Book Review: The Child Whisperer by Carol Tuttle
by Erin Taylor, PCI Certified Parent Coach®
Have you ever read a book that literally transforms you? That is what The Child Whisperer by Carol Tuttle did to me. This is definitely one of my top ten books of all time. I want to share a story about it.
Carol is an energy profiler and has very effectively figured out a way to articulate four energy types that basically describe all people (pretty accurately as far as I can tell). She describes Type 1 energy as light, bouncy and friendly; Type 1 children brighten up any room they are in and make people around them feel good. Type 2 children are extremely sensitive, caring and have a slower energy; they are very concerned with how others around them feel. Type 3 energy is like the proverbial "bull in the china shop." They are extremely intense and forward-moving, are full of energy and are very physical. Type 4 energy is more serious energy, a lower energy; Type 4 children like to be taken seriously, treated as older kids, and respected. According to Carol, most children (and adults) are a combination of two different energies – one predominant type of energy and one secondary type of energy.
While I was reading this life-changing book, the day came that we had scheduled to have my niece's college graduation party at our house. That morning, around 4:00 a.m. I woke up with a stomach virus; not what you want the day of a party that you are hosting! I finally drug myself out of bed at 9:00 a.m. My husband needed to run an errand to drop something off to someone, and due to lack of communication, I discovered that my brother-in-law was scheduled to play in a volleyball tournament that morning and my sister-in-law had to pick up their other daughter at a friend's house an hour away and would not be to my house until 2:30 p.m. The party was set to begin at 3:00 p.m. I found myself wondering who was going to be able to get my house ready for this party?
I had asked my 11-year-old son to clean up this and put away that and each time I asked him to get off the couch, he rolled his eyes and complained. That is when I thought of The Child Whisperer. I had already read about each of the four energy types, so I called my three children in and reminded them that the party was that afternoon and Daddy had an errand to run and their aunt and uncle would not be able to come and get ready for the party and so I needed their help to get ready since I was still so nauseous from my stomach virus that I could not even eat breakfast. I pulled aside my 11-year-old who is predominantly a Type 4 and secondarily Type 3 energy. I explained to him that after me, he is the next oldest person in the house and I was going to really need his help getting the house ready and that I needed him to stop rolling his eyes and quickly do what I asked him to do and then come back and ask me what else needed to be done until we were completely ready for the party (that is what a mature, older son would do for him mom). From that moment on, he did just that. I gave him about 30 different tasks to do (put the cooler outside, fill it with drinks, clean up the playroom, put away the blankets, etc.) and never once did he complain or roll his eyes again. I then went to my six year-old son, who is predominantly a Type 3 energy and secondarily Type 2. There is a plant in our living room that always drops its leaves. I was in no condition to crawl around and pick them all up, so I called him over and asked him if he could do a really important "super hero" job for me. That question grabbed his interest. I told him that the leaves under the plant were "bad guys" and that they had escaped from jail (the plant pot) and that I needed a super hero to go and quickly catch all the "bad guys" and put them back in jail (the dirt in the pot). He enthusiastically ran over and finished the job in about two minutes! If I had simply asked him to clean up the leaves under the plant, he would not have wanted to do it and would have complained, but speaking Child Whisperer Language really helped me to gain his cooperation with no struggle or battle.
I then called my eight year-old daughter over and explained to her that we had this huge bin of graduation decorations that needed to be put up. She is predominantly a Type 2 energy and secondarily Type 1. I reminded her that her cousin was the guest of honor at this party and we needed to decorate the house really well so that she would feel very special and honored and know how much we love her when she walked in the door that afternoon. Her eyes lit up and as soon as my husband returned home, the two of them went around and hung up every decoration in that bin. My house looked like the Griswold house in the Christmas Vacation movie! But my daughter was proud of her work and very happy to make her cousin feel special.
That day, we got all of the tasks done around the house and were prepared for the party before my brother or sister-in-law even got to our house and it was all because of my children. Thanks to Carol Tuttle's wonderful book, I was able to speak in language that was meaningful to each of them and get their cooperation to accomplish a big goal. And there have been many, many scenarios since reading Carol's book where I have employed her language and her ideas to have many successful and pleasant interactions with my kids. I am very thankful to Carol for her wisdom and insight and for writing this book and sharing it with all of us. I believe that The Child Whisperer should be required reading for all parents.
I encourage you to visit www.thechildwhisperer.com to see if this book might be right for you!
Erin Taylor is a PCI Certified Parent Coach® offering coaching services through It Takes A Village Parent Coaching.
Copyright © 2014 Erin Taylor, all rights reserved. Used with permission.