You have probably already figured this out, but there are some characteristics that children just seem born with. These characteristics make up a child’s temperament. Some children are noisier than others. Some are more cuddly than others. Some have more regular sleep patterns than others.
There’s a great video explaining temperament below, but first, chew on these thoughts.
If you recognize and accept your child’s temperament, you are on the path to parenting greatness. Greatness being defined as parenting with wit and wisdom...picture Yoda. Here are a few reasons why:
- Understanding your child’s temperament can help you better understand why he acts the way he does.
- You can anticipate issues that might present difficulties for your child and prepare the child for the situation (or avoid it altogether if appropriate)
- You can tailor their parenting strategies at home (including discipline) to the particular temperamental characteristics of your child.
- Being aware keeps you from blaming your child (or you're parenting) for issues that are “normal” for her temperament.
Can we get real for a moment? Sometimes, our child’s temperament is not a comfortable fit for our temperament as parents. How you experienced this rub? A “slow to warm up” child can be a challenge for a parent who is the life of the party. A child who is very “active” can be draining for a parent who prefers quiet days at home.
Wise parents are attuned to the differences between themselves and their children and remain (1) flexible in their expectations and (2) provide coaching/encouragement instead of pressuring a child. If parents, for example, know their child is slow to warm up, allowing the child extra time to adapt will help the child to adjust. A child who is highly active cannot be expected to sit through a long dinner without outlets for her energy.
What WDS Believes:
God hardwired children in wonderful and unique ways. Just like snowflakes, no two children are the same. Each is unique from other children and from their parents. Children blossom when they are appreciated for who God made them to be. In equal measure, God has equipped children with the ability to grow and learn through experience with the support loving parents and teachers. Children can learn skills in areas that might not come naturally to their temperament: learning to focus attention, persist in a difficult task, make new friends in a new classroom. That’s an important part of what preschool is all about.
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.”
Ready to learn more? This short video provides a great overview.