To the Parent of the Know-It-All Boy

Ever feel like he's constantly correcting you?

Here’s why he acts the way he does.

Each child moves through the world in his or her own way.

Some are loud and adventurous. Others are more reserved and analytical. In my book, The Child Whisperer, I call the four main ways that children move through life the 4 Types of children.

The More Serious Type 4 Child is likely to be labeled a “know-it-all.” 

These children express a bold, serious quality in their thoughts, behaviors, and body language. They insist on being their own authority. They often see themselves as more mature. So parents or teachers can get frustrated with them trying to act like little adults.

His “know-it-all” nature can actually be a great gift, if you keep a few things in mind.

1. Your son may frequently feel misunderstood and alone.

Type 4 children tend to be more serious and reflective than other children their age. For that reason, they may not think that their peers understand or respect them.

When they do make friends, their friendships go deep. But because they tend to hold back and observe, making new friends can be a challenge.

TIP: Respect is one of the highest priorities for this child. Speak and act respectfully toward this child (even when he is frustrating to you) and he will respond in surprising ways. When he knows he has this foundation of respect from you, he will move through the world with much greater success.

2. He is driven to stay true to his own thoughts and experience.

The Type 4 child needs to be his own authority. At any age, from toddler on up, he will resist attempts to control him. (You can reason with him from an early age, thankfully.)

As he gets older, you might label his attempts at self-expression as “rebellion.” This can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy in his teen years. Teenagers don’t rebel just for the sake of rebelling. If he is resistant to your influence, consider what is really going on.

TIP: Invite dialogue. Listen to his thoughts and opinions without immediately trying to change or punish him. He is more analytical in nature. As long as he knows you won’t shut him down, he’ll appreciate talking things out and thinking things through with you. Allow him to have a different point of view and he may come around to see yours.

3. He will resist an over-protective or sheltering parenting approach.

Your Type 4 Child has a natural gift for seeing the big picture. He notices far more about the world around him than he may let on. And he really does want to know it all!

This is fantastic if you are a parent who gives him space to explore and try new things. But if you are uncomfortable with his exploration, this child may push the boundaries of your worldview. Trying to keep him from certain kinds of information will only increase its draw.

TIP: Your best way to protect this child is to give him tools to figure things out. Let him know it’s safe to express himself with you and to try new things. 

4. He needs your help to find balance.

This child often plays in black and white, all or nothing. He could either keep his room super tidy or leave it a disaster. He could focus on his homework or fail all his classes. His behavior often tends toward extremes.

He is constantly processing the world analytically. He will likely make more balanced choices if he can see the cause and effect of his behavior.

TIP: Help your child recognize the real-world effects of his behavior. Point out others’ reactions to him. You don’t need to tell him to change his behavior. You can help him be aware of how he is perceived and he will change it himself. 

5. He needs your love without strings attached.

No parent places conditions on their love on purpose. But even if you don’t mean to, you might express conditional love more than you realize.

Conditional love is damaging to any child. But it’s especially painful for your Type 4 son because of his black-and-white thinking. If he sees your love as conditional part of the time, he may mistakenly conclude that you don’t love him at all.

TIP: Take a moment to asses where you may be putting conditions on your love. Your relationship with your Type 4 son will improve dramatically if he knows you will love him no matter what he thinks, says, or does.

Are you parenting a Type 4 son? If so, go back and review the Type 4 section in The Child Whisperer book from time to time.

A refresher will be supportive to you! If you don’t know which Type of child you’re parenting, pick up a copy of The Child Whisperer. You’ll learn how to read your child more clearly and create more cooperation and happiness in your home.

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