Understanding A Child’s Temperament

Understanding A Child’s Temperament

Every child has different traits. While there are many children who cannot manage their emotional experiences and expression with ease, there are some who are easy, calm and predictable. Of course, you cannot expect your child to behave in a certain way, all the time but each child has his/her own personality type, but it the personality of a child is very different from that of the other family members, it can be a challenge for everyone.

An Innate Quality

The ease with which a child adjusts or responds to the surrounding environment is largely influenced by temperament. Although it is modifiable up to some extent in the early years of life, temperament is an innate quality acquired by a child and the degree of modification depends upon his/her interaction and experiences with the outside world.

Behavioural Adjustment

By the time a child attends school, his/her temperament becomes quite apparent to everyone who knows the child well. This innate quality is not likely to change much in the future and your parenting skills have nothing to do with it. Nevertheless, the behavioral adjustment of a school going child is very dependent on how you interact with his/her temperament and how the world around responds to him/her.

Characteristics Of Temperament

According to his/her temperament, a child may be easy going, shy and difficult or challenging. The easy child responds to surroundings positively. A shy child may slowly adapt to unfamiliar surroundings and challenges and may respond to the world negatively, causing more behavioural problems and a strain on the family.

Thus, to be able to better understand your child and to deal with the problem of his/her not fitting in with the environment, you need to be aware of the following characteristics of temperament:

Activity And Intensity

While performing daily physical activities, a child demonstrates different energy levels, enthusiasm and fidgety behaviour. All these indicate temperament.

Approach And Withdrawal

How the child responds to new experiences. For example, being bold, rapid, slow or hesitant. The experience may be anything like meeting new people, new places or any other transition.


How flexible he or she is in adjusting to a new situation or the degree of difficulty faced by him/her when doing so.


How pleasantly a child gets involved in a conversation or shows any unfriendliness in words and behaviour while interacting with others.


Ability to concentrate on the task he/ she is involved in.


The ease with which a child can be distracted from his/her task by outside stimuli.

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