already decided they’re going to do something, and yet they haven’t necessarily been that affirmative in their own mind, but they’re going to talk about it like, this is happening, when maybe it isn’t.

Anne: Yeah, they speak with passion, and that passion…

Carol: And confidence.

Anne: I’ve learned this with my Type 3 husband, like, “Wow, you’re really going to do all these things.” And I’ve learned over the years, “You’re just talking.” He’s a big talker.

Carol: Yeah, you’re just sharing your idea, what you’re thinking about. So, tell yourself that when your Type 3 child is, with great assurance and confidence, saying, “Yeah, this is going to happen, and I’m going to do this,” see it as, in that moment, they may think that, but there’s room still for direction and feedback and for it to change.

Anne: I know you’ve experienced this if you’re a parent of a Type 3 child, when you say no, they follow up, they’re going to push harder, and push, and push, and push. So, I’ve learned as a Type 2; I need to be grounded in my ‘no,’ or explain why I may be able to say ‘yes’ at a later time or something.

So, I have a couple of stories here. My daughter loves to draw, and she’s pretty good for her age. She’ll get creative and do these cute drawings. We were on a recent trip with a bunch of different families, and she drew a bunch of pictures, and then she put prices next to them, and she wanted to sell them. I was feeling a little bit embarrassed, I was like, “I don’t want you going around to my friends and asking them for their money,” but whatever, they don’t have to buy them. Okay. Some of them were $1.25 for a paper, a little drawing. I felt like I needed to direct this, but I decided to just let it go and see what happen.

So she brought one to me, and I bought one for $1.25. Then, she went to another adult, and they bought one for twenty-five cents. Then she went to another one, and they bought one for a dollar. She ended up making over four dollars by selling a couple of her little drawings.

Carol: Did she really? But, how did the adults react to it?

Anne: Someone’s like, “Oh, I don’t have my money on me, but these are so pretty.” And one was like, “Sure, I’ll get one,” and went and got a dollar. I just…you know, as a parent you could feel…

Carol: Supporting her entrepreneurial spirit.

Anne: Yeah. And she said, “How can I make more money?”

Carol: How Type 3 of her.

Anne: There was a time when she wanted to sell eggs to all the neighbors and we felt that her knocking on the door once a week might be a little too much. So, we set up a Facebook, you know, we put out a post there. So, there have been times where I have redirected her, but that was an example and a moment where I was nervous of her push-forward energy, but it ended up being okay. I gave her some communication skills. I said, “Go up and say, ‘Can I interest you in a drawing?'”

Carol: So, not to put them on the spot.

Anne: Another area where it didn’t work out so well was when I caught her lighting matches in her room.

Carol: Yeah, that’s not a good thing.

Anne: In the past, we’ve lit matches and I’ve been there, and they like to blow them out or light candles, and then I put them all away. And we were lighting some candles in her room, I took the matches with me. Unbeknownst to me, she got the matches back out. I came into her room, it smelled like smoke and I said, “What have you been doing?” And she heard from me very sternly as to why that’s not a good idea. The next morning she asked if we could light candles again. I said, “No,” and she asked again. No, no, no. Later, a couple of hours later, she was downstairs lighting matches by herself. And I was like, “Why would she do this again?” She made some bad choices in that regard, but I think, I could have said, “No, but let’s make a plan for when we can.” Because I thought to myself, “Why did you do that?” And I answered my own question, “Because I would have said no if she asked again.”

Carol: Did she say that to you?

Anne: No, she was just more embarrassed by the fact that she’d been caught. It’s hard to hide lighting matches, they smell. So, a couple things as a parent that I could have done, I could have hid them completely, and that’s what I did after. I put them up real high, a place where she won’t know where to get them. Or I just know when I’m dealing with a Type 3, in the saying no, if I say no, no, no, no, no, they’re going to just do it themselves, or they’ll get so stifled that they will explode. It will become an explosive, reactive response. When you really do need to say no, be more firm in that, and if you can be more open and say yes to it later, make that apparent to your child, make a plan so that they know that they’ll be supported in what they want to move forward on.

Carol: Yeah, that’s a great example. The second mistake you could be making is constantly disciplining them for getting into things, or starting projects, or doing, like you’ve said, doing something they were told they can’t do. Those are all variables of the same thing, which is they’re getting into trouble.

Anne: I think this has to do with that hands-on quality of Type 3 children, where they just want to be into stuff. If you have a child that’s a Type 3, you know that this starts at a young age. They will crawl over things, they will get into things. My Type 3 one-year-old is so hands-on, even more than my Type 3 daughter. He gets into everything.

Rather than telling him no all the time, I can use child locks and I can put things up and out of the way. He would always get into our garbage, and so our garbage ended up on the counter, or I was trying to shut the door enough or tell him no. Finally, I bought a garbage with a lid on it. Problem solved. As a parent, you can make smart choices to support your child so you’re saying no less about getting into things. I think that’s the easiest thing. My sister did this with her Type 3 son. He wouldn’t go to bed. He would stay up and get into his toys. She took all the toys out of his room. “Out of sight, out of mind” is a great motto for Type 3s.

Carol: Then as they grow older and if they do start projects… It’s like your example with matches. If you’ve said no, where is the yes they get to move forward on, that they can be doing things that support their nature that are hands-on? So, make sure that is happening, that you’re supporting that movement by being agreeable, and maybe that means driving to the store and getting supplies. Maybe that means helping them get something going, so they can then work on it on their own. We have other podcasts you can listen to, like “Helping Children Take Risks” in a manner that’s safe, where your Type 3 child’s going to fit that category most. So, how can you set it up so you’re saying yes to more things than saying no to more things?

Anne: Let’s keep this conversation going, but first we’ve got a special message for our listeners.

Woman: Knowing your type and your child’s type changes everything, doesn’t it? It helps you to understand one another better. It can help your outside, too. When you wear clothes that express your type, you feel better, you look better, and people understand you more easily, including your kids. Carol Tuttle created the “Dressing Your Truth” program to help you dress true to your type, and create a personal style that expresses who you really are. The best part? You can learn all the basics for free. Start loving how you look and feel at dressingyourtruth.com.

Carol: This is a very damaging experience I encountered as a Type 3 child, and it tends to happen more often if you have, what we consider, the lower movement parents of a Type 2 or a Type 4, that is shushing your Type 3 child. We have a louder volume to our voice. We have more of a substantial movement in how we move through the world, and we’re not trying to be louder than anyone else. It’s just sometimes we are. I experienced this recently on an airplane, where the Type 3 woman behind me sounded like she was yelling on the phone to somebody. And I’m like, “She has no idea how…”

Anne: You’ve been that lady before on an airplane.

Carol: Yeah. And I know at that moment, I’ve done that unknowingly probably more times than I care to remember. And yet, I said to my husband, “She has no idea how loud she is.” This kind of volume, this substance.

Anne: You’ve used boombox as a reference, that really is, when my Type 3 daughter gets…people just recognize that bigger energy, that bigger volume.

Carol: Yeah, people will say about Katie, “She’s got a lot of energy.” She’s really got a big presence because there is that substance to it. So, shushing is a way to alter that. It’s feedback. But in my experience of being shushed a good portion of my life, even into my adult years from my mother, I do not find it be supportive.

Anne: It’s shaming.

Carol: So what are other options? Yeah, we’re like, “Shh.” We had some funny conversations around a Type 2 can’t say what they really want to say, “Shut up.”

Anne: Shut up.

Carol: So they go, “Shh.” What are some other options, Anne? Because there are situations where it is appropriate to give feedback.

Anne: Oh yeah. I think you just go, “What’s the end result you want?” This is a place where you need to be quiet. You need to bring the volume down. Would that be a more supportive phrase? Bring the volume down?

Carol: Well, just say, well, a lot of parents, “We need to use our inside voices…”

Anne: Yeah, that’s a good option.

Carol: And so, a way that just clues them into this setting, it’s better if I keep my voice down, or I’m mindful of how I’m talking. Now, if you’re shushing your Type 3 children in your own home, maybe you just need to get a pair of earplugs.

Anne: Hey, I’ve tried that more recently as we’ve been talking.

Carol: Did you?

Anne: Yeah, they weren’t noise-canceling officially.

Carol: But you want to be able to hear some things, you just want to muffle it.

Anne: Yeah, it was nice. It was just some headphones that just kind of muffled and softened the noise, and my daughter loves to turn her music up loud and dance around that house. And rather than me being like, “Stop, turn it off,” I just put my headphones on. I could still hear when she was talking to me.

Carol: They work?

Anne: Yeah, it was great.

Carol: Okay, there we go.

Anne: I love that.

Carol: Because if you ask your child to accommodate you too often, you know, again…

Anne: In a home setting definitely.

Carol: There’s a balance to all this. But, if you’re just frazzled and tired… Let’s say you are a working mother and you go home and you just don’t want the noise level, there are things you can do to make the adaptation without asking your child to accommodate you. So again, it’s that balance. You’re asking your Type 3 child to change who they are to accommodate you more often, that’s now sending a message that it’s not okay to be you.

Anne: This was the balance I struck just the other day. We were eating, and she had some loud music on, and with the eating and everyone at the counter…it was just too much. So I said, “We’re going to turn this off.” And then, after eating was done and I was cleaning up…

Carol: Did you put your headphones back on?

Anne: Yeah, so she could turn it back up. And if I still needed…

Carol: Did she know you were putting the headphones back on?

Anne: Yeah. She was like, “What are you doing?” I just said, “It’s too loud. I’m softening the noise.” She knows that’s one of her…

Carol: Yeah, that teaches her…

Anne: Type 3s love to be loud. “I love to be loud. I’m a Type 3!”

Carol: It’s a subliminal teaching moment where you’re saying, “It’s good to take care of ourselves, and I’m not asking you to do that for me.” It’s healthy actually.

Anne: And it’s interesting just to see the tendencies. Like, turning up the music in our car when we’re headed out as a family. My Type 2 son and I can only take it for so long. And her yelling. He’s like, “Katie, stop, my ears are hurting.”

Carol: Funny.

Anne: Definitely, just these tendencies really happen.

Carol: We’ve got three Type 3s and two Type 2s in the family. Look at these different scenarios. Which mistakes are you making? If you’re making all three, just choose one to move forward on. Make sure you correct all three of them, but just choose the one that you feel is presenting itself the most, that you’re, like, feeling that tinge of, we could say, guilt, but we’ll say inspiration, that inspiration to make a change in your approach to this, so that you don’t leave your child wounded having to heal from this later in life.

You love your Type 3 children. They’re very dynamic. You know they’re going to grow into their energy more and more and really make a difference in the world. So, what can you say to them today, this week, that validates their true nature? Remember, there’s a lot of positive affirmations that have been written for your Type 3 child. So, go get your cheat sheet and start using those words of validation by acknowledging them with phrases of affirmation.

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 Whisperer” 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].

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