Parents, brace yourselves. If your child is of choleric temperament, you have your work cut out. However, please keep in mind
that despite the difficulties, he has an enormous capacity for doing great good. So all homeschool discipline efforts are more than worth it. You and he will be richly rewarded.
Suggestions for rearing and homeschooling the child with choleric temperament tendencies:
- Always keep before the child that which is noble and honorable. Appeal to his natural tendency to love the good and holy. Talk about the wonderful
characters of the Bible, saints, founders and soldiers of our country. Point out their self-sacrifices and suffering for the greater good. Surround the child with enriching
books, songs, films and posters of heroes.
- Satisfy and encourage his attraction to high ideals and thoughts. Provide him with great music and books. Keep in mind his natural aversion to the vulgar
and shield him from anything that could be so considered.
- Assist him with self-mastery--to control and guide his energies. Discuss strategies for dealing with anger. Then make a concrete plan...count to twenty,
hit a pillow, run around the block, look at the situation from another point of view, etc. Write his idea
and post it in several places so it is there when needed. Help him learn to take a breather, to not act with haste. Remind the youngster
to frequently review how he will deal with his temper.
- With the single-mindedness of this temperament, only one favorite idea is sufficient to inspire the choleric. Scour the Bible, spiritual readings, writings of honorable and
humble men and women.
Some examples are "All for the greater honor and glory of God" and "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world; but suffers the loss of
- Teach him to daily and repeatedly beg God for help. Remind him of the quote, "Ask and you shall receive."
Although it's very difficult for him,
the choleric must learn humility...to ask for aid, to apologize...to daily examine his conscience. Otherwise, his tendency to arrogance and pride will get the better of him.
- Train him to be kind and understanding of others. He needs to learn compassion for the weak. Never allow him to belittle or humiliate others.
- It is vital that one be loving and patient when disciplining the choleric child. Trying to "break" him with humiliating punishment
only results in disaster.
Harsh treatment embitters and hardens him. He can
be persuaded by gentle reasoning and appealing to the supernatural (both which are very attractive to him).
- Be firm, calm, steady, consistent. Trust in Christ. Parents need to control their tempers. Allow the youngster a period to "cool off." Then persuade him.
- As always, a good example is a tremendous teacher.
The strengths of one with the choleric temperament are, as described by Father Conrad Hock, his sharp intellect,
enthusiasm for the noble and great, resolution and force of his will, which shrinks before no difficulty, and the keen vivacity
which influences all his thoughts and plans.
Who can but admire and be grateful for such a person? This is a natural leader.
To allow his weaknesses to take hold is a tragedy. Take heart. The parents who train up this child to fulfill his
potential are doing a remarkable service to themselves, their child and all of society.
The Four Temperaments
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