When you take the MindPrint biometric scans, the first page you come across is your innate Personality Profile Type. Already this page tells you so much about yourself; strengths, perceived limitations, verbal and physical cues, and how you communicate. It breaks it down in terms of emotions, work and friends too. It’s a lot. 🙂
MindPrint calls this the L-I-F-E personality profile, which stands for Leader, Idealist, Flamboyant and Efficient. It’s similar to the Bird Profiles’ Eagle-Owl-Peacock-Dove. It’s also the same as the DISC profiling. (I don’t mean to throw terms out there, but do check the links to know more). My sources tell me that as a person we acquire all four types, and we learn to adjust and use them based on experience or circumstance. There is one however which we are born with, hence it is innate. It’s our default way of doing and being.
When Kaiz of MindPrint explained these all to me, I could see parts of myself between the Eagle and the Dove (that sounds like a song). As it turned out, I’m innately a Dove — the exact same profile as Jamie. While friendly, we like to avoid confrontation and avoid change. I know that I can handle confrontation (and sometimes even initiate it when necessary), but it’s not always easy for me. Sometimes I choose the people that I do it to (or with). And that’s how I understand the above when they say you’ll eventually have a little of all. Sometimes I call on my “inner eagle” or “inner owl” and I’ve learned how because of past experiences.
During my discussion with Kaiz, I browsed through the other personality types. I distinctly remember saying, “Oh my, parenting a peacock must be hard work. How would anyone do it.”
Then a week later we got the kids’ results. And voila, my own Sam is a peacock. Why karma, hello to you too.
My husband was with me when we got the results and said he couldn’t quite pinpoint my reaction when Kaiz revealed this. Was I happy? Was I excited? I myself don’t know. Given that I had made that statement a week before, I must have freaked out. When I read the page again, suddenly it made so much sense… but then at the back of my head, WHAT in the world was I going to do?! And have I been doing anything right these last five years? I had to find the answers to my own question: HOW on earth do I parent a peacock?!
If you read through the first set of descriptions on strengths and weaknesses, they describe Sam spot on. She’s highly enthusiastic, quite the excitement seeker. She does have a lot to say. A LOT. And she loves being the center of attention. Now it makes sense as to why she loves and plans all her big birthday parties and invites practically everyone she meets. She totally enjoys the spotlight. Totally. She has no stage fright whatsoever, as evidenced by her ballet recital and school performances (where she thrived on solo roles). There was a lot of drama, a lot of unnecessary worrying that we had to talk through over and over again, but it was just that — drama. She did everything flawlessly in the end and loved every bit of it.
It’s true too that Sam gets so excited oftentimes she forgets to consider the consequences. Like running into the street, for instance. Many times I’ve had to catch her by the hair and pull her back (God forgive me) because she’s about to step off into the pavement without checking to see if a car is speeding her way. In swimming pool areas she’d readily jump into the water without any kind of floatation device on. Thank goodness she now knows how to swim. She is a risk-taker. It’s no wonder I always find my heart somewhere in my throat.
As a Dove, this risky business, this constant motion and search for the next big thing… it’s all new. It makes me uneasy. I like my comfort zones and I don’t like change. As you can see, two years into our big life move and I’m still in my adjustment phase! So it’s a conscious effort for me to be the opposite. If it’s something new she’d like to try, like Capoiera, I encourage it. I mentioned in my previous post she already inquired about Tap Dance lessons too, something that was not within my realm of consciousness. We signed her up for it anyway.
It’s the “perceived limitations” that are challenging. I say perceived because it’s not necessarily a limitation to the person, but to those around them. The fact about a peacock being talkative, reactive and impulsive may not be a limitation to them, but a challenge to non-peacock parents like myself. In the nicest way possible, without hurting her self-esteem, we (try to) teach her how to temper herself. I repeatedly remind her to wait for her turn, and to think before acting. Slowly she learns, but it also takes a lot of patience on my part. I sound like a broken record on constant repeat.
It’s a hard lesson not to be the center of attention, especially in our small family. Jamie’s birthday last Tuesday was difficult for her and she admitted this to me. I was impressed that she recognized it and praised her for her honesty. At the very least she’s taking the right steps towards a better self. And just like a true Ate, she still showered her sister with love and affection; in fact she was so excited for Jamie that she woke us all up an hour earlier than the alarm (another challenge when I want to sleep in).
Sam definitely has big dreams. At her kindergarten graduation, she declared her dream career as an astronaut. Her teachers were telling me how amused they were with her because it was quite unique for a child to choose that career. It was also one they didn’t take up in class. My husband and I — we believe it. We believe she will make her way and try to be one. (No pressure, really.)
Parenting a peacock like Sam takes work — just like it does with any kid with any other personality profile. I still answer all these WHY questions. I let my imagination fly alongside hers, and we create such colorful scenarios together. Sam’s world of pretend is something else, let me tell you. They’re wonderful characters for a future storybook.
I’ve realized that Sam likes to be involved in the process because it makes her feel important. Being an Ate and setting an example truly suits her and she will do it proudly. I also give her roles at home and praise her when appropriate. It motivates her and sticks with her more than if I were to reprimand. Instead, I work towards finding a teaching moment. I’m learning to identify my own fears for her and separate them so there is hopefully still room for self-discovery.
Kaiz says peacocks are rare to come by, and what’s more with Sam’s innate intelligences he was generous enough to call her a gifted child. It’s a lot to take in (although I’d rather know than not know). It’s definitely a privilege, but also nerve-wrecking, because of all the wrong I could possibly do (enter self-doubt lessons from Coach Pia!). As if parenting isn’t overwhelming feat in itself.
I love Sam to heaven and earth and a million times back (and forth). Call me biased, but I do think she is smart beyond her years… and she knows it too. And while I know that adds to the challenge of parenting a peacock, it’s also what makes the job easier.
And so I will finally say I’m glad to be raising a peacock. Everyday is an adventure. And after all, she can only make me a better parent.