The primary function of this gift is to reveal information the Perceiver has discerned in a way that will help others. In a child, what this looks like can be both amazing and frightening. This is the type of child who will “know” if a person is “bad” but may not be able to explain it. Thus, their explanation (or resulting behavioral reaction) can sometimes appear direct, blunt, or inconsiderate of the feelings of others. This is a classic case of the gift being misunderstood because their real intention is to help and warn people. As parents, we can teach them how to express negative feelings in an appropriate way.
Perceivers have a protective, loyal nature. They see things in black and white, with no “gray” area. Since their gift allows them to “see” what is wrong in people and situations, they are natural problem solvers. They enjoy a challenge and tend to be entrepreneurial, creative, or inventive.
Another behavioral tendency intrinsic to Perceivers is their intense disdain for injustice. This gift provides strong motivation to “stand up for what is right.” Perceivers apply their values and convictions to everyday life. Often Perceivers are passionate about a principle or cause and have the right message but present it as a zealot and repel the audience they needed to attract. We need to teach our Perceiver children that how they present a message will be a large measure of their success.
Recognize and identify injustice
Quickly identify morally wrong actions
Fewer friends than other gifts due to high standard
What motivates a child with a Server gift is helping someone else. Parents can see this from the toddler stage of childhood. Many children quickly identify with being “Mom or Dad’s helper.” They willingly comply in putting items in the trash or picking up toys when told it will “help” make the room clean. They are usually the first to lend a hand and show their loyalty in actions rather than words.
Servers love to assist rather than lead out in the forefront. Perhaps this is why they tend to have quiet, happily obedient, and reserved personalities. Do not mistake this for being uninterested. These children are high-energy and see their value as working efficiently, staying on task, and completing a job. Servers identify strongly with what they “do” and if their help is rejected, they may feel personally rejected.
Server children are self-starters. As they mature, they will be quick to see when something needs to be done. As parents we can encourage them at home to take the initiative (when the task is safe and appropriate). They tend to be organized and neat compared to children with different gifts and thrive on routine tasks. Routine tasks reinforce the feeling of safety, achievement, and approval for the Server.
Children with a serving gift are naturally cooperative. In school or social settings, Server children prefer to work in subgroups as a team. This is more comfortable for them than competing with the more aggressive speaking gifts of Perceiver, Teacher, Encourager, or Ruler.
Since their personality is quiet and reserved, they take a bit longer to “warm up” to new people. As a parent, you may find that in new social settings (such as a new Sunday school class or daycare) that you need to stay around a little longer until they feel comfortable. These are not the children that do well with a quick “drop and go.”
Tends to be quiet, shy
Exhorters have an ability to call forth the best in others through encouragement and motivation. Naturally, children with this gift feel comfortable around people and tend to have extraverted personalities. Often the
An Exhorter is the kid who becomes the “life of the party.”
They tend to have charisma and attract a large circle of friends. Exhorters want to see their friends succeed and like to cheer them on. Anecdotal research shows that Exhorters not only encourage others but also like to give practical advice. Do not be surprised if your child’s friends seek them out for their opinions and counsel.
This gift can result in a gregarious personality. Exhorters are usually well liked for their fun personality and gain influence with their peers. It is common for Exhorters to become the leaders of their peers. Exhorters often find themselves in positions of leadership by default due to their optimism, motivation, and inspiration to others. As parents, we need to caution Exhorters of the responsibility and work that comes with leadership and that it is not about being popular and fun.
Exhorter children do have a large circle of friends and can compromise their standards to avoid conflict. Interestingly, although they are good candidates for leadership, parents will need to coach them not to lower their standards to “go along with the crowd”. We can also help them learn when it is appropriate to confront as an Exhorter gift is the best at explaining to others how to improve and succeed.
Social butterfly, talkative
Optimistic, positive outlook
Large circle of friends
Fun, gregarious personality
The gift of mercy is concerned with injustice because of the desire to rescue the victims of injustice. A child with a gift of mercy is careful to consider the feeling of others. They are kind and thoughtful children. Unfortunately, most people are not as considerate toward them. Of the seven motivational gifts, Mercy children get their feelings hurt the easiest.
As parents, we will need to teach a Mercy child about their feelings and encourage them to talk things out. Once wounded emotionally, a Mercy child tends to retreat or isolate themselves. If you are a parent to one of these gifted children, they require a daily dose of hugs and smiles.
Like the gift of giving, the gift of mercy also enables one to be patient and gracious toward others. When the patience of others runs out, a person with the gift of mercy can continue to be gracious and kind. As parents of Mercy children, we will need to respond differently when disciplining them. For example, what works well with a Ruler or Perceiver child may emotionally devastate a child with the gift of Mercy.
They are helpful children. A Mercy child is not as quick as a Server child to see what needs to be done. However, they happily comply when asked and work better with company than alone. They take particular interest in “helping” versus “working” to complete tasks. For example, if they know you are tired and have too much left to do, their heart motivates them to help you. It isn’t about achievement or completion of the task. For a child with the gift of mercy, it is knowing they brought you some relief or comfort.
- Considerate of the feelings of others
- Desire to rescue those hurt or in trouble
- Gets feelings hurt easily
Children with the gift of teaching are very inquisitive. They love to learn and share with others what they have learned. Hence, a gift of teaching is one of the “speaking gifts.” A Teacher child will usually be wordy and talkative. This doesn’t necessarily mean a child with a teaching gift will be a social butterfly. Often these children are gifted intellectually and enjoy solitude as their minds are quite busy.
Children with the gift of teaching typically enjoy reading and writing (unless there is a learning disability). They are drawn to experimenting, investigating, exploring, or researching new things they have learned. Since their mind is always running and exploring new concepts, ideas, or stories, they tend to be self-starters. However, children with the gift of teaching get bored easily with routine tasks and need intellectual stimulation to stay focused.
The gift of teaching pushes the child to gain further understanding. These children can appear to be argumentative when they are really trying to gain more clarification. As a parent, understanding this aspect of a child’s teaching gift can alleviate unnecessary tension and conflict. However, a Teacher child will be a skilled debater and parents may need to coach them in how to make their point without manipulating a conversation.
- Inquisitive, asks lots of questions
- Logical thinker
- Wordy, verbose
- Loves to learn, study, read
- Effective communicator
Children with the gift of giving have a generous attitude. If they see someone in need, they respond. They are good at sharing their things with other children and are not “territorial.” One trait that characterizes these kids is how they enjoy giving more than receiving. These children are fulfilled by knowing the gift they gave brought joy and help to someone whether the recipient knows the source or not.
Givers are thoughtful and deliberate about what they give.
They tend to be frugal children, saving and not wasting. They are industrious workers, volunteering to work on projects to help someone else. Often they will give away their time and energy to assist others in practical ways such as mowing an elderly neighbor’s lawn, shoveling snow from their sidewalk, or delivering hot meals.
A fascinating trait of many Giver children is their talent to make and save money. Even as young children Givers are entrepreneurial in their thinking. Often Giver children start their own businesses, such as lawn work, babysitting, selling baked goods door-to-door, etc. Their motivation is to make money, so they can use it to benefit others.
Even if this entrepreneurial tendency is not see in childhood, Givers often find themselves managing or working in positions that require financial and mathematical proficiency as adults (accounting, financial planning, investing, budget analysts, accounts payable departments, or handling finances for organizations in some way). There are some Givers who do not experience the financial aspect of their gift. In these cases, a Giver is still compelled to meet a particular need of others through a specific call on their life. A true giver is motivated to be generous and gracious.
Children with the gift of developing are rather easy to identify. They like to be in charge. Even as children, Developers realize they have an ability that others do not. They can lead others to accomplish a common goal and succeed. These children are capable of planning, organizing, and setting up a method for others to follow.
A child with a Developer gift, may put together schedules for everyone to use. When playing with friends, they may organize them into groups and hand out lists. At first, this may seem overbearing or controlling. However, knowing your child’s gift allows you to understand the reason behind that behavior. Schedules and lists help everyone to make steady progress toward accomplishing a common goal. Accomplishments are motivation for the Developer. As parents, recognizing those accomplishments is a special way to affirm your Developer child.
They tend to be assertive and plan ahead. So naturally, Developers can appear bossy to other people who do not understand the gift and motivation behind it. As adults, this gifting enables one to see the “big picture.” The Developer has an ability to look ahead for possibilities and dangers, communicate this to the people, and guide them to a successful completion.
Likes to be in charge