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The Explosive Child

Out of David Kiersey’s four personality types: two are fairly cooperative and will submit to authority and two will challenge that authority at every turn. If you have one of these challenges, you probably already know it.  I work with these types all the time and can tell you very specifically about how your difficult child is wired and what motivates them. Often times, these children are lacking skills such as problem-solving, flexibility, frustration management, and empathy. Dr. Greene and I both agree: “kids do well if they can.”  They are not choosing to be challenging, it is their hardwiring doing the talking.

 It is a parent’s job to:

  1. Discover their child’s hardwiring,

  2. Identify the skills your child is “lagging” and

  3.  Pinpoint the specific problem the lagging skill has created.

Dr. Greene writes, “Diagnoses such as ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, an autism spectrum disorder, reactive attachment disorder, the newly coined disruptive mood regulation disorder or any other disorder can cause caregivers to focus more on the child’s challenging behaviors rather than the lagging skills and unsolved problems giving rise to those behaviors. How you understand and respond to the hand you’ve been dealt, (your child’s temperament) is essential to helping your child. “ Have you ever found yourself in a negative spiral, focusing on nothing but your child’s weaknesses?

Perhaps you are pulling your hair out because you have a child who argues with you (and everyone else) about everything! You have given him time outs, you have grounded him from his electronics, and nothing seems to work. Could it be that your child’s hardwiring and greatest strength, is what you are calling his weakness? Instead of arguing, what if you called it debating? Debating is a skill that requires an open mind and the ability to look at a subject from every angle. Could it be that he needs help building his skills so he can learn to use his strength in a less divisive manner?

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