Temperament Corner: January/February

Updated: Apr 6


Youth, Temperament, and Stress

By: Dr Phyllis J. Arno


Dr. Phyllis J. Arno

We are continuing the series titled Youth, Temperament and Stress. In this issue we will review some of the “Stress Triggers” in the Inclusion area of the Melancholy youth. We will specifically cover “stress” in the home and in school.


In review, the Inclusion area is the need to establish and maintain a satisfactory relationship with people in the area of surface relationships, associations and socialization and intellectual energies.




Word Review of the Melancholy Youth in Inclusion

  • introvert

  • creative

  • task-oriented

  • thinker

  • moody

  • negative

  • artistic

  • fear of rejection

  • anger

  • artistic

  • depressed

  • low self-esteem

  • fear of economic failure


STRESS TRIGGERS – HOME


1. PARENTAL REJECTION/CRITICISM


This youth needs encouragement and acceptance. Parental rejection will cause them to become more withdrawn and sullener. Parents should not reject them because they are quiet and do not want to go out and socialize all the time. The reason the Melancholy in Inclusion youth does not want to socialize is the fact that they are task oriented and not relationship oriented—they really do not understand people. Parents need to accept the fact that they are task oriented and not relationship oriented.


Melancholy in Inclusion youth do not usually want to expose their thoughts and fears. The parents need to take a genuine interest in them, asking the youth to work on a project (one of interest to the Melancholy in Inclusion youth) help them build a relationship on trust and respect.


Parental rejection can cause Melancholy youth to turn to drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography, etc. Parental rejection can also cause them to have feelings of worthlessness.


Teach the parents the difference between destructive and constructive criticism. Destructive criticism tends to make the youth feel condemned, and they will grow up condemning.


Teach the parents to be less negative. Negative is saying:


“No, you can’t go on the computer until your homework or chores are done.”


Try being positive when you tend to be negative!


“Yes, you can go on the computer as soon as you have finished your homework or chores.”


When a parent is in a situation where they are asked to make a quick decision, and they do not want to make this decision alone, they can say:


“That’s an interesting idea. I think your Dad (Mom) would like to be involved too. Let’s talk about it when they get home.”


Also, on a positive note, parents need to learn to give the Melancholy in Inclusion youth their own chores. Posting a schedule on the refrigerator or bulletin board will remind the youth without the parents “nagging” them.



2. DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY—PARENTS ON DRUGS/ALCOHOL

If the parents are on drugs or they are alcoholics, encourage them to seek help in getting off drugs. Also encourage them to seek help so they can stop drinking. Melancholy in Inclusion youth will tend to use drugs and alcohol to escape the pain. They will follow the example set by the parents—even if they hate the parents being on drugs or an alcoholic. Sometimes you become what you hate! Remember:


CHILDREN HAVE NEVER BEEN

GOOD AT LISTENING TO THEIR

ELDERS, BUT THEY HAVE NEVER

FAILED TO IMITATE THEM!

James Baldwin





3. BLENDED OR SINGLE FAMILY–SIBLING RIVALRY


Enlighten the parents as to how there is a “pecking order” and that when families are blended, there may be two firstborns, two lastborns, etc., so each youth will be fighting to maintain their position.


This can create problems such as anger, jealousy, resentment, etc., and can bring stress to the blended family. The parents need to be aware of the fact that Melancholy in Inclusion youth will have a hard time trying to maintain their position. The Melancholy in Inclusion youth may spend much of their time thinking of ways to get even with the other siblings. Parents need to deal with each sibling uniquely and individually since treating all the siblings the same may cause more conflict. They should have family discussion times so that they can discuss any problems that may arise regarding siblings vying for their space. The parents need to be watching for signs such as intense sibling rivalry, moodiness, rebellion, irritability, low grades, etc.



In a single parent family where one parent needs to be mother and father and cannot give this Melancholy youth in Inclusion quantity time, they can give them quality time. Quality time means the parent gives them their undivided attention—setting aside a time just for this youth. They could do something special with the youth such as going for walks, baking, watching a movie, working on an old car, or any other tasks that might interest the youth. The parent could also try to find a person they can trust to be a mentor to this youth.



4. SEXUAL ABUSE—BABYSITTERS, SIBLINGS, RELATIVES, ETC.


Teach the parents to encourage the Melancholy in Inclusion youth to come to them with all problems they may be encountering. This youth needs to be able to volunteer information readily. The parents should also look for signs of abuse, such as depression, low grades, lack of interest, anger, moodiness, etc. Also, the parents should know to whom they are entrusting their children.


Knowing their youth’s temperament is the key to knowing what questions to ask. The parents need to assure the youth that they can tell the parents anything and that they will not condemn nor criticize them, but rather listen and deal with the situation in a godly manner. The Melancholy in Inclusion youth needs to be able to trust their parents and know that they will not reveal what they have shared in confidence.



5. AVAILABILITY OF MOVIES, TELEVISION AND THE INTERNET


Teach the parents to know what the Melancholy in Inclusion youth is watching. This youth needs boundaries. They are unsure without them! Melancholy in Inclusion youth will use the Internet, movies and television as an escape from the world around them. In this way, they can live without socializing; however, this youth needs to learn to moderately socialize in order to maintain balance in their life.


Parents Need to Become Cyber Savvy!

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL


  1. Learn about parental controls and filtering software.

  2. You can use search engines such as safesearchkids.com

  3. Teach your kids to never give out their telephone number or address online.


MIDDLE SCHOOL


  1. Keep the Internet account in your name to control passwords and filtering.

  2. Check your children’s Internet browsing history. Allow them to email and instant-message only people they know. Randomly check their emails and “buddy lists.”

  3. If your children participate in chats, help them pick screen names that don’t reveal personal information.

  4. Take cyber-bullying seriously. If someone posts threatening or dangerous comments about your child, report it to the police and your service provider.

  5. House rule: No downloading without your permission. You can set permissions on smartphones to have time limits on certain apps as well as prevent any downloads from happening without a password.


Apple iPhone Parental Controls


Samsung Galaxy Parental Controls



HIGH SCHOOL


  1. Teach teens to use caution when posting about their friends and their plans.

  2. Make sure your teens’ online photos don’t reveal identifying information, such as their school’s name.

  3. Require your child to ask you before meeting an online “friend” in person. If you agree, schedule the meeting in a public place and accompany your teen.


If you have more questions about the intricacies of social media platforms, smartphones, and cybersecurity/cyberbullying please click the button below for parental guides.





NETWORK KNOW-HOW


  1. Social networking sites such as Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Facebook set minimum ages for participation. Generally, if your children are 13 or younger, you can have their pages removed. Read a site’s Terms of Use carefully for full details.

  2. Ask to see your teens’ pages on social networking sites. Go through their feed, following, and saved posts.

  3. Have your teens use the privacy settings on social networking sites, but be aware that some information, such as their picture, nickname, age and location may still be available for all users to see.

  4. Go through your teens’ “friends” list to make sure they know and trust those people in real life. Consider making your own profile and “friending” your teens to stay informed about what they are posting.

  5. Create a permission on their phone to set a limit and time frame they are allowed to be on social media platforms.



6. NOT HAVING QUIET, ALONE TIME


This youth needs quiet time, especially after school. If they must share a bedroom with siblings, it will be hard for them to find quiet, alone time. Their “safe haven” does not have to be a “room.” The “safe haven” can be taking long walks, tinkering around in the garage or basement, playing music, reading, sports, watching movies or surfing the Internet.




STRESS TRIGGERS – SCHOOL



1. INTERACTION ALL DAY (no down time)


Teach the parents that after school, this youth needs his/her “safe haven.” They need to be able to relieve stress by doing something creative, e.g., writing, singing, woodworking, crafts, Internet (with parental rules and supervision), watching movies, etc. If they cannot find a safe haven, they tend to become irritable, may possibly have physical problems and become difficult to live with. At school they may be aloof and distant.


2. NEED FOR PERFECTION.


Encourage the parents to let them talk about their need for perfection and let them know that it is okay to be “imperfect.” This Melancholy in Inclusion youth needs to allow themself and others to have the right to be imperfect including their teachers and classmates. Christ is the only perfect one. The older a Melancholy in Inclusion youth becomes, the more perfectionistic they will become; therefore, they must learn at an early age that it is “okay to be imperfect.” They need to learn that God will do the perfecting and that He will not put ungodly expectations on them or anyone else. If they do not learn this, they will become so stressed that they will be unable to function on a daily basis.


3. AVAILABILITY OF DRUGS/ALCOHOL/SEX.


The parents need to teach the Melancholy in Inclusion youth the consequences of using drugs, drinking alcohol or having premarital sex. The parents need to be prepared and have facts to back them up. Melancholy in Inclusion youths will tend to use drugs, alcohol and sex as a way of escaping reality. They will use them as their “haven;” but it will not be a “safe haven.”


Encourage the parents to watch for signs of drug, alcohol and sex abuse. The parents need to educate their Melancholy in Inclusion youth about the downside of taking drugs, drinking alcohol and having sex outside of marriage. The parents need to deal with this youth’s intellect as the Melancholy in Inclusion youth is a serious, deep thinker.


There is a lot of GOOD information on the Internet regarding this.

For example:


National Institute on Drug Abuse http://www/drugabuse.gov



Look for Signs of Sexual Addiction:

  1. Frequently telling sexual jokes or making sexual comments or innuendos.

  2. Engaging in sexual activity-especially with several partners.

  3. Spending considerable time in activities that could lead to sexual activity, such as cruising for potential partners or spending hours online in chat rooms trying to hook up with others.

  4. Visiting pornographic websites or looking at pornographic magazines, books, videos.

  5. Neglecting obligations such as work, school, or family in pursuit of sexual activity.

  6. Continuing to engage in illicit sexual behavior despite the negative consequences related with such activities.

  7. Escalating the scope or frequency of sexual activity to achieve a desired effect, such as more frequent visits to Web sites or sex with more partners.

  8. Frequently isolating themselves from parents and friends and not informing others of their whereabouts.

  9. Getting angry if someone shows concerns or questions them about sex or their use of pornography.

  10. Feeling irritable when unable to engage in some sort of sexual activity for a long period of time.