Carrying on from yesterdays blog – where I talked about how one of my sons prefers to ‘break the rules’ because of his personality, I also have a son that loves ‘the rules’ but melts down in spectacular ways whenever the rules change.
This is so evident when kids throw tantrums over the little things; like the colour of their plate, or the way that you cut up the toast or sandwiches. These things can drive us crazy, because there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme nor reason to it. When we thing about how our kids personality reflects the way they like their world structured though, it makes complete sense and it is easy to fix.
My son loves the rules, and fervently and loudly lets his siblings know when they are breaking the rules, but sometimes he makes up his own rules about how things should be, purely because something may have happened that way twice before, or because he was feeling uncomfortable about the looseness of something, and so made himself feel better by attaching a rule to it.
That rule could be something as simple as – he always has the fork with the flowers on it – and if it accidentally turns out that he doesn’t get that fork then he could meltdown, have an argument with a sibling, or get down from the table to change it. This becomes a bigger problem if a sibling realises what is going on, and begins purposefully hiding that fork, or purposefully giving it to someone else.
The thing with a child that loves rules and routine (a judging preference) is that they can really throw a tantrum over these seemingly ‘nothing’ things. But there is a SIMPLE solution!
It’s really important for a child with a judging preference to feel like there are rules and order in their world, and if you are getting a lot of tantrums it often means that they don’t feel that there is enough order, and so they create their own version of order, but that goes awry because no one knows what that order is! So, the key here is COMMUNICATION. Talk to your child about what is going on, and when things are happening. Involve them in house rules or job lists if that makes them happy.
You will notice an immediate lessening of tantrums, and then once they are feeling secure and happy in their own little world, then we can start to introduce the idea of spontaneity. Get them comfortable first though. No Judging child is going to be open to learning about life throwing curve-balls if they are already feeling un-settled.