Okay, so I must confess that I have some experience in this area. After reading the Child Whisperer and going through the Dressing Your Truth program, I discovered that I am a Type 2 Mom and MY Dad is also a Type 2. We are Soft, Sensitive People. But, when you have a child just like you, you may treat them the way that you were treated instead of the way they need.
I was raised with more of a Type 4 hand; feeling like it was NOT okay to be me. I was told I was “Too Sensitive” constantly and I did not feel like I had a voice. I became an angry adult that would not be pushed around or disrespected and I was most definitely heard by those closest to me. (which means I was doing the pushing and disrespect.) Both my parents and I are now thankful for this amazing insight and have been applying it for a couple of years, now. Here are some of the things that I have learned, and I hope it helps you.
1. Complaining = Uncomfortable. We had a rule in our home growing up; no whining or complaining. We had to list things that we were grateful for. I began to incorporate the same rule with my children within their first years of life. It can be exhausting as a parent to hear the constant complaints and whining, when we KNOW our kids have it so good.
Type 2’s are BIG on Comfort and aren’t really good at expressing it well. But here’s the thing. When we, as parents, say that we “don’t want to hear it,” we are actually saying, “I don’t care about your problem and refuse to listen.” Is that really our job as parents? I believe that our job as parents is to be the one that LISTENS to them, COMFORTS them, and THEN helps them to see it in a new light. Why would our kids want to listen to someone who doesn’t listen to them? When I’m upset, I need someone to listen, uplift and comfort me, and give me a new perspective. If I called my friend up and began venting, and immediately, she interrupted with, “Yeah, but tell me 10 things you are grateful for?” I’d hang up and not trust her again.
See, I believe that we’ve all succumbed to this lie that It is not okay to be upset, sad, or angry. If we are not allowed to express these feelings, they will come out externally or internally one way or another. Just because we announce that we are not allowed to have certain feelings, does not mean that they go away. All feelings were created by God and we can learn to express them in healthy or unhealthy ways.
2. Crying is okay. Not long after the Dressing Your Truth program, I had realized that it was okay to cry. My Dad always laughed when my mom and I cried during movies. I felt then that crying was a weakness. I realize, now, that it is part of my Sensitive nature… and it’s okay.
Type 2’s are very Soft-Hearted and Compassionate. Because of their sensitivity, they know what it feels like to be left out or made fun of. They may become defenders of others who feel the same. Not long ago, I took my Sensitive Daughter to the theater to see the live-action Cinderella. I loved that we could cry together and cuddle when Cinderella cried. How beautiful it is to freely feel pain without stuffing it inside. Our sensitive children are the ones that will be the most empathetic nurses and truly heal others by offering their gift of compassion. But not if we beat it out of them and treat that natural gift as repulsive.
3.Type 2’s are Soft-Spoken and Sensitive to Loud Noises. Many of my children have Type 2 Secondary Energy Types. My oldest could not handle auto-flush toilets. I would put a pull-up diaper over the sensor while he was potty training and we’d gone out to the library. Most of my kids (except my Type 1 child) put their hands over their ears for the automatic hand-dryers, vacuums, blenders, or fireworks.
Type 2’s have a soft-spoken, shy voice, however, on any number of occasions, my Type 2 Daughter has been the loudest when angry. One day, when I asked her why she was so upset, she told me that her brothers were picking on her and they didn’t listen when she’d asked them to stop. She did not feel listened to and felt disrespected when she had to repeat herself.
As a child, I remember being told to “speak up” constantly. “Speak up! You’re muttering!” Type 2’s have a soft-spoken nature because we love peace; we want everyone to get along. We also don’t want to shout because we feel that’s when someone is angry. When someone asked me to “speak up” I wanted to shout back in their face. As a Type 2 Mom, I’ve had to remind myself that I WILL be heard if I repeat myself to my kids in a soft, kind voice, AND if they choose to ignore me, I can deal with it in a Positive Disciplinarian approach.
However, my dad and I are both known for blasting our music. I will sing with it as loud as I can to express myself. I feel that music is another language that allows me to express the feelings I have a hard time voicing either in the feel of the music or the lyrics of the music.
4. Type 2’s want to figure out why things work the way they do. As a child, I wanted to figure out how my violin worked. I took it apart piece by piece just because I found it so interesting. My mom was furious because I couldn’t put it back together, but my dad said, “That’s something I would do.”
My dad is great at fixing almost anything. I know of a couple of other Type 2 friends who are engineers. My Type 2 Daughter, though, will be watching people and ask, “Mom, is he a Type 1?” “Is she a Type 2 like me?” She loves to figure people out.
I realize, now, that having to figure things out is the very reason she asks me, “Why?” when I ask her to do something. She has a real need to understand. She isn’t trying to be hostile or defiant like other personalities when asking why. She really wants to know. As a child when I asked that question, I was just told, “Because I said so.” Many times, I’ve decided to ask someone else I trusted or research it for myself. (which Type 2’s also enjoy! I’m sooooo grateful for Google!)
I’ve watched another of my friends parent her Type 2 Daughter with such openness that I’ve watched that very same Type 2 Daughter listen intently to the answers and apply it to her life perspective. She really wants to understand and feels respected when she’s answered..
5. Type 2’s do not handle criticism well and are constantly questioning themselves. Recently, my Type 4 husband was joking at the table that Type 4‘s were obviously perfect and the “right type” to be. My Type 2 Daughter then decided that she must be a Type 4. I wasn’t sure at first why she decided to make the switch, but after letting her go through the program and videos with me, (and me disguising which one was which,) she kept choosing Type 2. When she KNEW which program it was, she would choose a Type 4. I asked her if she felt something was wrong with being a Type 2. She didn’t come right out and say that it was the dinner table teasing. I talked to my husband later and told him what was going on. He addressed the issue with her the following day and told her that he loved that she was a Type 2. He told her that he loved me because I’m a Type 2, that she reminded him of me, and that he loved that about her. She felt okay being herself after that.
Type 2’s also do not handle sarcasm well. We crave honesty and peace. We feel sarcasm is anger wrapped up in a joke. Type 2’s do not feel that making fun of people is funny. It’s hurtful and hateful and we would not want that done to us.
6.Type 2’s cannot handle being “pushed.” We are a slower energy. Type 2’s feel things deeply, and we do not process our feelings very fast. Because we are sensitive, we can be shut down very easily. There have been many times where I would rather not speak or shut my feelings off instead because I do not trust either the situation or the people. I have often felt suicidal when I felt trapped because I did not trust being able to express myself.
The more that Type 2’s are pushed, the more we have to slow down or anxiety may take over. As a 5-year-old, I was extremely sick to my stomach all the time. When taken to the doctor, they said I was on the verge of a stomach ulcer. I was so afraid of being late. As a teenager, I remember shaking trying to hurry and get ready for church on Sunday mornings. I was always late and it got worse when my parents told me they’d meet me out in the car and honked the horn.
I think the best thing I have ever been told is “Take all the time you need” instead of “Hurry up.” In that instance, I was excited to hurry instead of panicked and afraid I’d forget something.
7. Type 2’s crave connections. Although, we may not be “party” people, we do love our friends dearly and crave one-on-one connections with them. We are, also, very loyal people to those we trust. We are family-oriented and love to connect past memories with new memories. Some of my favorite things to do include scrapbooking, organizing (matching), and learning how to love myself and others better. I love to remind my family that “People matter more.” I enjoy thinking about my family’s future and what legacy I will leave.
Not too long ago, my son who has a secondary Type 2, claimed that he hated church and didn’t want to go anymore. I asked him if there was any particular reason. He said that he wasn’t allowed to talk to his friends. He had to sit through lessons, and then we went home. I understood his need to make a connection. Church should be a place of Fellowship. I prayed with him right there that if God wanted him there, he would allow him to make connections with his friends. That day, he was so excited that a couple of the classes had been combined and he’d been able to be in the same class with friends that he’d already trusted.
8. Are Type 2’s Planners or Worriers? Yes, we are the ones most likely to have anxiety. I don’t believe it’s because of just plain worrying about everything, it’s because we don’t have a plan and again, don’t want to be uncomfortable. One night, I got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and decided to check my e-mail. In it, I received a request to speak in front of everyone at church. I thought about it for the next couple of hours until I figured out exactly how long I felt I would be able to handle it (given my physical limitations) if at all. Once I worked it out in my head, I was able to sleep again. When a big event is coming up, we feel better when we plan out how long it takes to get ready, how long it takes to get there, and even what may happen when we are there.
The other reason that I believe that we worry is because we want to do everything the right way. Yes, we can be called “Perfectionists”, but it’s because we are so naturally good with details. We want every detail to be perfect. We may have lists of details on paper of the things we would like to accomplish or become overwhelmed with details in our head and need to take some time to process it all.
9. Type 2’s are Readers or Researchers. I’m happy to be surrounded with my favorite books, a soft place to read, and a day to spend doing just that. I am a big one to get sucked into a good novel or self-help book. It provides for a safe escape from being overwhelmed or a way to be better at what I want to learn. (which is currently my family’s mental and physical health or schooling.) And of course, I have to research what is best, think about it for a while, pray on it, ask around, research again to make sure, and then decide (mostly likely repeating this process over again even after decision.)
Type 2’s also may become Poets or Writers. Writing is a beautiful form of expression since we, as Type 2’s aren’t always the greatest at using our voice. I have found that my daughter is following my footsteps in being a natural poet.
10. Type 2’s LOVE Cuddles. One of the things that my parents initiated in our family that was a life-saver is always hugging and kissing when greeting or leaving each other. Type 2’s love to touch or be around soft or plush things. One of the reasons why I love cats and hamsters is that they are soft and cuddly. One day, my daughter was having a really whiny day. I asked her if she was hungry or tired and she replied no. (or course) I asked if she wanted to wear one of my soft scarves. She agreed, wore it while she focused on her homework, then took it off to go play when she was done. She said that she felt better.
After my Type 2 Daughter was born, I injured myself and had a hard time physically moving for months. She cuddled with me in the hospital and for 8 months thereafter. She is the ONLY baby that would stay still enough to cuddle for long periods of time. Now, all of my kids with secondary Type 2’s are also cuddlers, but it’s not easy for them to stay still.
There are certain times, however, where it is NOT okay to cuddle. When Type 2’s are angry, they do not feel they can trust the world at that time and maybe in particular, YOU, so do not touch unless invited. They may need to process their emotions for a while, then trust you to talk it through before allowing touch.
I hope this encourages you to see the Calm, Soft, Detailed, and Tender-hearted person that Type 2’s really are. Let’s recognize and appreciate each others’ strengths. We don’t have to put each other down for being different. We can love each other, understand each other, and let each other become the gifts we were meant to be.
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