Wednesday, June 18, 2008

So Sanguine

I was going to post on something else just now, but after the most recent conversation with Brayden, I just had to address this.

We'll admit it - lately, this little boy has been a struggle to us. I've already posted about it, but on Monday night, you could just see John's face burdened with "the long road ahead" we have with this boy. I tried to encourage John that my friend with grown boys of her own said this age level was her worst to endure and it will get better. That helped, but yesterday I went online to research more about that. Yes, I found a couple of articles that helped - pretty much they tell you to "just stick with it" through all of the ebbs and flows.

Then, I got to thinking, perhaps I should research again his VERY SANGUINE personality and see how that relates to his current behavior quirks. Brayden is one of the only people I know, that, from everything I've read, completely encapsulates only one personality type. So, last night, right as John came home, the "Eureka" information popped up on the screen, validating us, making us laugh, and making us realize we are far from over when it comes to raising this very special kid.

It also alleviated some fears. I have lately felt like perhaps we should test Brayden for potential ADD or ADHD.... probably a long way from following through on that, but wondering nonetheless. At this point, I'm reassured it's his personality and not a disorder.

To quote some of the more "Ah-hah" pieces of information:

"This temperament shows little interest in hard work but just brushes the surface. Initially, he is greatly enthused about a topic but quickly loses interest and flits to the next subject. Long-lasting sacrifices and efforts lack any appeal and, in fact, are rather frightening to him."

"Views can change rapidly as well as moods and resolutions. He loves variety."

"Because he wants others to agree with his high opinion of himself, flattery and praise bring great happiness and are actively sought"

"His optimistic nature stifles his conscience and fear of punishment. He reacts with great sorrow after the fall, but has difficulty maintaining good resolutions."

"Optimistic, cheerful - he loves life and wants to enjoy it. Dire events may occur around him, but after a short period of "being down", his natural enthusiasm and good-temper bounce back"

"He has a very active imagination. Although his learning may not be of great depth, he is intelligent, quick, alert, and a skilled conversationalist"

"Has a tendency to the external - his five senses are very active and acute. Thus, he is keenly aware of and attracted to beauty and sensuality in clothes, furnishings, the arts. etc. He has an eye for detail."

I swear, they were analyzing Brayden when they were writing all of this. Pretty much, Brayden wants life to be a big-long game with lots of people, with the game changing every five minutes so he doesn't get bored - but not too hard to understand either - and yes, colorful and bright, and pretty......

A couple of days ago, I was talking to a friend about how Brayden had told me that he wore a pair of shorts to school all day backwards. No big deal, you're thinking, if they are the silky sort of sports shorts. But, nope, these were khakis, complete with back pockets and snap-front. She laughed and was surprised because Brayden is so attentive to wearing clothes that look good and complimenting others on what they wear. I said, "Yes, that's my boy - he has the skill to know what looks good, but lacks the follow-through to ensure he's wearing it the right way".

And, then, just now, he was looking at me and noticed I had put make-up on. I replied it was an attempt to cover-up the eruption all over my chin. =( He then looked at my eyes and basically suggested that that had nothing to do with my chin. I said, "Don't you think I look better with make-up on?" He just grinned big, pointed to my work-out outfit, and then to my face - wordlessly saying, "Anybody whose anybody knows you don't need mascara and eye shadow to go to the gym". I laughed heartily and teased him that this is coming from the same kid who can't eat ANYTHING (from mustard to chocolate) without wearing it all over his face.....

Also, it needs to be pointed out, that in a fun conversation with Daddy on Monday night (when John was discouraged), Brayden had been asking about his childhood and how Daddy had messed around in school and was he ever worried he wouldn't pass his class. John said he wasn't so much a problem for his teachers, just very, very self-centered. Brayden raised his eyebrows and said, "Remind you of anyone?"......

With today being the last day of school, I can say, "we've made it" for another school year. Brayden woke up on his own this morning and is in an excellent funny mood - giving me hope that we're entering another wave of celebrating our very fun boy and having some of these major tensions abate for a while. It's clear that, as parents to this kind of kid, we HAVE to stay on him - making him re-do work that's not good enough, keep him focussed and active on long-term goals, help him from being self-absorbed, and most profound, really being aware of who he's spending time with as he is (supposedly) very easily influenced and will pick up anything he's exposed to (which I can already see.... the song he had stuck in his head from a "not so great influence" at school yesterday is evidence enough). But, for now, I'm ready to stop climbing the ladder and start saying "Weeeeeee" to the long slide that is life with our playful otter......

1 comment:

Colie said...

I know the challenge is huge for you and John right now but I have to say it is encouraging me to hear your story. I am praying for you as you try and mold your son into a responsible person and embrace his loveable personality. I am also thankful for you to share because I'm right behind you in parenting. I don't think I have a strong "sanguine" personality but I just don't know quite yet:-). (Actually I know Caleb is not but that's all I know:-)).

I love how you and John are working hard to understand Brayden and also working on your relationship with him. Keep sharing friend!