Personality Differences and Temperament

Because each child is a unique human being in terms of the way he or she thinks and acts, parents often wonder whether these differences should affect their parenting.

image According to Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo, "Personality differences and temperaments affect parenting in that they help parents identify areas which require special effort to raise children up to the same standard of moral training.

"However, the standards of training and the goals do not change with personality differences. Temperament differences are not an acceptable excuse for sin . . . The training of children should be characterized by the same standard of moral excellence regardless of their personality, temperament, or gender" ( Let the Children Come Along the Virtuous Way , Leader's Guide, pp. 47-48).

One of the ways people differ is in how we express and receive love. Gary Chapman, in his Five Love Languages book series, describes these ways as (1) encouraging words, (2) acts of service, (3) gift giving, (4) quality time and (5) physical touch and closeness. Although all of these forms should be used, parents can most effectively love their child by identifying and using his or her primary love language.

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