What parent hasn’t joked that they wished their children came with an instruction manual?
Carol Tuttle’s “The Child Whisperer” claims to be just that.
And you know what? She’s right.
With the overabundance of books out there that focus on parenting techniques or which method of discipline is better than another, it was refreshing to read a book that helped us understand the motivation behind our children’s behavior and how we could understand and interact with them in more appropriate ways without damaging the relationship.
Energy is all around us and even in us. Yes, the four elemental energies found all throughout nature are also in us as human beings. Each of us leads with one of those four dominant energies. It is an energy that drives the way we think and act and who we are at the core of our nature.
Understanding the dominant energy of each of our children changes everything.
It changes the way we view their requests. It changes the way we view their behavior. It changes the way we interact with them, the way we handle chores, extracurricular activities, and one-on-one time. It changes the energy of your home for good.
Here is a brief overview of the four energy types.
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Type 1: These animated, fun, bright, light-hearted, and friendly children connect socially to the world. Their movement is upward and out as they create light and happiness. They have a twinkle in their eye and a sparkle in their energy.
Type 2: Kind, gentle, tender, and thoughtful describe these easy-going children who connect to the world on an emotional level. They move more calmly and subdued, connecting people and events in a way that flows. Comfort is a big priority for them.
Type 3: These high-energy children can be described as strong, active, persistent, and energetic. The movement in their world is very physical. They are active and determined and they love a challenge. They have a drive to get things done!
Type 4: These children connect to the world through a more intellectual lens, and are thorough, efficient, responsible, and analytical. Their movements are linear. They value being respected and will give respect to others as it is earned.
Our twins are Type 2 (Baby A) and Type 1 (Baby B).
Their energies were apparent in the womb. Baby A was totally chill and didn’t move a whole lot. Baby B looked like she was sending off fireworks most of the time. Before understanding energy profiling, my wife figured that either Baby A was the devious one, poking her sister to make her react, or that Baby B was going to be Sprite out of a bottle. (It was the latter.)
Our beautiful Type 2 daughter is very easy going and detail oriented. We have found peace by understanding that in her bedroom, there is a place for everything and everything is in it’s place…where she can see it. We have stopped butting heads over my Type 4 requirement that a room is tidy with everything put away and out of sight by understanding that her way of organizing is where she can see the things that are important to her.
We noticed her attention to detail and her aptitude for planning when she came to my wife with a detailed grocery list (all drawn out in pictures because she didn’t know how to read yet) for a tea party that she wanted to host for all of her little five-year-old friends. She had planned the menu, the centerpieces, the decorations, the craft activity, and her outfit. My wife and I don’t entertain so she didn’t learn this from watching us! My wife honored her desire for connections by helping her execute this little tea party and we loved watching her shine through the process.
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Our Type 1 daughter used to be a source of frustration for us. We knew she was a wild card in our family but we didn’t know how to handle her. Since reading the Child Whisperer, this child has become our favorite, theoretically, of course. We used to butt heads with her over chores until we started turning them into games (which was as easy as asking her to pretend to be Cinderella sweeping the floor). Taking time to play with and laugh with her on a daily basis has eliminated a lot of clinginess and whining. Understanding that her nature is somewhat random helps us be patient with the perpetual whirlwind of ideas and fun and mess that go with her. She knows that one of her gifts is to be happy, and learning how to honor that in her has changed the thunderclouds in our home to sunshine.
As parents of twins, we know that although our children shared the womb and that they share a birthday, the similarities often end there. We know that our children are different but it gets easy to get caught up in the craziness of raising twins and parent them one knee-jerk reaction at a time. Learning to understand your twins’ true natures and how to parent each of them as individuals will be a gift and blessing to your family.
It’s my hope that The Child Whisperer will bless your life as she has ours.
In case you missed it, I interviewed The Child Whisperer author Carol Tuttle on the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast. Listen to our conversation here.