How to nurture your child based on their temperament

How a child reacts and responds to different situations will depend on their own individual temperament or natural disposition. As your child develops and you learn more about their temperament, you should be able to develop some parenting strategies based on your child’s natural motivations and sensibilities.

For example, some children are naturally more reactive than others. Reactive children will get over-excited easily or will exhibit strong feelings and emotions in response to various triggers.

Some children are naturally more sociable than others and as they grow and begin to meet others, you will learn more about your child’s social preferences.

Some children possess more self-regulation than others. They will find it easier to naturally control their impulses, actions and behaviours in general.

Temperamental differences are a wonderful thing, they help to make each child unique and special, and you may well have been noticing these differences since your child was a tiny baby. Some of the simple things we observe in young babies, such as sleeping better with background noise or liking lots if cuddles, can be great indicators of how their temperament might develop.

Parents and caregivers should try to work in harmony with a child’s natural disposition and use the parenting methods that are best suited to their individual personality. We can focus on enhancing our child’s most positive traits and offering our optimum support and guidance in any areas that our child finds challenging.

Parenting tips for:

Over-reactive children

Over-reactive children are easily excited but can get sad, angry and frustrated easily too. Focus on positivity and calming techniques for negative feelings, but also consider introducing some extra physical activities to burn off steam and expel any excess energy.

Under-reactive children

It is just as important to take note when a child is not responding or asserting their own thoughts and feelings. You may need to work on self-confidence by making a point of including them in discussions and activities or asking direct questions. Some children are also less energetic physically and may need extra encouragement.

Sociable children

Socialble children may be content with constant parties and playdates, but it is also important for children to enjoy quality parent-child time, and to accomplish certain activities on their own.

Less sociable children

Some children are never happier than playing alone with their favourite toy and an active imagination. This is a vital developmental experience for all children to master, but if you notice your child struggling to interact with others you may want to gradually introduce them to some group activities, somewhere they feel safe.

Self-regulated children

While a very self-regulated child may be a master of their own reactions and emotions, remaining persistent and patient until they succeed, they can also experience a great deal of self-criticism and self-analysis. It may be worth reminding them that mistakes, and learning through trial and error, are perfectly normal.

Less self-regulated children

Less self-regulated children may need extra support and encouragement when it comes to a challenge, but with a little extra guidance, you can help your child focus by appealing to their favourite interests and sentimentalities.

Remember that a child’s temperament is not set in stone, and may well change completely as they grow and experience life’s highs and lows. And your child’s temperament may be totally different from either or both parents…all the more reason to look forward to getting to know our unique and special little learners.


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