Can the Tiger Change it’s Stripes?

In any family with more than one child, you may notice considerable difference in personality. One may be placid and peaceful, another may be aggressive and ambitious. Nicknames, like “Peach”and “Tiger” are easily attached to the appropriate child.

Taming the Tiger requires considerable patience on the part of parents. Inspiring the Peach to take more initiative is also a puzzling endeavor, and especially when in the same family as the Tiger.

Gary Harbaugh in God’s Gifted People: Discovering and Using Your Spiritual and Personal Gifts uses the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to describe aspects of personality as gifts from God for the benefit of not only churches but also of the world. He uses the case study approach to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of the different personalities.

Failing to recognize the value of other people’s point of view causes much of the conflict in families, churches, business, society and the world. Failure to recognize the value also means failure to benefit from the others’ perspectives, increased incidence of conflict and worry.

Harbaugh advocates learning to appreciate and attempting to foster some of the others’ characteristics in oneself as part of one’s own maturing and growing process as a whole person. I wonder if an only child will have a harder time adapting to others than the child who has to accommodate other siblings.

Harbaugh’s book, if you can find it, is highly recommended.

Yes, the tiger can be tamed and even change its stripes, but it may be a do-it-yourself project.


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