Temperament Corner: March/April

Updated: Jun 9


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 Phlegmatic 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 Phlegmatic Youth in Inclusion

  • slow-paced

  • observer

  • calm

  • easy-going

  • task-oriented

  • dry humor

  • stubborn

  • tolerates people

  • selfish

  • efficient

  • protects their energy

  • avoid confrontation


STRESS TRIGGERS – HOME


1. LACK OF REST


Because of their low energy, this youth needs to have time to rest after school. Parents need to be taught that this Phlegmatic youth in Inclusion will become irritable and may make cutting (biting) remarks if they do not receive adequate rest.


2. ACCUSATIONS OF BEING LAZY, ESPECIALLY AFTER SCHOOL

Teach the parents that this Phlegmatic youth in Inclusion has a low energy level. Their optimum level might be considered unacceptable to the parents, and they are often accused of being lazy.


3. DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY - PARENTS - DRUGS/ALCOHOL


Encourage the parents to seek help in getting off drugs and alcohol so that this youth will not become a drug addict or alcoholic. If the drugs are readily available, think of what an escape this would be for a Phlegmatic! Remember:


CHILDREN HAVE NEVER BEEN GOOD AT LISTENING TO THEIR ELDERS, BUT THEY HAVE NEVER FAILED TO IMITATE THEM!

James Baldwin


4. BLENDED OR SINGLE FAMILY - SIBLING RIVALRY


In a single parent family, where one parent needs to be mom and dad, how can they prevent sibling rivalry? By giving each youth quality time—not necessarily quantity time and also by finding a person the parent can trust to be a mentor for this youth.


Enlighten the parents as to how there is a “pecking order” and that when families are blended, there may be two first borns, two last borns, 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. Since this youth is a Phlegmatic in Inclusion, their siblings may feel that this youth is not doing their share of the work, etc. Parents must remember to be open to listen to “all sides” of their disputes.



5. SEXUAL ABUSE - BABYSITTERS, SIBLINGS, RELATIVES, ETC.


Teach the parents to encourage the Phlegmatic in Inclusion youth to come to them with any and all problems they may be encountering.


They will need to encourage the Phlegmatic in Inclusion youth to share with them as the Phlegmatic youth in Inclusion usually will not volunteer information readily; they do not want to expend the energy.


Parents also need to look for signs such as irritability, overeating, cutting themselves, using drugs, drinking alcohol, etc.



5. AVAILABILITY OF ADULT MOVIES, TELEVISION AND THE INTERNET


Teach the parents to be aware of what the Phlegmatic in Inclusion youth is watching on television and what movies they are seeing. They also need to be aware of what they are doing on the computer. This Phlegmatic in Inclusion youth needs boundaries. This kind of activity takes very little energy, and they can easily use this as their escape from people and tasks!



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.




STRESS TRIGGERS – SCHOOL



1. INTERACTION ALL DAY (no down time)


Teach the parents that after school, this Phlegmatic in Inclusion youth needs his/her “rest time.” The Phlegmatic in Inclusion youth may be quite irritable and full of cutting/biting/stinging remarks because of stress. Parents need to give them an hour or more of “rest time” before doing their chores and/or homework.


2. NEED FOR PERFECTION.


Teach the parents to help this Phlegmatic in Inclusion youth understand that their need for perfection may be causing them undue stress. Others cannot live up to their meticulous demands for perfection. They need to allow themselves and others to have the right to be imperfect—including teachers and classmates. Christ is the only perfect one. 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 can become so stressed that they will become irritable and will use their cutting/biting/stinging remarks to retaliate or deal with their stress.


3. AVAILABILITY OF DRUGS/ALCOHOL/SEX.


Encourage the parents to watch for signs of drug, alcohol and sex. The Phlegmatic in Inclusion youth, if they are using drugs or drinking alcohol, could become more expressive, i.e., using their dry humor as a way of warding off questions. They could also become more irritable than usual and pull away from their family and friends. They might also become slothful and not want to shower or change their clothes.


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.

  11. Making telephone calls with an 800 or 900 prefix.

  12. Becoming increasingly dishonest with other people.


People who work with sex addicts say that when someone meets 3 or more of the above, that person could possibly have a problem with sexual addition.


For more information on help for troubled youth and adults and for those who minister to them. You can also go to The Missing Link Inc. at http://misslink.org



4. DISAPPROVAL FROM TEACHERS/CLASSMATES.


Disapproval from teachers and classmates may be caused by the Phlegmatic in Inclusion youth’s dry, sometimes cutting humor. They use this humor as their defense mechanism to keep others from making demands on them— demands that will deplete their low energy. When their energy level is depleted, they can become stressed and may use their dry humor as a way of warding off teachers and classmates. The Phlegmatic in Inclusion youth needs to be taught to interact as much as they are physically able. They also need to be taught that their dry humor can “hurt” and “offend” those to whom they have directed this humor.


When they react with this humor, they usually feel that they have been backed into a corner with no way out except to use their dry humor. This is their “weapon of defense.” Sadly, sometimes they do not realize or care how their remarks can offend others; it is just self-preservation.


Phlegmatic in Inclusion youths tend to think: “I don’t bother you, don’t bother me.” “Just leave me alone!”



5. BOMB THREATS AND SCHOOL KILLINGS.


Encourage the parents to discuss disasters at school and teach the Phlegmatic in Inclusion youth to stay prayed up, be aware of their surroundings, and not take any unnecessary chances.


Parents need to bring up these subjects since the Phlegmatic in Inclusion youth probably will not.


Most parents do not realize that the Phlegmatic in Inclusion youth has stress regarding the above, but they do. They just do not talk about it. They would probably eat to alleviate these fears and their anger and use their dry humor to ward off discussing it.


6. NEED TO BE SLOW AND METHODICAL


Teach this Phlegmatic in Inclusion youth that they need to learn that while in school they need to try to keep pace with the other youths—within reason. Sometimes they will pull back in order to keep the teachers and students from making demands of them. They do not like to be pushed to complete projects; they like to take their time and think things through.


The Phlegmatic in Inclusion youth needs to learn to triage what must be done in order to help alleviate their stress.





NOTE: PHLEGMATIC IN INCLUSION YOUTH