5 Ways DISC Can Improve Your Relationship with Children
As a parent, it's natural sometimes to feel disconnected from your kids. As kids grow up, they grow into being their own person. They make their own decisions, set their own goals, and develop their own distinct personalities. A child at age four can sometimes seem like an entirely different person when they turn 14. Not that the changes in a growing child are for the worse—It's simply difficult to adjust to the changes in the relationship you had with them when they were younger. Rather than mourn the dynamics of the relationship you had with your child when they were small, you might instead try reinventing that relationship.
Here are five ways the DISC assessment can help you reinvent and recharge your relationship with your child.
Appreciate your child for who they are, not for who you want them to be.
Parents with the same personality type as their child have an advantage in building a relationship— When you share a common personality type, it's easier to understand where your child is coming from, how they think, and how they feel. Conflict is still possible, of course, especially if you and your child both share dominant "D" personality styles. But, as a whole, understanding comes easier when you share common traits. For those of us who don't share a disc style with our kids, it takes a little more work to see eye-to-eye. When you have a working knowledge of DISC theory, you understand that you might be frustrated that your child is shy or softspoken if you have an "I" personality. Or, if you have a "C" personality, the lack of organizational skills your child possesses might drive you crazy. Remember that through sheer force of will, you can't change the nature of your child's personality. Work with their style, rather than against it. Appreciate the fact that personality differences require different approaches and be willing to adapt as necessary.
Remove emotional roadblocks that make it difficult for you to talk to your child.
There are bound to be times when your child drives you crazy. That's ok. They probably feel the same way about you. DISC promotes interpersonal empathy that can diffuse anger, resentment, and petty annoyances. Sitting down with your child to talk about DISC personality differences can be an eye-opening experience for both of you. When you both understand the differences based on innate personality traits, it's much more difficult to feel anger towards another. Realizing that someone's behavior comes from an instinctual place can help prevent adverse emotional reactions. Better still, when you are familiar with how different DISC styles best communicate with one another, you'll be able to make your conversations more productive, open, and effective. And to avoid any potential difficulties, when talking with your child, remember how to speak to their DISC personality:
- "D" personality styles like to be in charge
- "I" types need to be liked
- "S" personality types need stability
- "C" styles hate confrontation
Whether those traits apply to you or your child, you can find a way to recognize where your emotional reactions are coming from and move past them positively and lovingly.
Be appreciative of your child's DISC style strengths.
There are dirty dishes in the sink and clothes strewn all around the bedroom. None of the chores are done, and your child seems glued to his phone. Yes, there are going to be things that frustrate you. But don't let them get in the way of also seeing what's amazing about your child. Have your child take a Children's DISC Assessment. Look at their DISC style closely, and you'll see that every DISC personality has unique and admirable traits. Tell your child that you see those traits, too, and not just the dirty socks on the floor.
Give the right kind of advice.
Here are a few examples of advice that, unless delivered with great patience and explanation, will fall on deaf ears:
- Telling a child with a "D" personality to stop being so bossy.
- Telling a child with an "I" personality to stop talking so much.
- Telling a child with an "S" personality to stop being so stuck in their routine.
- Telling a child with a "C" personality to stop worrying.
Make sure that any advice you give your child is compatible with their personality style. Finding the right way to frame the right kind of feedback can be crucial, too. For example, "S" and "C" personalities require a more gentle (and less confrontational) approach than "D" and "I" personalities can tolerate.
Find activities you can enjoy together.
It's essential to find ways to spend time with your child. Shared activities are a must. The best way to go about this is to think about your child's personality and suggest an activity they will enjoy. A few suggestions include: A D-style child might enjoy playing a competitive game. I-style children would like to spend time doing something fun and social with you. Establish a family tradition for S-style children (movie night? Taco Tuesdays?) Plan an outing to the museum for your C-style child. Please don't force your child to do things that only you enjoy and then leave the activity feeling frustrated that they didn't get as excited about it as you did. Always consider their personality style when planning for the time you spend together.
In the end, the most important thing to remember is that all personality types have value. There isn't one that's "better" than the other. A DISC assessment can help create awareness of the strengths that different personality styles possess. Whether that means giving your child a copy of your DISC profile or asking them to complete one of their own, you can completely change the dynamics of your relationship for the better.
Discover how the DISC assessment can help you and your child develop a closer relationship through a universal language of behavior. Take a DISC assessment and have your child take a Children's DISC assessment, and sit down together to discuss the results.