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Although there are fundamental truths about parenting that hold for all parents and all children, the specific ways that you live these rules in your daily life, with each child and in all different situations, will vary from child to child and parent to parent.

This makes the discussion of ideal parenting pretty complicated.

And so--instead of jumping into everything at once, we suggest one step at a time--even one sub-step at a time!

STEP ONE: Get acquainted with your child's preferences, temperament and type.

*Go to the Sorter Gateway and choose either the Early Child Sorter or the Middle Child Sorter buy button.

** When you complete each sorter you will receive a brief description of your child's preferences, the two letter temperament, and four letter Type. Take your time reading all this. Reading it more than once, thinking about your child as you do so, will be useful.

*** Click on the Home page and scroll down to bring up pictures of your child's four preferences. Spend time thinking about all of this--how it fits with your child's behaviors and with the things that are easy and the things that are hard about parenting this child.

STEP TWO: Get acquainted with your own preferences, temperament and Type

*Take the Adult Sorter for yourself by going to the Adult Sorter on the Sorter Gateway

** Encourage your partner to do the same.

***Look at the SP and SJ pictures, or the NF and NT pictures and see how these adult temperament-based activities fit you.

****Read about your results more than once. Let it settle in and become a part of you.

Now go to Temperament Stories on the menu bar and read about some fictional child and adult stories. Especially read about the Types in your Sorters!

STEP THREE: The Essential parent manual

*Get into and let yourself slowly absorb our parenting manual--Parenting by Temperament: Full Revised Edition

**Spend thoughtful time on the chapters on Responsiveness (nurturing) and on Demandingness (discipline and learning) 101, 201 and 301.

***Move on to reading more on the Preferences, Temperaments and Type. (At least in the beginning, you can safely skip over chapters that don't apply to your family).

****Read about (and read again) the chapters on integrating preferences and temperament with Responsiveness and Demandingness. In these chapters you will get a lot of new information on parenting strengths, weaknesses, and stretching exercises to help you do better.

*****Finally look at the section Adding Grace to your Parenting Design: Working with your Child's Temperament. Here we discuss stretching exercises for children to strengthen their skills on their non-preferred side--for example--helping an introverted child to be more comfortable in groups, and helping an extraverted child to be more comfortable playing alone.