Cultivating the Unique Personalities of Kids

Parenting is hard. I have turned it into a game of sorts to figure out what works best for our children. I wanted to share how I am doing it and the results I am seeing, in case you find yourself waving the flag of surrender. These sweet children are irreplaceable, they are worth the love and work it takes to raise them. I don’t believe it takes losing yourself or crushing spirits to do the great work of mothering.

Cultivating personalities is a big priority for us; we want more than their intelligence or happiness. We want them to love and show compassion to themselves and others. Their place in the birth order has a lot to do with it, but even those theories have their flaws. Considering the distance between, the gender of each child, and environment are other factors that influence personality and behavior.

Birth order is something that has always interested me. I am the baby of my family, and I was doted on. However, my siblings were twelve to eighteen years older than me, so I was like an only child, with older parents. My parents were in their forties when I came along. I have a pretty great relationship with my family, however, I am still the baby! 

With our first daughter, I found myself not understanding how to raise her. I turned to birth order logic, which helped tremendously. My husband is also the oldest in his family, so he gave me great insight into the ways our oldest may be processing life. Until our third came along, we just kind of ‘rinsed and repeated’ a lot of our parenting with our second daughter, which seemed to work well.

So here we are with three girls, four years apart. It hit me that I have a very strong-willed oldest child, a very sensitive middle child, an incredibly passionate youngest child, and they are my dragons. My mom game needed an upgrade. Along with reading and understanding birth order parenting, I added a game-changing tool to my mothering belt: personality tests.

Personality tests are both fun and informative. I found that the Myers-Briggs or 16 Personalities and the Color Code personality tests were very helpful. You can also test your children, which is probably easier with older children, but you can just go through and ‘take the test’ for younger kids, but the results may be not be as precise. This is something I do once a year. I have seen a lot of personal growth for myself and my family over the last three years while using these tools. It helps me when my children, even my husband, do things I don’t understand. Understanding what makes us inherently different, has brought so much more understanding and patience to parenting for us. Then with the results I will Google or search Pinterest to find discipline ideas that work for those personality or color types. 

So, you may have only one kid, 10 kids, multiples, be a blended family, or a fostering/adoption family. There are so many things in our homes that make raising new generations difficult, but there is so much out there that we can use to our advantage, to feel like we’re accomplishing more than “just feeding kids, wiping bottoms and washing clothes!”

None of these ideas answer every question; however, it has made it easier for me to navigate motherhood when I feel lost. I have been mothering for 12 years, and while they have been excruciating, they have also given me so much to hope for!

If you’re interested in learning more about different types of personalities, below are links to the tests I use.




  1. This is so interesting to me! My oldest is strong-willed, middle is noble and calm and youngest is wild! I’m curious to take a few of these tests. Thanks Emily!!

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