Temperament: what is it?
Temperament is the way children respond to the world.
You can think about your child’s temperament in terms of how much or how little they show of these three qualities:
Reactivity: this is how strongly children react to things like exciting events or not getting their own way. Reactive children tend to feel things strongly.
Self-regulation: this is how much children can control their behaviour, including the way they show their feelings. It’s also about how much children can control their attention and how persistent they are.
Sociability: this is how comfortable children are when they meet new people or have new experiences.
Children are born with their own temperaments, and you’ve probably been able to describe your child’s temperament since your child was a baby. For example, ‘Jade is very easygoing’ or ‘Luca likes routines’.
Adapting your parenting for your child’s temperament
You can’t change your child’s temperament. Your child is who they are, and that’s great.
But you can nurture your child’s development by adapting your parenting to your child’s temperament. You can help your child develop the positive parts of their temperament. And you can understand the situations that your child might find hard because of their temperament, and help them learn how to handle these situations.
Next time, we will suggest some ideas for adapting your parenting to your child’s temperament.