The You Zoo – Great Resource for Parents

Nov 14


Tuesday, I talked about how parenting is like Play-doh. It’s one of the hardest, yet most rewarding jobs we will ever do.

Today, I want to share a resource with you I think you will love. It’s a book called The You Zoo. If you are familiar with the personality profiles, this is similar. It is a children’s personality assessment for kids Pre-K through sixth grade.

There are a lot of personality profiles out there, but this book is based on the work done by Florence Littauer. It was written by two ladies – Jami Kirkbride and Kathryn Robbins, both certified personality trainers and both mothers of five. They have a bunch of other credentials, too, but what you really need to know is the book is GREAT, and they have thought of everything.

photo copy

They created four monkeys, each with personality traits that represent one of the four personalities created by Littauer: Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholy and Phlegmatic. You read a paragraph (or Monkey Tale) about the monkeys to your child and have them pick the monkey with which they identify. There are 12 “Monkey Tales” in all, each with an accompanying picture.

I did it with all three of my kids ages 4, 9 (4th grade) and 12 (7th grade). Grace just turned four in September and was a little young. She didn’t quite have the attention needed. But Faith, at 9, was ALL about it. She even wanted to discuss her answers. Colin, who was past the 6th grade cut off, was still interested in doing it and did not want to be left out. Both of the older kids were engaged in discussing which personality was theirs. I was surprised at how they seemed almost proud of the traits of that character – “Yep! I’m just like that!”

Once you complete the assessment, add your scores using the scoring sheet. (There are extra copies of it in the back. These ladies thought of everything!)

There is also a parent observation assessment to make sure what you think about your child and what they think about themselves match. Descriptions of each of the personalities list their strengths, struggles and needs. I love this part. When you understand how your child works, sometimes life is easier. It changes the way you explain things to them, what you use for encouragement and rewards and how you handle discipline.

For example, the Proper Melancholy (my Faith) needs separation from noise and clutter. That’s a little difficult with the 4 and 12 year old around. So, I know it’s important for her to retreat to her room sometimes.

There is also a mini adult personality profile. Once you know you own personality, you can flip to the back of the book and find out the best way for a Playful Sanguine to parent a Powerful Choleric. There are tips and tricks for every possible combination!

Since we know parenting can be messy, squishy and risky, this is a great tool to help you along the way! You can pick up a copy on Amazon if you click HERE. I don’t benefit from your purchase, but I promise you will thank me.

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