THE EARTH-SIGN CHILD may appear more mature than he or she really is, for earth-signs are the most sensible and practical of all the elements. They get great satisfaction from being useful, helpful, and productive, and in doing a good job. To be happiest the earth child needs to feel that he or she is competent in practical matters. Mastering practical skills and learning "grown-up" tasks are very important to him or her. They want to know how the world works, and to be effective in it. The earth-sign child will gladly be an apprentice to any grown up that is willing to teach him or her "how-to" in a real, hands-on way. Being concrete-minded and down-to-earth, this child prefers to learn by doing or to be shown rather than to be told about or to read about a subject.

Because earth-signs prefer to stick with the tried-and-true, they are not usually known for their innovative or imaginative thinking. Even the most creatively inclined of them have an urge to make something functional and useful—something that fills a real need. Beauty may be important to them but they are quite utilitarian also. Learning to sew, to do carpentry, to work with wood or clay, to fix things around the house, or simply to do chores makes them feel good about themselves. Conversely, if they fail or feel inefficient at some task, they are apt to feel inadequate as people. Giving them tasks that are appropriate for their age and not beyond their capacity to learn to do well is important.

Because they are generally reliable, earth-sign children often have responsibilities thrust upon them, and parents of an earthy child will often come to expect more adult behavior of him or her than is fair.

These children need discipline and may feel quite uncertain and insecure if there are no firm limits and boundaries set for them. They need and want to know what to expect. They can become sticklers for rules, and they don't like to deviate from the regular order of their lives. Making frequent changes upsets them for they are not very flexible, but earthy children are generally quite hardy and sturdy (except Virgo, at times). There is definitely a conservative streak in them, and even as teenagers they do, indeed, keep their feet on the ground.

THE EARTH-SIGN CHILD: These two have different rhythms: The air-sign parent is quick, adaptable, flexible, and essentially open, while the earthy child is slower, deliberate, and resistant to rapid movement or change. It is very important for the parent to realize that this child craves predictability. Trust for earth-signs is based on dependable behavior on the part of others, and the parent must be reliable and consistent towards this child. Especially, back up talk, words, and promises with action. What may seem like a spontaneous and perfectly acceptable change in plans to the air-sign parent can seem like a betrayal to the earth sign child. Also, the air-sign parent's playing banter may often be misunderstood by the concrete-minded and literal earth-sign child.

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