I have been noticing some things about my son in the past few days:
-He has started putting things away when he's finished with them. Not everything--just the things that have a bucket or box that they "go in." He will take everything out, play with it, and then put it all back in the bucket, drum, box, or bag. In the same bucket, drum, box, or bag that it came out of. He remembers.
-He is a creature of habit. Especially if we praise him for something, he then wants to do that something over and over and over and over and over and over and, you get the idea.
-He does not like for other kids to mess with his stuff.
-He likes things on his own terms.
-He sorts his food and eats only one kind of food at a time.
-When he is finished with his bathtime, he throws everything (bath toys, cup, washcloth, bath books) over the side of the tub so he can still get to it when he's out of the water. In other words, he thinks ahead.
All of this reminds me forcibly of someone else I know: myself. Bless his heart, I think the child is a melancholy.
Today I got out my notes on the four main personality types and freshened up. As I looked through the strengths and weaknesses of my own melancholy personality, I thanked God for the many ways in which my natural tendencies kept me out of trouble. And I regretted the ways I allowed it to lead to other kinds of trouble. And I am committing to this: not to label my child now or in the future, but to watch his "bent" and use what I see to fuel prayers for him. I will pray against the weaknesses I have been so prone to. And I will pray for his natural strengths to glorify the Lord.
Some typical melancholy strengths: deeply thoughtful, idealistic, appreciative of beauty, self-sacrificing, high standards, organization, neatness, loyalty in friendship, compassionate, content to serve in the background. Yes, Lord, please!
Some typical melancholy weaknesses: remembers wrongs, moody, low self-image, guilty feelings, hesitant to start projects b/c of over-emphasis on perfection, needs approval, judgmental, insecure socially, suspicious, hard to please. Oh, Lord, please teach me how to watch for these things I have seen in myself. Show me how to guide him in the Higher ways. Let these tendencies not lead to sin. Make us aware and give us grace.
2 years ago