The Temperament Corner

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Nine Temperament Traits

by Maxine
Posted July 30 2010 02:55pm
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There are nine Temperament Traits and each trait has a high and low version.  While there is lots of variation, it’s the high and low versions that are the most challenging to parent.  Read through the descriptions below and see if your child fits any of them. When you're done, you can use a variety of Comfort, Play & Teach stratagies that are tailored to the nine temperament traits.  

Activity:

  • Low Activity – this child is laid back and content to watch others be active, these children may prefer more sedentary activities.
  • High Activity – these children are the squirmers.  Even as babies they wave their arms, kick their legs and wriggle their bodies non-stop.  These children are always on the go.

Adaptability:

  • Low Adaptability – this child finds it hard to move from one part of their day to the next.
  • High Adaptability – these children transition from one activity to the next with no problem.  They accept your leadership and easily go from sleep to wake, from house to car or from playtime to bathtime.

Approach:

  • Low Approach – this child is shy – very tentative or cautious in new situations.
  • High Approach – these children are very enthusiastic about new people and new situations.  They seem bold!

Distractibility:

  • Low Distractibility – this child doesn’t notice much.  These children don't easily stop what they're doing—no matter how enticing the distraction might be!
  • High Distractibility – these children are easily sidetracked from one thing to another. 

Intensity:

  • Low Intensity – this child is mellow and calm.
  • High Intensity – these children are the big responders.  They squeal delightedly with happiness and shriek with despair.

Persistence:

  • Low Persistence – this child gives up easily in face of failure.
  • High Persistence – these children continue to do what they want—even when they're faced with obstacles.

Positivity/Mood:

  • Low Positivity – this child is serious and more difficult to please.  These children find it hard to have a positive attitude when they experience a setback. These children may not smile or laugh very easily.
  • High Positivity – these children are just generally sunny, cheerful and resilient in the face of setbacks. These are the children that may smile and laugh more frequently.

Regularity:

  • Low Regularity – this child is hard to predict.  It's difficult to tell when they're hungry or tired.
  • High Regularity – these children seem to have internal clocks that keep them on a predictable schedule, and they don't like to deviate!

Sensitivity:

  • Low Sensitivity – this child is blissfully unaware of things in their environment that bother others such as light, temperature, noise, textures and tastes.  These children don't easily pick up on interpersonal signals.
  • High Sensitivity – these children react strongly to even mild lights, sounds, textures, tastes and pain.  They are super sensitive to even mild stimuli, and are profoundly distressed by thunderstorms or wet diapers.

 

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Temperament Trait Strategies: Adaptability

by Maxine
Posted July 30 2010 04:26pm
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Adaptability: On The Temperament Wheel, is your child high or low? 

Low Adaptability – this child finds it hard to move from one part of their day to the next.

Comfort

  • Acknowledge his successes in adapting to change, such as going from supper to the bath.  This helps your child feel good about his day.

Play

  • Use play to take small steps toward big changes that are on the horizon.  For example, if your baby is very attached to eating from a blue plate—and you know that this can't last—make a game out of eating from different coloured plates. This helps your child learn to adapt to changes that cannot be avoided. This will make her social and emotional life much easier.

Teach

  • Use the "small steps" approach to help your child adapt to unavoidable changes. When you break down big changes into small steps, it makes them less traumatic.  This also helps your child learn to trust you to guide him through life's big challenges.

 

High Adaptability These children transition from one activity to the next with no problem.  They accept your leadership and easily go from sleep to wake, from house to car or from playtime to bathtime.

Comfort

  • Show your baby that you are thrilled when she makes a choice for herself.

Play

  • Provide your baby with play opportunities where he is the leader. For example, let him decide what to play and where to play.  This helps your child learn to be a leader—even though he more naturally accommodates to others wishes.

Teach

  • Teach her who to trust and who not to trust.  This helps her learn to evaluate people, and not just go along with whoever is around.

 

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Temperament Trait Strategies: Approach

by Maxine
Posted July 30 2010 04:29pm
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Approach : On The Temperament Wheel, is your child high or low? 

Low Approach this child is shy – very tentative in new situations.

Comfort

  • Comfort and support your baby when he attempts to reach out to other people. "Blow Grandma a kiss."  Little by little, this helps your child learn to trust other people.

Play

  • Allow your child to play with other children. Support his efforts when he approaches other children. Find one or two other children to play with regularly. This helps your child learn to enjoy time spent with other children.

Teach

  • Use the "small steps" approach to help your baby learn how to overcome her shyness. Break down the challenge into very small steps. Reward each one. For example, start by just waving at a new person. This gradually helps your child learn to approach other people by herself.

 

High Approach – these children are very enthusiastic about new people and new situations.  They seem bold!

Comfort

  • Support your child’s outgoing nature with lots of encouragement. This helps him learn to work well with other people.

Play

  • Keep an eye on your baby during play because she likes people and things that are new. She cannot yet judge whether these are safe or dangerous. This helps her learn how to judge whether new situations are safe or not.

Teach

  • Acknowledge your child for avoiding risky behaviour. This helps your child be safer.

 

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Temperament Trait Strategies: Distractability

by Maxine
Posted July 30 2010 04:34pm
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Distractibility : On The Temperament Wheel, is your child high or low? 

Low Distractibility – this child doesn’t notice much.  These children don't easily stop what they're doing—no matter how enticing the distraction might be!

Comfort

  • Give your child comfort when you interrupt his concentration. For example, say, "I know that you love playing with your new truck, but we have to go to story time at the library now." This helps your child feel that you value him—even if he doesn't like being interrupted.

Play

  • Give your child many different types of activities, such as blocks, clay, jumper swing and pull toy. This encourages her to break her concentration and move on to new things. This helps her learn to transition more easily from one activity to another—even though she concentrates greatly on each one.

Teach

  • Help your baby maintain a balance in his activities—from heavy concentration to a variety of stimulating activities. This helps your child become more well-rounded.

 

High Distractibility – these children are easily sidetracked from one thing to another.  In extreme cases they have Attention Deficit Disorder.

Comfort

  • Acknowledge your child when he completes one task before moving on to the next. This helps him feel proud of his accomplishment.

Play

  • Reduce the distractions among your child's playthings. These children are easily overwhelmed by clutter and volume of toys. This will help your child be more likely to play and learn successfully with one or two things.

Teach

  • Give lots of guidance and support to help your child maintain her attention on the task at hand.  This helps your child learn that paying attention is valued by others.

 

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