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Many adults have had to take personality test to be hired. Now parents can use the behavior technique at home.

With children having pint-sized versions of four major personality types, parents need to be keyed to their kids’ individual circuitry, or risk being stymied by puzzling differences in behavior, moods and  motivations. A parenting mode that’s a sure bet with one child may be a complete fiasco with another. New research shows distinct reasons for this.

Husband-and-wife counseling team and longtime parents of four, Art and Laraine Bennett, provide a tool that’s been long-elusive to parents: insight into how the four temperament types are personified in children, and what makes each one ‘tick.’ Knowing whether a child is choleric (take-charge, strong-willed, competitive, quick-learner, self-reliant); melancholic (high-idealed, moody, perfectionistic, creative, withdrawn);   sanguine (optimistic, eager, fun-loving, extraverted); or phlegmatic (peaceful, quiet, cooperative, obedient) — enables parents to do a customized job with each one, according to the Bennetts’ well-mapped strategies in their new book.

Entitled The Temperament God Gave Your Kids: Motivate, Discipline and Love Your Children (Our Sunday Visitor, 2012), it illustrates the differences in God-given temperament among children, and the keys to unlocking each child’s distinct makeup.

Often, parents will worry there’s something wrong with their child, or that their parenting is flawed, when faced with kids whose reactions, emotions or behavior is so foreign to their own. “But when they realize this has more to do with temperament – the way the kids are hard-wired – than whether they’re ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ they see that the child readily responds to a different approach.

“Knowing each kid’s temperament helps in avoiding unnecessary power struggles, or in engaging kids who maybe won’t divulge details, or who resist communication, even those who prefer distraction and changeability to constancy and goal-setting,” says Laraine. In essence, learning to utilize the behavior-language of varying personality-types really cuts through the static in getting through to the kids. “It puts you all on the same page, and that’s what yields positive results.”

As if knowing kids’ hot-buttons wasn’t enough, the Bennetts’ book also shows how parents’ personality types color chemistry with their children – with no two recipes alike.

The Temperament God Gave Your Kids readies parents with precise tools needed to address specific temperament and developmental stages for each child.

“God, in His generosity, makes some virtues more readily accessible for us, while other virtues are more difficult to attain,” says Laraine. “We cover all the natural virtues for each of the temperaments and suggest which virtues each personality-type might need to really work on — both the parent and the child.”