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8 CHALLENGING PERSONALITIES - Part 5 - "The Golden Child"

by Dore Frances, IEC, MA, founder of Horizon Family Solutions, LLC
Every parent, every program, every counselor, every friend, every teacher knows or has at least one - a bully, a clown, a Dear Abby, a golden child, a gossip, a phantom, a whiner, and an emotional train wreck.

The Golden Child

Behavior and its impact:

The Golden Child is an elusive challenge personality because they do everything right just the way they are "supposed" to do.

These kids are just plain good - they like to play by the rules within whatever adult structure they can find. They are driven to discover what you want from them so they can eagerly offer it to you. They have the whole parent thing down pat - they have a regular quiet time, show up on time to school, are involved in groups or sports. It is easy to be lulled asleep around kids like these.

Their obedience is hypnotizing. The big questions is: Why are they so obedient?

Often these kids have found ways to use their parents weaknesses to make their lives work.

Like a well-known athlete who uses sports to get applause, the Golden Child uses their parents to make things so nice and smooth.

These kids get lots of "kudos" for their "perfect" behavior.

The Golden Child is often lifted up publicly as examples to follow.

If you have a Golden Child they probably sense that they have a significant impact on the family culture.

How the behavior is typically reinforced:

It is easy to see how we get lulled into reinforcing this kind of behavior.

This teenager is so close to what we think is the perfect child. When you instill rules you are unwittingly enforcing these kids to be in charge by agreeing to everything you say.

How to help:

The Golden Child does a pretty good job at arranging their life to get what they want. Up the ante and make it much harder for them at times.

In turn, you will be assisting your Golden Child to understand that following rules does not make a perfect world.

Life can change in an instant and is not always fair. These kids need to experience failure, and taste the real and unexpected parts of life.

By doing this now with family support it may save them from immense heartache in the real adult world.

Dore Frances, IEC, MA, is an educcational consultant, childs right advocate, parent coach, specializing in working with troubled teens and their families in the United States, Canda, and abroad. See her site at: or contact her by phone at:(541) 312-4422, or email
See our listing on ISER.COM

Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.


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