After what seems like a very quick year, September is here and brings with it a new term and the start of another academic year. Children are going back to school and school leavers are moving away from home to start college or university. This can be a massive adjustment for many families and parents may struggle with the fallout of their children leaving home for the first time.
Whilst adjusting to an empty nest, many parents may feel an increase in stress, and this can show itself in different behaviours that can really challenge a relationship. So what might this look like for each style and how can couples successfully navigate the new season?
D styles are dominant, doer styles. They are fast-paced and task–focused. D styles are direct and when stressed they will become even more so. They will be louder, faster, and more demanding. Any plans made for after a child leaves home, they will want to get started on them immediately.
An I style is an influencer. They are fast-paced and people-focused. When stressed an I style, similar to a D, will become louder and faster, however, they will also become more frantic. Everything they say will be exaggerated and an I-style parent will miss having a house full of people and will possibly try to make up for it by spontaneously inviting friends and neighbours over just to fill the space, or taking up new hobbies.
S styles are supporters, they are steady-paced and people-focused. When an S style is stressed, they will become withdrawn, avoiding any conflict. They will be quieter and less likely to seek out social situations for fear of being a burden on others.
The conscientious considerers, C-styles are steady-paced and task-focused. They will become reclusive and quiet. However, they will also be rigorous in making sure that their plans are organised and scheduled. They will know the term timetable and will be prepared for when their child would be coming back from the school or university holidays.
When parents and couples have different DISC styles, it can be difficult to navigate how to deal with their partner’s exaggerated stress-induced behaviour, and little irritations might start to aggravate more. This can cause tension at home and after the first term at a new university or college, their children might find that they return to an awkward and intense home environment.
In times of change and stress it is important to be aware of your behaviour, acknowledge it and learn how to adapt. You can use DISC to do this and we have given some ideas, by style below.
A D style will respond well to confrontation. They like to be challenged and given new tasks and projects to focus on. If your partner is a D style and is being too direct or rushing to complete your plans. Don’t be afraid to challenge them or create a list of jobs that need doing around the house that you can use to channel their driven nature.
I styles like to have fun and be the centre of attention. If your partner is struggling with an empty nest and craving some social interaction, surprise them with a date night or an exciting activity that the two of you can enjoy together. You could also host a weekly game night or dinner party to help them adjust to a quieter home and reduce their stress levels.
Make sure to let your S-style partner know that they are not a burden. That what they feel when stressed is valid. Encourage them to take time for themselves and do what will make them feel happy. They may want to help you with something, if you don’t need any help, let them assist you anyway. An S style likes to feel that they are useful, and they enjoy doing things for others.
Help your C-style partner by organising things in advance. Give as much detail as possible and make sure they know where they are going, who else is going to be there and what appropriate clothes they need to wear. If you make any plans with your partner, remember them and show up on time. Try to keep on top of your schedule as much as they will, put in the effort to be just as organised and your C-style partner will be happy.
Do you and your partner feel like you could do with re-connecting with each other? Does a quieter house not quite feel as fun as you thought it would? A change in life can often cause you to feel deeply and cause behaviour that might seem erratic or out of character to your spouse or partner. DISCsimple is now providing a new profile for couples. DISC Couples can help you better understand your and your partner’s behavioural styles allowing you to better improve your communication and relationship with one another.
This blog was written by the immensely talented Joe (blogs) Quintana. Connect with him on LinkedIn
Keeping things simple in a complicated world.
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