The term shenanigan is defined as “mischief causing discomfort or annoyance.” Watching recent news, you may be familiar with the shenanigan heard round the world when Prince Louis was filmed sticking his tongue out at his mom, Kate Middleton, after she tried to discipline him during Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant Parade. For me it was no surprise to learn that Prince Louis is a J♣, having been born April 23, 2018. Of course, video of Louis’ behavior went viral and naturally many people weighed in about what this meant about William and Kate’s parenting style. Knowing Louis is a J♣, I think it is unfair to negatively judge William and Kate’s parenting style. Not only is Louis’ behavior somewhat due to his age (he is four years old), but it is also important to consider that it is common for a J♣ to act playful and hold disregard for responsible behavior. And J♣ tend to push boundaries a whole lot more than other children!
When parenting it is important to accept children for who they are. That is not to say parents should condone inappropriate behavior. Instead, consider that behavior stems from a child’s innate attributes and there are two sides to a child’s behavior. There are two sides to behavior because attributes can manifest in lower and higher expressions. In the case of Louis, he was demonstrating a lower expression of a J♣’s creative playfulness. When a J♣ manifests a higher expression of creative playfulness they can write inspiring stories or musical lyrics. As such, a parent of a J♣ should not try to suppress their child’s natural tendencies. Rather communicate boundaries and expectations to a J♣ and be somewhat flexible with them when they push these boundaries. That is to say, a middle ground approach to parenting works best for a J♣ over permissive or strict parenting. And sometimes, it is beneficial to lean into permissive parenting to provide a J♣ with some freedom. Pick your battles. Select what behaviors you can feel comfortable allowing them more flexibility. For instance, perhaps you are less strict with bedtime for your J♣ but are stricter with punctuality to school. In addition, because J♣ are highly intellectual they tend to benefit when adults apply logical consequences. Logical consequences involve adults creating predetermined consequences for a specific behavior that is communicated to a child in advance. Adults explain to the child that the consequences are a result of the choices they make. Such a technique can be effective with a J♣ because the responsibility of the situation is in their control. For older children, allow them input to designing consequences or decide upon a choice between two consequences. Also, older J♣ may not respond well to labeling them as “bad.” Instead, if a child misbehaves an adult should say, “I am sorry you made a bad choice.” With a propensity toward shenanigans, parenting a J♣ may be challenging, but they will also bless your life with humor, creative viewpoints, and intellectual accomplishments.