This month I would like to share some information about children’s temperaments from an article I read on a helpful website called Zero to Three. https://www.zerotothree.org.
Temperament shapes a child’s behavior and development in meaningful ways, so understanding a child’s temperament is very vital for nurturing healthy development. For example, if you know that a child has a tough time with changes, you can expect and understand why drop-off time in the morning is so complicated for them. You could speak to your child’s caregiver about ways to make this morning ritual easier. For example, the parent might create a good-bye routine (like a special song and hug) that is especially comforting for the child.
A child’s behavior and temperament are influenced by his/her encounters, including interactions with you. For example, children who are slow-to-warm-up to new people and experiences can become more comfortable in these situations when their parents and caregivers slowly and thoughtfully help them adjust.
Temperament is neither something a child chooses nor something that parents create in their child. It is very important for children to be recognized for who they are. It is accurate, though, that some temperaments are easier to handle than others. An extreme, spontaneous child can be more difficult to soothe than a more laid-back child; a child who is very shy and slow-to-warm-up may require more time and support to feel relaxed joining a group of children.
Remember, the goal is not to change the child but to help him/her thrive by nurturing strengths and providing support when needed. By watching and learning from your child, you can begin to help each adapt, learn, and feel more confident in the world.
Director of Delaware Child Development