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Nurturing Your Child's Personality (Part 1 of 2)

Air Date 06/28/2018

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Based on her book Growing Kids With Character, Hettie Brittz outlines the four main personality types of children and how parents can better nurture, communicate with, and discipline them. She explains what to do when your child is a hybrid of the types, when your personality clashes with your child's, and more. (Part 1 of 2)

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Episode Transcript

Opening:

Teaser: 

Unidentified Woman #1: My youngest daughter is super shy. 

Unidentified Man: Our son, Will, has a fiery personality. 

Unidentified Woman #2: The polar opposite of me. 

Unidentified Man: Yeah, his personality couldn't be, probably, farther from mine. 

Unidentified Woman #1: A little bit abstinent. Not at all like me. Well, maybe a little bit like me. 

End of Teaser 

John Fuller: Well, your children have different personalities. And today, you'll hear why that is and what you can do about it. Your host on this Focus on the Family broadcast is Jim Daly. And I'm John Fuller. 

Jim Daly: And John, God has wired each of us uniquely. And studying personality types is such an insightful way to grow as a parent. It's something I've been in tune with over the years. But it does help us to know our children better. And that's the key - to know their heart and to lead them in that way. There's power in personality. I think it's God-given. And it's also interesting - it's very finite to the point where models can be built around this. There's about four personality types. And then, you know, there's infinite way that those combinations work. But there's basically four core things. And we're going to discover how to think of these differently, especially in the life of your child today. 

John: And our guest is Hettie Brittz, who joins us once again. And she was here last time talking about understanding your personality as a parent. Today, she'll extend those ideas to your children and how personality is a factor. She's written a book called Growing Kids of Character: Nurturing Your Child's Potential, Purpose, and Passion. And we have that at focusonthefamily.com/radio. Beyond being an author, Hettie is a speaker and, really, one of the foremost voices in offering parenting advice from a Biblical perspective in South Africa. And she and her husband Louis have three children. 

Body: 

Jim: Hettie, welcome back to Focus. 

Hettie Brittz: Thank you, Jim. Thank you, John. 

Jim: So good to hear your wonderful accent. Now you're transplanting. You're actually living in Tennessee now, I believe, right? 

Hettie: We are. 

Jim: That's got to be a little of a culture change for you, coming from South Africa to Tennessee. 

Hettie: I think the first time it was. But we've had the honor of being back and forth probably 10 times. So we have friends and a church there. And we feel right at home. 

Jim: Can you say howdy? 

(LAUGHTER) 

Hettie: Only when I'm in Texas, I think. 

John: Or y'all? 

Hettie: I can say y'all. I can definitely say y'all. 

(LAUGHTER) 

Jim: Yeah, some of that Southern stuff there. But it's good. We love our friends in Tennessee. A big shout out to them. Hettie, you're from South Africa. We call moms mums there - M-U-M. I know that's important to you, right? But it's so much fun. And I have spent - I think I made 30, 35 trips to South Africa. I love the country. I pray for the country and the families of that country. There are some great parents in South Africa, honestly. I learned a lot about parenting through friends of mine there. And I just love kind of some of that casual observation. Many people in South Africa do it almost as second nature. Why is that? Why do you think a culture learns to understand their kids in that way? 

Hettie: I think fathers have been involved for many generations. And I think there is an intentionality about parenting when you're in a country where things are tough. 

Jim: Yeah. And it's not different around the world, is it? That's one of the wonderful things I learned. At Focus on the Family, you think of these American issues, you know, of parenting. Certainly, there's uniqueness. But problems in being a good parent and problems with the kids are pretty universal, aren't they? 

Hettie: They definitely are. We all want the best for our kids. We all misunderstand our kids at times. Our kids misbehave. 

Jim: Not here in America (laughter). 

Hettie: .We misbehave. It's everywhere (laughter). 

Jim: But it's true. And it's human nature. That's what makes it universal. Hettie, let's get into it. This is a great book, Growing Kids with Character. I mean, I - it's funny, Jean and I were talking about a little issue we were facing with our kids yesterday. And I, you know, cracked the book open, began to look through it and read the prep. And I'm thinking, "Oh, this is perfect, Growing Kids with Character." Every mom and dad wants to achieve this. And this is a great tool. And I'm anxious to get into it. You believe that temperament is part of the soul's DNA. And I agree. But how do we come into this world pre-stamped by God? What do you think's happening? 

Hettie: Well, he dreams us up. He has a plan. And I think it's so important for him that we follow that plan that he builds in a little bit of a compass. And he magnetizes it. And he gives each one of us our true north. And then he takes great joy in seeing how parents accompany their kids in the right direction. He planned everything he made. There is design in everything in creation that points to purpose.

Jim: I agree. 

Hettie: So if we are purpose, then we have to be designed. 

Jim: Yeah, and I love that. 

Hettie: And yeah, it's beautiful. 

Jim: You mentioned there that in the book, you didn't feel, becoming a mom for the first time, that you were emotionally ready. Now, every woman that's pregnant for the first time is saying, "That's me, that's me." Nobody, husband or wife, father or mother, feels emotionally ready or practically ready to be the parent they want to be. How did that hit you? 

Hettie: I actually thought I was ready. But I didn't know how hard it would be to parent a child who is the opposite of what I am. I didn't even think about personality. I looked for a problem in myself or a problem in my daughter when we didn't get along. And when she didn't respond to my authority style, I assumed that there was a problem in her or there was a problem in the way I disciplined. And actually, all of the answers - or most of the answers - were locked up in my design and her design that were just clashing monumentally. 

Jim: Now think of that. That's really critical because what you're saying is people are wired a certain way and that communication approach tends to create tension, certainly between parents and their children. I can vouch for that. How about you, John? 

John: Oh, gosh, yes. 

(LAUGHTER) 

Jim: Now, the interesting thing with that is being adult enough to understand it and then applying some practical ways to get around that and to manage it, right? 

Hettie: Yes, because we are the adult in the room, so we are the one who needs to... 

Jim: Most of the time. 

(LAUGHTER) 

Hettie: Yes, that's the ideal. That's the dream. So we need to adapt. And that doesn't mean always giving a child what they want. But it does mean discerning the core needs of each child so that we know my child feels loved. And when my child feels loved, I can bring in the discipline. I can even bring in the correction - stern correction. I can bring in high expectations. I can do all of those things but only when my child knows I am loved the way I am. I'm understood. I'm welcomed. I'm really adopted, to use that word. 

Jim: Yeah, which I love. And in the book, Growing Kids with Character, you mention three basic principles that parents need to be aware of. 

Hettie: Well, we need to be open to God shaping us as much as he is shaping our children. So... 

Jim: OK, that's really - OK. You got to say that again. You're being really too soft with that. 

John: You're very nice. 

Hettie: Okay, so we do not have the right to shape our kids unless we are willing to be shaped by God. 

Jim: And that's true in parenting. You will be shaped if you're willing. Or you will be broken. 

Hettie: That's great. Because it is going to be hard. God deals with our pride through parenting over and over again. It's part of our sanctification, this journey. And the more different our kids are to us, the more intense the sanctification. 

Jim: Well, let's get into it because, again, I think your book, Growing Kids with Character - you point to four trees. You use the trees as an analogy or a metaphor for our personality characteristics. So let's get into that. Why did you choose trees to describe human beings and their personalities? Give us that kind of overview before we get into the four specifics. 

Hettie: I think I wanted to get as far away from a box as I possibly can because we don't want to label people, put them in boxes and ship them off somewhere. We want to acknowledge growth and dynamics and uniqueness. And I haven't seen two trees that are the same. They can be from the same species, but they're not going to be the same size, shape. They're going to behave differently in the weather. And they're going to go through seasons. So that's why trees. 

Jim: So for us, we're human, but we have different expression. That's what you're saying. 

Hettie: Absolutely. 

Jim: So let's start with the palm tree. 

Hettie: Okay. The palm tree is the very jovial, happy person. Think palm trees and hula girls and pink drinks on the beach. This is more or less their world. If it doesn't fit in Hawaii, it's probably not going to fit into their schedule for today. 

Jim: Beach theme in Hawaii, kick back, having fun, kind of life of the party people. 

Hettie: Definitely. And so these kids are high energy. You're going to get fit and skinny running after them as a mom. So you can shake off the baby pounds by having a palm tree kid. They'll keep you busy. Talkative, lively. They're the ones who come up with all of these creative ideas when you want to put them to bed at night because they are not about sleep. They feel like that would be a waste of time. There are places to go and people to mess with. 

Jim: Is this - is this palm tree child - is a description for that child a very talkative child, one that's always saying why this, why that? Not in a fighting way. But in an interesting way. They're interested. "Tell me, Mommy, why is this this?" 

Hettie: Very curious. And their questions are hard to answer. There's another type that asks the difficult why questions, the confrontational why questions - and those are the rosebushes. I - I there was a period there where I considered to use cacti as an - as an image for these kids because they are very prickly and tough, so tough. 

Jim: We're going to get to the rosebush. But let's finish out the palm tree. 

Hettie: Oh, you want more about that? 

Jim: Yeah, in terms of what a palm tree child needs most from a parent. Let's - because people are going, "Oh, I got the palm tree." Now, as the parent, the mom or dad of the palm tree, what do I need to be mindful of? What does that child need from me? The talkative, life of the party kid who's got more energy than I can keep up with, who keeps me running, keeps me fit, as you said. 

Hettie: This is the child where - the door in with this child is play. They want to be celebrated. And they want to have fun with you. And it breaks our speed. We feel - we think "Oh, no, you know, I've got stuff to do. I can't play right now." But the good news with them is their attention span is short. It's going to be five minutes and they'll be over it and they'll be good to go. 

Jim: They won't hold it against you. 

Hettie: Their little love tank fills up fast. So five minutes of really fun, active play with them and you're in. And then their ears open up. And their heart open up. And then you can teach. If you'll make it short and sweet and not too preachy, it'll go in, you know. And if you can spice it up with a little bit of humor, they'll actually hear you. And you need to touch them. You need to connect physically with this kid. They are wired in a sensual and sensory way. They need to have an experience. They need to feel the love. So you can slobber all over this kid. 

Jim: Well, we don't want to promote slobbering, but yeah, especially during flu season or whatever. 

(LAUGHTER) 

But that communication's important. And that's - really, what you're saying, Hettie, is you're recognizing your child's communication style, how they're wired. That's what we're talking about and how important it is for a parent to be mature enough to not keep coming back fighting, but to understand how your child communicates what they need from you. And this is what we're talking about. 

John: Yeah. I so appreciate the framework that Hettie Brittz is giving us today on Focus on the Family. And you will benefit from her book Growing Kids with Character - the subtitle really positions it well and reflects what we've talked about so far - "Nurturing Your Child's Potential, Purpose, and Passion." We've got copies of the book and a CD or download of our conversation at focusonthefamily.com/radio. 

Jim: And we have an assessment as well, John, that people can link to. 

John: Yeah, you can go online and do the little assessment and find out just how your child is wired. So stop by the website and do that. 

Jim: Hettie, this is good stuff again. I don't want to move away from the palm tree until we finish the next question, which is the parent disciplining the palm tree. I mean, that's where we're all living, right? How do we discipline this palm tree, this social person who talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, runs around the house, wants us to play, play, play... 

John: Impulsive. 

Jim: ...Yeah. I mean, I think I was that child. I was kind of that palm tree child. I think one woman said - a friend of my mother's when I was little said, "You've got diarrhea of the mouth." 

(LAUGHTER) 

Jim: That really hurt my feelings. But it shows you I talked a lot. 

John: And now you're in radio. 

Jim: I didn't want to make that connection. 

Hettie: See, that was a design for a purpose. There was nothing wrong with that. 

Jim: But I was obviously irritating her. 

(LAUGHTER) 

Hettie: That could have been. We do a lot of physical discipline with this child. And I don't mean punishment. I mean we remove them from ceiling fans. We take them off the jungle gym because they initially cannot control themselves. So we need to control them with a smile on the face but with a little bit of firmness. So the little ones are being collected from wherever they are. You can't scream them from where they've gotten onto the pulpit at church back to the pew. You cannot do that. You have to leave and go get them. Because the moment you get them out... 

Jim: Yeah. Don't scream at 'em, "Come, come, come." 

Hettie: ...They're - they'll scream back and get all the whole going - yeah. So... 

Jim: (Laughter) So go get 'em. Pull 'em out of their social environments... 

Hettie: Yes, allowing them to focus... 

Jim: ...And that's what'll make an impact on them. 

Hettie: And that touching them when you speak to them, that's important to keep the discipline. Um, very practical. Uh, an important key with them is that they are influenced by friends. So where you can really put in effort is by making sure you supervise who they are with - you're aware where they are - because they do not think ahead. Um, they get involved. They go with the flow. They join their friends. They go where the fun is. And afterwards, they're sorry, and then it's too late. 

Jim: So in that context, I - I know one of my sons, uh, is probably palm tree leaning, if I can use that metaphor. 

Hettie: Yes, you can. 

Jim: A leaning palm tree. 

John: A leaning palm tree. 

Jim: Run. 

John: Leaning palm tree of Daly. 

Jim: Um, but - but in that regard, uh, it's - it's wise. And Jean, my wife, has done a wonderful job staying in touch with who are the friends - especially in the teen years - are these people that are the appropriate people that you want your son or daughter hanging out with? That can be hard. But I - in - in looking at the book and knowing the content, um, it's good for a parent to know the friend of the palm tree child, isn't it? 

Hettie: Definitely. And you don't need to waste your time on trying to get them to be tidy and, um, on time. It's not happening. Um, and it may not ever be necessary for them. God's going to give them a spouse that gets them in the car on time. No, I'm half joking, but not really. What I'm - what I'm saying here is the good news is that you don't need to fix everything in this kid, because half of it's not broken. It just appears to be, um, because it's different from how you are. But the book helps you understand, where is the part that's going to affect your child spiritually and morally the most? Because that's where it matters, and that's where you can put in effort. 

Jim: But I'm telling you, the parent of a - of a palm tree child, I mean, you've got to fight that temptation to straighten out, straighten out, correct, correct, correct, because it's constant. And you're right. It's as if they don't hear you. Haven't I told you 14,000 times to do this or that? And, yeah, you did. But you know what? I just can't remember 'cause I'm so happy to be here, and I just want to play. That's kind of it, isn't it? 

Hettie: That is it. But they have a willingness. They will not remember to clean their room. But they will generally comply when you ask, "listen, let's just do something about the conditions, uh, behind this door." And if you can keep your instruction and your request light and seasoned with humor, they respond well. 

Jim: Now, the difficulty there, Hettie, is that we equate our parenting as being insufficient, then, if we're being too light. Speak to that. Especially the Christian parent, we know what is right. We know what to expect. We know, even though it's not in the Bible, cleanliness is next to godliness. Uh, it's not in there, folks. But we treat it that way. How do we, as you say, treat it light? I mean, these are core things. If they don't know how to clean their room, Hettie, I mean, they're - they won't succeed in life. I mean, there are some good values in that, correct? 

Hettie: There are some good values that - in there. But I think that is the thing. We need to distill it and say, what is the godly characteristic that I'm trying to grow, and how do I grow it in a way that suits this child? Because if I want them to be respectful, there are other ways to do that. If I want them to take good care of possessions, there's another way to do that. It doesn't mean I need to put their books in the shelf the way I want them put in the shelf. And these kids will test your resolve on these things. And - very - uh, very often, they will tell you, "What does it matter if the book lies flat or stands up straight?" And then you - we think about it a little bit, and we realize it's just the way it's always been done. And that's probably not a good reason. And, um... 

Jim: Oh, I've used that very line. You know, that really cuts. Let's move to rosebush. We've got the playful palm tree, and now let's go to the rosebush child. There's lots of imagery, that, you know, it's beautiful, but it's prickly. What does it mean to be the rosebush child? 

Hettie: Oh, my goodness. You - this baby is born, and the mom had all of these ideas of this baby on their breast. And they're cuddling in - in the bed, you know. And they're just - this baby just... 

Jim: Cooing and cooing. 

Hettie: ...Loves to be cooed. And then, it bites. You know, this - this baby bites and doesn't want to be held and doesn't want to be, uh, put to sleep on - on your shoulder and just wants to be left alone, kicks and screams and fights to sleep. And suddenly, you don't know if you're gonna be needed. And that's the feeling you're gonna have for the years to come because this baby is going to prove, I'm already grown up. We jokingly say they're born with a sign on their forehead that says, "I'm the boss. Can't you read?" And then because we struggle to accept that, there is a power struggle. So this is our power struggle kid. But this child is wired to be a Paul one day, to be the one who gets a vision from God, a message from His sending-soul group and from the angels saying, "trouble awaits." And he goes, "Therefore I must go. I must go and glorify God in - in those difficult things." This is what this child is wired for. So of course, this child is going to be pushing those boundaries and is going to be asking, "why," and "why not," and "why shouldn't I?" Very, very strong-willed and very - uh, very often just really make you proud. 

Um, I got a message from a mom yesterday who hasn't read the book, um, from South Africa. And she said, "Listen, I - I know I'm new to this parenting thing." She's a single mom. She had the baby as a teen. And says, "just tell me if I'm doing something wrong. Because my daughter went to school yesterday, and the teacher wanted to teach them the principle of tallest to shortest. It was a math concept. And she is the tallest, and she ended up being in the back. And she refused to go to school today because she had to stand in the back. And she said that she will go to school today if she can walk on her knees into the classroom, because she's never gonna stand in the back again." And looked at her mom very seriously and said, "I'm an in-front sort of a person, Mom." And that's the road... 

Jim: And how old is this child? 

Hettie: Five. 

(LAUGHTER) 

John: Oh, word. 

Jim: Five. Oh, man. We need to pray for that mom. 

Hettie: Yeah. Definitely. 

Jim: But - so how - how - how does a mom in a healthy way manage that, to let her know it's okay to stand up in the back? It's a good thing you're tall. I mean, how do you do that? 

Hettie: Um, you create their territory and the territory of the teacher or the other authority figure, including yourself. They will back off when they know that an authority figure is in control of a certain area. 

Jim: But they have to be more in control than the rosebush child. 

Hettie: Yes. So... 

Jim: That's - yeah. 

Hettie: ...So parenting them in this very gentle, me-message thing where we say to our rosebush, "So I don't feel like you're respecting me right now." Um, what that elicits in a little rosebush is, "You are pathetic. I want to put my teeth in your jugular and put you out of your misery because you are suffering. You're struggling as a parent." That's really how they respond. They want you to stand up tall, not go down to their level and speak to them directly. 

Jim: Interesting. 

Hettie: They want you to look bigger, sound bigger and be ready to help them run their life. They are not secure in an environment where you are insecure. They don't like that. 

Jim: Yeah. I mean, that is fascinating. And we're gonna come back. We're nearin' the end today. We're gonna come back next time and finish the other two. And then we'll talk about some of the parenting combos that go along with this. Um, jumping ahead a little bit, I would think a - a palm tree, playful mom, for example, would really struggle with a rosebush son. 

Hettie: They would have fun together and compete a lot, because both of them can - can do that. But when it comes to discipline, I think it's predictable who's gonna run the house. 

Jim: Is - is the young rosebush. 

Hettie: Yes. 

Jim: Yeah. That is tough. 

Hettie: It isn't... 

Jim: And mention, uh, the discipline side of that, uh, to finish off the rosebush. How does a parent get that control, uh, to the extent that's healthy? 

Hettie: You definitely pick your battles. But you also train them by giving them the responsibility, by giving them some challenges, by giving them some choices where you can live with both outcomes. 

Jim: Hettie, speaking of the, uh, rosebush child, of course I'm thinking of all of this in a - a teen context. I don't know how you're treating it like... 

John: Which seems to make the thorns all the more prickly. 

(LAUGHTER) 

Jim: The - the thorns in the teen years seem to get bigger and longer and more sticky. Uh, but in that regard, when it comes to communicating with that rosebush child, uh, you share that long-winded explanations can frustrate a rosebush child. And you're saying that, but describe that. And give me a story. 

Hettie: They just really want, um, the bottom line. They will - they will complete your sentence for you if you do not get to the point real quick. They will even say, "Just finish it off." And this little girl that I spoke of earlier was standing on a stage when each little 3-year-old - when she was 3 - had to say what they want to become someday. And she got annoyed with the other kids on the stage being, you know, scared of the microphone and intimidated by the crowd. And she walked up to the teacher and said, um, "Can't you see they're scared? He's called Andrew. He wants to be a fireman. She's called such-and-such, and this is what she wants to be." And she just introduced the entire group of kids and got done with it because it was just too annoying. 

Jim: So kind of annoyed. 

John: Get to the bottom line. But - but really, what should a mom or a dad do if their inclination - let's just say I have a friend who would like to give long sermon-esque answers to kids. What - what should we do if our child is a rosebush and says, "Forget that, I don't want to hear anymore," or finishes the sentences? What's a good way to approach that? 

Hettie: We need to give them language to say that in a more respectful manner, an alternative, such as, "Can you explain to me what you want me to do next?" 

Jim: And they will. 

Hettie: That's another way of finishing off the competition. 

John: Sounds like I'm empowering them, though, Hettie. 

Hettie: Yes, it is empowering them, because we need them to move things along. That's their design. So it's not all wrong. But they're not allowed to do that in a way that is disrespectful. 

Jim: That's a good word. Uh, you're a rosebush mom. I think you self-described in the book that way. How does that affect, uh, the way you interact with your kids? Describe your kids. 

Hettie: Well, none of them are roses. Well, my youngest one has a good dose of rose, and we butt heads every now and again. But being mindful that I can be impatient and that I can be sharp-tongued and that my thorns can come out too, I need to do a lot of work and ask, "How did I come across just now?" And read their body language and read their faces, because sometimes I just go too far. 

Jim: Yeah. In a home that's experiencing this kind of tension that we've described - and I - I'll speak to you, the listener. If this is your house, if this is what you're living in and you haven't been able to really figure it out, I hope that this is hitting it, that you're hearing, uh, not just a description of what's going on for you, but hopefully practical advice and how to think differently. Describe those triggers that you have to use, Hettie, as a rosebush mom, with your children that are palm trees and the other trees that we'll get to tomorrow. How do you trigger yourself to not go to your natural, default, "Let's fight. You want a fight? I'm up for the fight. I'm a rosebush. I can stick you." How - how do you pull back from that natural instinct of your - I - I think fleshly nature, actually, not your God-inspired nature of joy, peace, love, goodness, kindness. How do you pull out of the humanness to do something better? 

Hettie: It – it starts with a realization that my child is not less important than I am to God, and that my child's feelings and needs are valid. And that, as a parent, I need to respect those, even in the way I speak. So it is about not assuming I am right because I'm the parent. 

Jim: Uh, Hettie, I mean, this has been so good. Uh, we're going to come back next time and finish the other two. We've got the - the palm tree, the rosebush. We still have the boxwood. And just quickly, what is the boxwood? 

Hettie: Um, this is - these are these shrubs that you can pruning to any shape you like. They are the topiary trees and the decorative trees. Uh, their - their wood is also used to make chess pieces and fine-tuning... 

Jim: Instruments. 

Hettie: ...Uh, forks for - for instruments. So they are the fine-tuners and the - the perfectly-squared hedges.

Jim: So are they exact and precision people? 

Hettie: Oh, yes. Absolutely. 

Jim: Okay. So these are our engineers. 

Hettie: Very often. 

Jim: Uh, there's one way to do something, and it's not your way, it's my way. Is that right? I think I might have one of those too. And then we have that pine tree, which is that calm laid-back, kind of slow-moving person. How is that different from the palm tree? How is the pine tree different from the palm tree? 

Hettie: Both of them are people-focused. But the pine is, uh, happy to be alone as well. Doesn't a need to be, uh, the center of attention, but wants to be included even if it is from the sidelines. They love having their people around them, but they don't necessarily speak a lot. 

 Jim: All right. So, uh, come back next time as we describe more of these children descriptions and you, as a parent, how to recognize your style and how to engage these children. Uh, this has been really good, Hettie. I've got one more quick question for you. Let me turn to you, though.  

If you've benefited from the conversation today, uh, let us know by making a financial donation. We together, uh, are helping so many people every year. And it's through your support that Focus on the Family can create the broadcast, buy the radio time, uh, put the tools and the resources behind the parenting and marriage area particularly so that we can help. Almost a million, uh, moms and dads, uh, last year... 

Hettie: That's wonderful. 

Jim: ...Tapped in to help. And I want you to be on the team. And I hope you can do that. Pray about it. And today when you make a donation - any amount - we’ll send you a copy of Hettie’s book, Growing Kids with Character as our way of saying thanks for your partnership.  

In addition your gift will also be doubled thanks to the generosity of friends to the ministry, so please make a donation to the work here at Focus on the Family and double that gift today. 

John: And you can make that donation when you call 800-A-FAMILY, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/radio. And, uh, you can take that assessment that we mentioned earlier that allows you to see just what kind of a tree your child is at the present and what the hope is for them as they grow, uh, into young adults. And then... 

Jim: I'm gonna have Trent and Troy do that. 

(LAUGHTER) 

John: That's a good idea. 

Jim: I've gotta know. 

John: Yeah. So, uh, go online. Take the assessment. Uh, make a donation. Get Hettie's book, Growing Kids with Character. And, uh, while you're at it, get a - while you're at it, get a CD or a download or our mobile app so you can listen again to this conversation. 

Jim: And if they make that donation of any amount, we'll send the book along to say thank you for supporting, uh, parents out there that need our help. 

And Hettie, here's the last question. Uh, what is kind of that last word today that you'd wanna say to a parent who has connected with this now and is looking forward to hearing tomorrow what you have to say? What if they are recognizing where they may have fallen down? What's the encouragement? 

Hettie: That God is, uh, shaping both you and your child through the dissonance that you experience, uh, because your temperament is not the same as your child. And when you rub them up the wrong way, they still are growing through that, and so are you. 

Jim: It's not a bad thing, necessarily. Everybody's growing in that environment. Thanks so much for being with us. 

Hettie: Thank you for the privilege.

Closing:

John: And be sure you're with us next time as we hear more from Hettie Brittz about Growing Kids with Character. Uh, for now, thanks for listening to Focus on the Family. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, we'll see you next time as we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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Guest

Hettie Brittz

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Hettie Brittz graduated as a speech, language and hearing therapist at the University of Pretoria in 1994. She worked in a multi-disciplinary practice alongside a pediatrician, psychologist, occupational therapist and other speech therapists, gaining extensive experience in therapy and parental guidance. Since 2002, Hettie started presenting seminars in churches, schools and corporate surroundings on a variety of topics related to parenting and education. She is the developer of the Evergreen Parenting Course and heads a group of more than 200 facilitators in four countries who use the course to help families. She also does temperament research which lead to the development of Tall Trees Profiles, the first set of locally researched and validated personal and leadership profiles aiming to strengthen relationships through a better understanding of individuals and their interaction with others. Hettie is the author of several books including unNatural Mom, Growing Kids With Character and Growing Kids Through Healthy Authority. Learn more about Hettie at hettiebrittz.com.