It Takes all Kinds!
Posted October 25, 2010on:
Temperaments are described as innate qualities that can often predict behavior and actions. When something happens and a person’s reactions are predictable you will hear “That’s just the way (he/she) is.” This is a statement that shows a person’s temperament.
There are often 3 temperaments that are used as descriptors for actions and behaviors.
“Feisty” – Do you know children (and adults) that are excited about everything? They love to speak their mind and can be seen as challenging and opinionated. Often the life of the party, feisty temperaments demand, and get, attention one way or the other. They are often leaders.
“Fearful” – These are the children (and adults!) that are slow to start, needing a little extra prodding and coaxing to join a group or attend a function. Yet once they are part of the mix, they do fine. These children and adults enter slowly then get their bearings. At times this initial hesitation can even be misinterpreted as disinterested or aloof. It is neither – they simply look before they leap.
“Flexible” – And there are also children and adults we know that are easy-going and just plain nice almost all of the time. They are predictable, even-tempered, adaptable and pleasant. These are the people you want to be around. A challenge to this temperament is that we are surprised when they “act out” or are ornery.
All of us have some of each of the above temperaments in the mix of our personalities. But we also have one temperament that overrides the others. As adults, we learn to adjust and temper our exchanges. We recognize appropriate words and actions. Children are just trying to figure this out.
Observe your child’s activity level and participation with others. Knowing a child’s temperament can help you help them. If your child hesitates to join a group, offer time for support and praise for effort as well as accomplishment. If your little one runs with abandon, be sure you are keeping a close eye and helping her learn limits. If loud noise startles your baby, find a balance between calm and playful. If your little one smiles and plays with everyone, help him be a friend.
As children age and become members of groups and teams, some will be leaders, some pleasant parts of the mix and some reluctant members. And as we know, this can change from day-to-day! Celebrate and respect your child for who they are.
“There is always room for everybody. Come in whoever you are!” Winnie the Pooh
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director