Identifying Striving Styles in Children

PERSONAL GROWTH

Identifying Striving Styles in Children

I think most parents are looking for ways to better understand their children and give them a strong foundation as human beings. As a child`s Striving Style is based on an inborn need, they come into the world with his or her predominant need already determined by prenatal events, although we do not know what all of these are. This need is visible from a very young age as they seek to gain mastery in their lives.

The Striving Styles Personality System applications in our educational system and in the development of children. We still raise our children without an understanding their own psychology. As a result, little is done to serve the developmental needs of children. Many resist the idea of using personality typing their children, limiting their ability to support children’s needs.

Identifying differences in needs between parents and children and even the differences from one child to the next can be useful for parents. People are often so anxious about being “good” parents, rather than effective, that they are oblivious to what their children actually need. Parents are defensive about raising their children – not striving to understand and attend to the developmental needs of their children, but trying to make them “act right”.

Parents who work to understand themselves and their children’s needs are able to give their children an emotionally healthy childhood and the foundation for them to create a happy future. Parents who support their children’s natural behaviors and needs help their child develop self- esteem, emotional stability, trust in self, strength and self-confidence, and ability to pursue their own lives, the way they are meant to be. It sets the stage for the development of their child’s potential and future accomplishments.

I think most parents are looking for ways to better understand their children and give them a strong foundation as human beings. As a child`s Striving Style is based on an inborn need, they come into the world with his or her predominant need already determined by prenatal events, although we do not know what all of these are. This need is visible from a very young age as they seek to gain mastery in their lives.

Parents can get a pretty good idea of their child’s predominant need by the time they are 3 or 4. Of course, all children go through phases where they need more attention, autonomy and structure, however, you will begin to recognize it when their predominant need is not being met. Regression, emotionality, expressions of fear and anxiety all emerge when the child cannot seem to retain their psychological balance. These symptoms almost magically disappear when the child’s need is identified and met on a consistent basis and they are taught to meet it on their own.

This doesn’t mean that our early conditioning and parental influences are not important; far from it. While they do not cause our behavior, they highly influence how emotionally healthy or unhealthy we become. A child who is fortunate enough to be born into a family where the child’s needs, nature and ability is recognized and responded to appropriately will begin life with a firm foundation and strong sense of self.

Conversely, a child who is born into a relatively dysfunctional family will have greater challenges. They will be more adaptive to what is required of them from the environment and more self-protective in response to the non supportive conditions that exist in the family. This means that one child will have the ability to live pursuing their needs, while the second child will grow up adapting and finding ways to stay safe. The second child will have more emotional challenges than the first child.

Although parenting does not produce the Striving Style, it does influence a child`s ability to achieve their potential. In addition, children do not always satisfy the parents need, nor are they an easy fit for every parent. When this happens, parents can try to manipulate or pressure the child to be more like them to satisfy their needs. The child might feel guilty or inadequate for not living up to their parent’s expectations, causing them to adapt and use self-protective behaviors rather than self-actualizing ones.

Using the Striving Styles Personality System can help identify differences between parents and children. This is not to say that understanding alone will be enough to prevent potential problems or challenges in the child’s development. But without insight and understanding there will be a limit to the child’s growth and much emotional acting out and distress. It helps parents to see their children not as an extension of themselves, to be molded according to their own emotional needs but as independent beings that have their own needs that must be met.

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