Knowing Your Kids Inside Out

knowing-your-kids-inside-outKnowing your kids inside out is a helpful parenting tool. People are different, that is a plain and simple fact of life, and when I occasionally run workshops for school kids, I will often talk with them about outside and inside differences. The outside differences I say are the things we can see that make us different from the next person. Like gender, height, hair, eye and skin colour. But what about inside differences, what are they and how do they affect us?

Inside differences I tell them are the different ways that people use their minds, which shapes their perspective of life and determines what is important for them, in other words their values, and even affects how people learn and take in information. Inside differences I believe have a much greater influence over our lives than outside differences, and it is unfortunate that schools teach us very little about them. This is why it is so important for parents to understand who their child really is.

I had to wait until I was in my 30’s before I began to realise the impact of not having a clear sense of identity. I had not done very well at high school, and the kind of jobs that I worked at for a living reflected this. Then one day a friend introduced me to myself, and after that nothing was ever the same. I decided to give university a try, only selecting the subjects that were a good match for my personality and I excelled. My grades put me at the top of the class and I even enjoyed learning.

These days I teach people about themselves and direct them to where they are most likely to experience the greatest joy and success. I run my Aus Identities programs in schools, both primary and high, at TAFE and even lecture at University level, giving people a greater sense of their own identity. The feedback has been amazing and has encouraged me to take my work nationally.

I now spend my time teaching teachers, students and even business people whether they are Dolphins, Eagles, Kangaroos or Wombats, and I have a lot of fun doing so. People get it too. They realise that confinement and routine are not the friends of the Kangaroo, excitement is. They see that creativity comes in many forms, and that Dolphins are generally pretty good in this area, but not at logical reasoning. They understand why the Eagles will challenge almost everything, not because they are belligerent, but because they are visionaries and architects of change, and how that will upset the Wombats who just want to get on with do their duty, their job or their assignment.

So if you are at all unhappy in your work you need to stop and think about who you are and what rocks your world, because the chances are your child will notice what is going on and wonder why it is not possible have a job that really excites them, or worse, come to believe that this is simply the way of the world. Perhaps you are happy in your work, but are challenged at home, either through your intimate relationship, or by your children themselves. They actually say that stress is hereditary- you get it from your children! If that is the case in your home, you are not alone.

You see, having shared the collective raising of four kids, three on a part-time basis, I have come to realise that we are not here to shape our youth into clones of ourselves, and that it is possible to have healthy relationships with your children and the people closest to you, even teenagers! The secret is first to know yourself, with all your strengths and limitations, and then see your child for who they really are. Of course there are times when we will have to guide them, but I have come to believe that the greatest gift we can give people is the permission to be themselves.


Michael White

Owner at AusIdentitIes
Michael works as a personal & professional development trainer and career and lifecoach. He has been working with individuals and groups running workshops throughout Australia for the past ten years, assisting literally thousands of people to improve the quality of their personal and professional lives. Michael also presents regular seminars for schools, students and families around interpersonal relationships and communication.

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