I am a recovering perfectionist with a very dry sense of humor. I am, honestly, a work in progress, and I don’t really know if I will ever arrive. Being a good mom is very important to me, and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to know how my kids worked. It made sense to me to go with THEIR grain instead of against it. That doesn’t mean they get to do everything they want. No way! They have the privilege and gift to do the things they don’t want to do THEIR WAY.

Noah has a need for organization and to finish what he starts. He works best with a plan and a calendar. He is the ONLY one in the family that has this need. When anything that has parts comes to the house, he puts it together happily. Did you hear that, HAPPILY? How many times have you seen beads of sweat and murmured words and scowls from someone putting together something with a lot of parts? Because I know how to use his gifts, he does it with GLEE! On Sunday evening, he knows what is happening with
school and after school for the week. As a mom to Noah, I try and limit surprises. If I did not know how HE worked, my natural fall back would be to work like I do. I am random and like switching gears. I would wonder why he can’t just leave a project and go or change schedules and adapt to problems as they arise. This would cause a lot of stress on Noah and on me.

Tyler’s M.O. (Modus Operandi) has saved his life and mine. He does not have a need for detail or to finish what he starts. He does have a need for creativity, quick thinking, and physical risk. Sitting in a desk chair for seven hours? Not the thing for Tyler. I know that his need for appropriateness is nil. So I know that it will take energy for me to teach and him to learn manners, language, and etiquette cognitively because it is not natural for him. If I did not know Tyler’s M.O., I would be in tears 5 or 7 days a week because I would be trying to put him into my recovering perfectionist box. We have a tent in the middle of our house right now because Tyler is super excited to go camping. He wants to check out the security of the tent, the pockets, the durability, etc. He is also the one in the house that will check the locks on every door and window before he goes to bed. He has a need to protect his environment. Tyler is the guy who helps us find our way “out” if we are lost or confused and we trust him.

Remember, there are always three parts of the mind in play to make a decision: affective (feeling), cognitive (thinking), and conative (doing). I am about the conative part, which is the only one that doesn’t change over time. I am just expressing how knowing that ONE part of their minds helps my kids thrive and me pick my battles.