Temperament Corner: July/August


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 Supine 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 Supine Youth in Inclusion

  • introvert/extrovert

  • sensitive

  • people-pleaser

  • servant

  • people-oriented

  • fears rejection

  • “hurt” feelings

  • weak-willed

  • gentle spirit

  • internalized anger

  • responder

  • low self-esteem


STRESS TRIGGERS – HOME


1. PARENTAL REJECTION/FEELING USED BY PARENTS


This youth needs acceptance. Parental rejection will cause them to have feelings of insecurity. They already have a low self-esteem and when their parents reject them or they perceive their parents are rejecting them, they will tend to pull away from the parents. Unfortunately, the parents do not realize that the youth is pulling away or that they have these feelings of rejection. This is because the youth has indirect behavior and when they pull away, the parents think they do not want to be included; however, on the inside they are longing to be included and screaming, “Please include me.”


These hurt feelings are actually internalized anger, and after this youth has stored up all the anger they can possibly contain, they tend to “explode.”


You need to teach the parents that they need to make this Supine in Inclusion youth feel included.


2. INABILITY TO EXPRESS THEIR THOUGHTS

This youth needs to learn to be more direct as they want their parents and friends to be able to read their mind. The Supine in Inclusion youth wants their parents and friends to know that they want to be included in conversations; they want them to know what they want to eat, where they want to go, etc. This youth wants people to be genuine. They think that if others really cared, they would know what the Supine in Inclusion youth wants; otherwise, they are doing it because the youth asked. This youth needs to learn that people cannot read their mind.


You need to teach the parents to encourage this Supine in Inclusion youth to express their feelings. In other words, the parents need to start the “ball rolling” by asking them “What would you like for dinner?” “How are things going?” “How did school go today?”



3. DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY - PARENTS - DRUGS/ALCOHOL


Encourage the parents to seek help in getting off drugs and alcohol. If it is readily available, this youth will tend to turn to drugs and alcohol because this will help them escape from their feelings of rejection. 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


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


This can create problems such as rejection, anger, jealousy, resentment, etc., and can bring stress to this blended family. The parents need to be aware of the fact that Supine in Inclusion youths will have a difficult time trying to maintain their position. This is because they will feel unwanted and will pull away from everyone—just like a turtle pulls into his shell when he fears danger.


In a single parent family where one parent needs to be mother and father and cannot give the Supine in Inclusion youth 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. Since this youth is task oriented/relationship oriented, asking them to help with the chores or preparing dinner would provide the youth with the special time they need to feel accepted.



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


Knowing this youth’s temperament is the key to knowing what questions to ask. Parents need to let this youth know that they can tell them anything and they will not reject them. Supine in Inclusion youths need to be able to talk things out, but first they need an invitation to share this heavy burden. They need to know that they will not be punished for this abuse because, in their mind, they tend to feel that they may have caused this abuse just by being on planet earth! This is because a Supine in Inclusion youth tends to feel responsible for everything that happens. In their mind, they can carry a heavy load of false guilt which reinforces to them they are worthless and have no value.

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


Parents should know to whom they are entrusting their children.