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Type T Personality in Kids

A Type T personality is defined as a personality that is extroverted; creative; and likes novel, exciting, and risky experiences.  These risk takers do not fully buy into societal rules regarding appropriate conduct, and their Type T manifestations can be very rewarding for them (i.e., the entrepreneur who takes significant risks in his business enterprise and becomes socioeconomically successful as a result) or very detrimental to them (i.e., the sociopathic criminal who harms others in pursuit of his own goals).  Because Type T personalities are powerful personalities that can have significant positive and negative consequences, parents with Type T personality kids need to be diligent in shaping the manifestations of Type T in their kids.

How do parents recognize when one of their kids has Type T personality?

Parents can detect Type T personality by observing the behaviors of their kids.  The Type T child is frequently pushing the envelope, breaking rules, engaging in behaviors that could reasonably result in harm to self or others, etc.  Did your elementary aged son go down your basement steps on his sled?  Whether or not he broke his arm or damaged your home, his choice to sled down your basement steps suggests Type T.  Did your pre-teen daughter sneak out her bedroom window late one night to “hang out” with a boy that she finds attractive?  Did your teen son just receive his third traffic ticket, each of which has been for reckless or display driving (i.e., showing off behind the wheel and risking his life and the lives of other nearby motorists)?  By observing behaviors, an assessment about Type T can be made.

What can parents do to shape the manifestations of Type T?

Parents of a Type T personality child must be diligent in reinforcing social norms while also encouraging positive ways to express the creative, thrill-seeking facets to this personality.  Thorough indoctrination (if not outright inculcation) of social norms is imperative to protect the Type T child from the ugliest downsides of Type T.  Encouraging positive expressions of Type T may include enrolling your Type T child in ski lessons, judo lessons, acting classes, and other opportunities for your Type T child to express his Type T energies.  Vacations can be planned with Type T activities in mind.  For example, you can choose a destination location that offers, among other activities, bungee jumping or zip lining:  if you choose not to participate in these activities, you can cheer on your Type T child who will likely love the thrill of these activities.

In sum

By identifying your child’s Type T personality early, consistently and thoroughly reinforcing social norms with your child, and encouraging positive expressions of his Type T, you can shape the manifestations of Type T in your child and increase the likelihood that he will experience more positive than negative outcomes from his Type T.

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