Wednesday, July 3, 2013

North, South, EAST, West by Sandra Timmons

Since we have hit the North (sanguine) and the South (melancholy), let’s travel east to throw in a Choleric and really mix things up—because that’s what a choleric can do to a group (i.e. family).  Once you read this description, you will probably realize that you already know a choleric or two; they are hard to miss!   They are born leaders who are strong-willed, often self-sufficient, and very independent.  Cholerics are decisive and opinionated, finding it easy to make decisions for themselves as well as for others.  They thrive on activity and seem hyperactive or may actually be hyperactive.  They may often seem to be  “hard hearted” people because if they make a decision, they know they are right (and often are) and will run roughshod over anyone who gets between them and their goal.  They are often compulsive and feel as if they absolutely must change whatever they see that might be out of place or correct whatever is wrong;  they do not hesitate to straighten pictures in other people’s houses or remove lint from another person’s clothing. 
Cholerics are usually the most difficult of the four temperaments as babies.  They often sleep very little or, at best, irregularly.  When they are awake, they do not want to be left in their beds/rooms to play; they want to be where the action is—where the other people are.  They are often “in charge” of the family early in life because of a loud voice and/or temper tantrums, and it’s just easier to give in to them than to contend with them.  They make decisions quickly and easily (yes, even as children) and then demand to have their own way.  Cholerics often refuse to do as they are told because they want to “do it myself” (more than normal) and in their own way and time.  As they grow up a little (four- or five-year-old), they feel that they must win in every situation or, at the very least, find a way to “save face.”  A habit that they learn early (and then perfect in the pre-teen years) is to always have the last “word”—which doesn’t actually have to be a “word.”  It may actually be a grunt, an exaggerated sigh, or a roll of the eyes!
As teenaged drivers—well, God bless you, Parent!  They are often daring speed demons who constantly dart in and out of traffic.  However, (and I’m not sure if this is the good news or the bad news) they will rarely get tickets because they are crafty enough to keep an eye on the rearview mirror to watch for the police.  They are not wise handlers of money, and any chore you give them may be done at a frenzied pace to get the job done, but neatness and precision are not a concern for them.  One of Tim LaHaye’s quotes that I love is, One can usually spot the choleric’s yard while driving through the neighborhood.  Just look for miniature hedges and dwarf trees.  LaHaye says this is true because a choleric’s philosophy about yard work is, Do it once a year and get it over with!
Cholerics—How to Get Along With Them and Help Them
1.       Especially when your choleric is a baby or a young child, insist on and enforce a schedule. 
--Because of the choleric’s nature, the schedule should be somewhat flexible.  But the schedule relays to them the fact that YOU are the parent and, as such, YOU are in control.
--If there is no semblance of a schedule, they will feel (and usually are) totally in control.
2.      Insist that they carry out certain responsibilities.  It’s very helpful to have a chart on which you can mark which daily chores have been finished. 
--This accomplishes at least two things, not the least of which is that later, when there is a question (and there is always a question with a choleric child) about whether a task has been done, you have the chart to back you up.
--Another thing the chart does is to reinforce to the child that YOU, not THEY, are in control.
3.      Recognize that they truly are born leaders.  That means that those who deal with younger cholerics must show an equal strength, or they will be constantly pushing you around.  Just because they’re “born leaders” does not mean that you always have to be their follower.
4.      Insist on two-way communication with them.  Cholerics are not prone to discussion; they are prone to taking over!
5.      If your relationship with a choleric child is going smoothly, don’t look for trouble or do anything that might unnecessarily set off a negative reaction.  This does not mean that you must “walk on eggshells” in your own home; it just means to choose your battles.
6.      Be grateful for that choleric that God entrusted to you.  If nothing else, your prayer life will improve!

Proverbs 11:14—Without wise leadership (a.k.a.choleric), a nation is in trouble; but with good counselors, there is safety.

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