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Temperament Corner May/June

Updated: Jul 6, 2023




THE IMPORTANCE OF HELPING PARENTS BECOME AWARE OF THE NEED FOR THEIR PHLEGMATIC YOUTH TO GO THROUGH THE GRIEVING PROCESS OVER THE LOSS OF A SURFACE AND/OR DEEP RELATIONSHIP.


Proverbs 22:6 tells us to: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

This includes teaching them about death and dying.


Since COVID-19 struck in 2020 all over the world, the youth, as well as adults, have been deeply affected by the deaths that have occurred, such as the loss of parents, grandparents, and friends.


Sometimes parents can become so engulfed in their own grief over the death of a spouse, parent, or friend that they do not realize their children are also grieving.


Now, more than ever, we, as Christian counselors, need to help the parents to become aware of the fact that when there is a death in the family or of a close friend, their youth will also be grieving.


The parents must also understand that if they have several youths, each youth will handle their grief differently, as they will usually have a different temperament.


Webster II defines grief as “Deep sadness as that caused by bereavement.”


The Five Steps to Grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.


If the Phlegmatic youth does not receive help understanding and moving through the grieving process, they may become stuck in the anger stage. This anger can be directed toward God, their parents, and/or others.


We will review the Inclusion, Control, and Affection areas of the Phlegmatic youth.



PHLEGMATIC YOUTH IN INCLUSION



REVIEWING GODLY WAYS, PARENTS CAN HELP THEIR PHLEGMATIC YOUTH IN INCLUSION WORK THROUGH THE GRIEVING PROCESS.


Brief description of some of the tendencies of the Phlegmatic youth in Inclusion:



Perfectionistic, calm, slow-paced—nothing seems to bother them, capable of doing tedious tasks, efficient, stubborn, unwilling to become involved, would rather observe than participate, fearful of people draining their energy, uses their dry humor as a defense mechanism—at times, this humor can be hurtful.


Regarding the death of a relationship, the Phlegmatic youth may tend not to express their thoughts about the death; however, since they are deep thinkers, they are probably grieving their loss inwardly. Also, they tend not to shed tears.


Since they are task-oriented, they may appear to go about their daily tasks without outwardly expressing grief for this person. They tend not to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts as they are private people. Also, it is difficult to “read” a Phlegmatic as they can mask what they are thinking.


They tend to feel uncomfortable going to the funeral home or memorial services as they can’t relate to the emotional aspect of people talking, grieving, hugging, and crying. They do not know how to comfort them as they are hurting themselves, therefore, they tend to feel more comfortable doing tasks for the deceased’s family. And, since they are deep thinkers, they instinctively know what needs to be done.


Since the Phlegmatic youth in Inclusion tends not to share their thoughts, they may also harbor anger towards the deceased because they did not want to lose them.


HOW CAN PARENTS HELP THE PHLEGMATIC YOUTH IN INCLUSION MOVE THROUGH THE GRIEVING PROCESS?


FIRST: They need to be aware that they themselves are grieving and that their youth will also be grieving.


SECOND: They should share with their youth that they are grieving and that it is okay to grieve. Grieving is a normal emotion, and it is not a sign of weakness.


THIRD: They need to be aware of the depth of the Phlegmatic youth’s grief. They can do this by initiating a conversation and encouraging them to open up and share their thoughts.


FOURTH: They need to also understand that this Phlegmatic youth is a deep thinker and may not want to discuss the loss as they do not want to expend the energy and they really do not want others to know their deep thoughts; therefore, they need to have someone to talk to in order for them to process their thoughts and deal with their anger.


FIFTH: They need to know that they can also make an appointment with one of our temperament counselors for their youth. The temperament counselor will then generate an APS report on the youth and counsel them according to their temperament.


PHLEGMATIC YOUTH IN CONTROL



REVIEWING GODLY WAYS, PARENTS CAN HELP THEIR PHLEGMATIC YOUTH IN CONTROL WORK THROUGH THE GRIEVING PROCESS.


Brief description of some of the tendencies of the Phlegmatic youth in Control:



Natural negotiator, difficult to motivate, procrastinator, stubborn to change, will take the path of least resistance, peacemaker, has dry humor, diplomatic, takes the path of least resistance, and has low energy.


Regarding the death of a relationship in the Control area, the Phlegmatic youth may tend to show little or no emotion as they are very private people. Also, they do not like to be controlled, and they may feel controlled when their friend or loved one died.


The Phlegmatic tends to have low energy, and they do not let circumstances upset them. They may have a calming effect on those around them and should become more involved with friends and family to let them know that they really do care.


They tend to be stubborn to change, and when a friend dies it is difficult to accept. They are practical and peace-loving. They will take the path of least resistance by not wanting to talk about their loss until they have had time to deal with it in their own way.


They may also harbor anger toward the deceased because they did not want to lose them.


HOW CAN PARENTS HELP THE PHLEGMATIC YOUTH IN CONTROL MOVE THROUGH THE GRIEVING PROCESS?


FIRST: They first need to be aware that even though they themselves are grieving, their youth will also be grieving.


SECOND: They can share with the youth that they, the parents, are also grieving and that is okay to grieve, and that grieving is not a sign of weakness. Therefore, they need to share with them that it is okay to grieve, as it is a normal emotion.


THIRD: They need to be aware of the depth of the Phlegmatic youth’s grief. They can do this by initiating a conversation and encouraging them to open up and share their thoughts.


FOURTH: They need to also understand that this Phlegmatic youth tends to be slow-paced and stubbornly resistant to change. They need time to adjust to the loss. They may be angry at the deceased for dying and leaving them. In other words, the Phlegmatic youth tends to need time to process the death.


FIFTH: They can also make them an appointment with one of our temperament counselors for their youth. The temperament counselor will then generate an APS report on the youth and counsel them according to their temperament.



PHLEGMATIC YOUTH IN AFFECTION



REVIEWING GODLY WAYS PARENTS CAN HELP THEIR PHLEGMATIC YOUTH IN AFFECTION WORK THROUGH THE GRIEVING PROCESS.


Brief description of some of the tendencies of the Phlegmatic youth in Affection:


Unemotional, unexpressive, observers in deep relationships, easy going, calm, protective of their low energy, uses humor to keep deep relationships from draining their energy.


Regarding the death of a relationship in the deep Affection area, the Phlegmatic youth may tend to show little or no emotion as they are task-oriented and do not express love and affection the same as a relationship-oriented person does.


They also tend to be unemotional, as they feel that showing emotions may take too much energy, and they do not want to expose their deep feelings. Therefore, they do not express their emotions.


They may tend to become angry at the deceased for leaving them. This is because

they tend to feel that it takes too much energy to start up another relationship--they may even pull away from people even more.


They tend to feel uncomfortable going to the funeral home or memorial services as they can’t relate to the emotional aspect of people grieving, hugging, and crying. They tend to feel more comfortable doing tasks for the deceased’s family.


HOW CAN PARENTS HELP THE PHLEGMATIC YOUTH IN AFFECTION MOVE THROUGH THE GRIEVING PROCESS?


FIRST: They first need to be aware that even though they themselves are grieving, their youth will also be grieving.


SECOND: They can share with the youth that they, the parents, are also grieving and that it is okay to grieve, and that grieving is not a sign of weakness. Therefore, they need to share with them that it is okay to grieve, as it is a normal emotion.

THIRD: They need to understand that this youth has deep, tender feelings but tends not to expose these feelings as they prefer doing tasks for their deep relationships.


FOURTH: They need to be aware of the depth of the youth’s grief and that when they lose a deep relationship, they tend to mourn their loss inwardly. They may even become angry at God for their loss. Parents really need to try to get the youth to open up and talk with them in order to find out how they are reacting to this loss and who they are blaming for the loss.


FIFTH: They can also make an appointment with one of our temperament counselors for their youth. The temperament counselor will then generate an APS report on the youth and counsel them according to their temperament.



CONCLUSION



It is so important that the parents become aware of the fact that their Phlegmatic youth in Inclusion, Control and/or Affection will need to go through the grieving process when they lose a close friend or relative. If they are not helped through the grieving process they may get stuck in the anger stage of grief.


They may even carry this anger throughout their life and blame God for taking their friend or loved one.


SCRIPTURES FOR THE PHLEGMATIC YOUTH IN INCLUSION, CONTROL, AND AFFECTION



Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”


Philippians 4: 7 “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”


II Thessalonians 2:16-17 “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace comfort your hearts and stablish you in every good word and work.”


Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and ager, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God hath forgiven you.”









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