Children with Type A personalities prefer order, logic and competition.

How to Raise a Child With a Type A Personality

by Kay Ireland

Kids who have Type A personalities are usually the ones you'll find reorganizing a bookshelf rather than dumping out a bin of toys. Usually characterized as those who prefer order, logic and competition, you might have a challenge on your hands if you're not as intense. If your little one drives you insane with his constant need for structure, keep in mind that nurturing a Type A personality typically works better than trying to suppress the behavior. Respect the personality and you'll be rewarded with a driven, happy and yes, super-organized child.

1 Offer your child plenty of structure throughout the day. Type A personalities prefer to know what is happening and when it's happening, so a poster board with the day's schedule might be comforting to your intense little guy. Give your child a rundown of the day, if possible. For instance, "First, we'll have breakfast and then, playtime. Next, we have to go to the post office and come home for a nap." Knowing what's on the docket can help your child feel more comfortable.

2 Give your child choices and eliminate your reactions to those choices. Type A kids want to be the best at everything, so it's devastating when an adult acts disappointed in a decision. Whether you're letting him choose what he wants for lunch or he's picking a play date, make sure the decision is his and that you support his choice.

3 Arrange for comfortable play dates with other kids. Type A personalities aren't always social butterflies, which means going to someone's house could be out of the question. Instead, a play date where you are present can help your child come out of his shell and flex his social skills without feeling intimidated or shy.

4 Plan for your child to have a competitive outlet. In short, Type As want to win, which can create issues with more sensitive children. Instead of letting your little one get competitive on the playground, look for sports, clubs and groups that can let him compete without hurting the feelings of other children. Choose this time to discuss when it's OK to be competitive and when it's better to just play nice.

5 Play with toys together and select toys that make sense to a Type A personality. For instance, a stuffed animal might be neglected because your child doesn't embrace imaginative play. Instead, structured toys like puzzles, blocks and board games work well because they have rules. Of course, when playing with structured toys, you can always push your child's imagination by making up new games or telling stories about the king that lives in the castle you've just built together.

6 Respect your child's unique nature. While you might want your little one to be more social and imaginative, his Type A personality is just as valuable. If he seems uncomfortable with certain situations, games or schedules, work around his comfort level and introduce other things in slowly. Pushing him into a playgroup might not work, but playing with friends at your house might ease him into a better social situation.

About the Author

Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.

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