The Five Adaptive Styles in Children

 

     We each have certain talents and predispositions that characterize the way we learn from our experiences and deal with the stressors of life.   The ancient Chinese developed a holistic system of Five Phase Correspondences that I use to help parents and children understand their nature.  

    The Five Phases are reflected in the personal ways we adapt to the changing world around us. When we are “in tune” with nature, our talents shine and we find it easier to make healthy connections with the world around us by paying attention in a clear and relaxed way. When we are “out of tune” with nature, our attention is driven by excess stress and insecurity, leading to emotional instabilities that make intimacy and learning difficult.  Recognizing which of the five adaptive styles is the predominant one for your child is an important first step in understanding how to begin training his or her attention more effectively. See Fire Child Water Child Questionnaire: Who Is My Child?

 

 

Secure: Tuning in to the Big Picture

Wood

The True Hero

Strengths:

Attracted to movement  

Physically adept

Loves exploring

Pushes boundaries 

Goal Driven        

Learns physically

“In the Flow”

“The Pioneer”

 

Fire

The True Leader

Strengths:

Attracted to Novelty

Sensory-Aware

Enthusiastic

Dramatic

Lives in moment

Learns by intuition

“High Engagement”

“The Wizard”

Earth

The True Caregiver

Strengths:

Attracted to Attachments

Fitting in

Concern for others

Pleasing others

Learns by context

and relationships

“Being Present”

“The Peace-maker”

 

Metal

The True Judge

Strengths:

Attracted to Order

Rhythms, Routines

Details

Justice

Righteous

Learns by Patterns

“Precision”

“The Alchemist”

 

Water

The True Sage

Strengths:

Attracted to deep

thoughts

Slow and steady

“Old Soul”

Learns by Imagination

Inner exploration

“Immersion”

“The Philosopher”

 

Insecure: Tuning Out the World

The Wild Child

 

Distracted by stillness

And constraint

Frustration

Hyperactive

Hostile

Shouting

Anger

Tension Headaches

Muscle twitching

The Class Clown

 

Distracted by boredom

Impulsive

Over-stimulated

Melt-downs

Panic attacks

Hypoglycemia

Sensory integration difficulties

Sensory craving

Diarrhea

The Worrier

Distracted by separation

Anxious

Disorganized

Indecisive

Procrastinating

Over-thinking

No boundaries

Stomachaches

Emotional eating

The Stuck Child

 

Distracted by disorder

Rigid

Hyper-focused

Self-Righteous

Compulsive

Negative

 

Constipation

Eczema

Tics

The Daydreamer

 

Distracted by Time

Withdrawn

Dark

Stubborn

Depression

Apathy

Deep fears

Malaise

Back pain

Hypochondria

 

 

        ©Cowan2009