The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

From the Head of Middle School

What Kind Of Child Do You Have?

What kind of child do you have? Is he or she the "manipulator", a "wheeler and dealer" or a "debater"?  Is your child suffering from Winston Churchill Syndrome, are they fearless or are they the 2019 version of a hippie, a passive resistor?  Knowing what kind of children we have can assist with determining what strategies we should use when we parent them according to Dr Andrew Fuller.

Dr Fuller spoke to the Scotch Community at two wonderful events on Thursday 15 August.  He shared with us his insight based on years of research into children, resilience and strategies to assist them in their emotional development.  In his talk, he explained the types of children as follows:

  • The Manipulator: a child who is dominant and wants control. He or she can play cute but can be a bully.  Often children like this are the result of under parenting.
  • The Wheeler and Dealer: a child who uses humour. Likes an audience. Is always ready to make a deal to avoid punishment or responsibility.
  • The Debater: will want to discuss everything. Often seen as a result of sibling rivalry.
  • Winston Churchill Syndrome: a child who wants to win at any cost. Will fight you in the kitchen, will fight you in the bathroom, will fight you in public.  They will never surrender.  You get the picture.  These children are highly competitive.
  • The Fearless Child: present in about 15% of children.  Will leap without looking.
  • The 2019 Hippie - the passive resistor: You ask about homework, they will respond "What homework?" They are vague and secretive.  They are very disorganised and seem to work in slow motion.

In his talk, Dr Fuller shared with us that the number one predictor of life success is the ability to regulate our emotions.  As parents and educators, we need to assist our children to get into a zone where they can manage emotions.  Where they can let them flow through them so they can be in a place to regulate emotions and develop resilience.  For children, they can only learn when they are in the resilient mindset.  The more time they spend in that mindset results in a healthier, happier and longer life.  Children need to be in the resilient mindset to succeed.

So how do we help our children if they present in the list Dr Fuller gave us?

  • The Manipulator: recognise the manipulation. Know your triggers as a parent and your parenting principles.
  • The Wheeler and Dealer: their audience needs to be removed. They need to know the bottom line and we need to stick to it.
  • The Debater: Don't allow the debate to go on long. They need an increase in serotonin and lots of affection.
  • Winston Churchill Syndrome: stop the need to be right as a parent. Spend time together.  Rethink priorities and look at the "nice to nag" ratio.  Address their underlying concerns.
  • The Fearless Child: they need to be taught how to plan.
  • The 2019 Hippie: give them roles that develop dignity like the nurturing of younger children.

The talk by Dr Fuller provided much that we could take away as parents and educators.  The evening was a great success thanks to the ongoing support from the Scotch Parents who funded Dr Fuller's talk.  The Scotch Parents have sponsored the annual Keynote Speaker address presented at the College for the past five years which is greatly appreciated.

Dr Fuller has provided an additional resource for parents titled Re-Igniting Motivation.  The article gives advice on how to help young people to believe in themselves again; and how to reduce avoidance and anxiety.  The resource can be accessed by clicking HERE.