Deciphering Your Child’s Temperament
Sometimes, babies and toddlers can be mystifying. Their reactions to the world around them – including you – can range from angelic to cantankerous. And they can switch quickly, leaving mom and dad scratching their heads in bafflement. Experienced parents will often know how their little one’s temperament can change at the drop of a hat. But, new parents might find the experience exasperating.
Below, we’ll provide an overview of the most common dispositions young children adopt. While you may not be able to predict their moods and attitudes, you’ll at least be better prepared.
By The Book
The Textbook Toddler usually follows a predictable pattern. He may be shy in front of people he doesn’t know or has not visited with in awhile, but he’ll warm up with a little coaxing. He’s most comfortable when immersed in a routine; spontaneity is not his strong suit. If you’re planning to take him on a trip or outing, give him time to prepare. That way, he’ll be ready to adapt to the new environment.
The Delicate Attitude
The Touchy Toddler also takes time to absorb new environments. If she’s thrown into unfamiliar surroundings, she may become upset. New people can often cause her to retreat in shyness, but with a little time, she’ll usually come out of her shell. If she’s in comfortable surroundings, she will often become engrossed in what she’s doing (for example, playing with a toy) to the exclusion of most things around her.
A Little Unpredictable
The Spirited Toddler is usually up for anything. He’s the adventurous sort who is not frightened when he’s placed in new environments or situations. In fact, he’ll investigate anything that catches his curiosity, even reaching out to touch new people. On the other hand, if he’s disappointed, a tantrum can erupt. The challenge with a spirited child is to establish limits on what he can and cannot do, and focus his energy toward productive paths.
What A Grouch
To say the Grumpy Toddler is willful may be an understatement. In fact, it’s her way or the highway (in this case, highway usually means fussing or an outburst). Along with her willfulness, she’s also incredibly independent, often shunning others and preferring her own company. You can set her alone with her toys and expect that she’ll keep herself occupied for a long period. That said, communication is often frustrating and she may let you know about her disappointment with crying or screaming.
Every Parent’s Dream
The Angel Toddler lives up to his name. Social, usually happy, and able to easily adapt to new situations, he rarely throws a tantrum or creates a fuss. That’s not to suggest he never becomes upset. Rather, during those times when he is disappointed or frustrated, his focus can be diverted before his emotions get the better of him.
Most children can be narrowed down to one main temperament, which makes it easier for moms and dads to create a routine. However, they can, and do, switch. Use the descriptions above to identify your little one’s mood and provide the support he needs.