What kind of personality does my toddler have?
You are not alone if you have tried to work out your toddlers current, or future personality, it is something we
all think about as parents.
Unfortunately for most of us, these thoughts, and discussions about our child’s temperament, usually come up
when we are faced with push back, out of this world big emotions and epic melt downs, when it’s time to
leave the park. When we look a little deeper, the range of temperaments toddlers can have are actually mind
blowing. Every toddler is unique in their own way, and they certainly come under a lot more “headings” as well
as better phrases than, “good and bad”, “hard or easy”.
What exactly are toddler temperaments?
Toddler temperaments refer to the inherent and unique characteristics that dictate a child’s emotional and
behavioural responses to different situations. Those sometimes-extreme differences from one toddler to
another. These temperaments can test us, make us question our parenting and compare ourselves to others.
We have all observed the toddler, that was told they couldn’t have the chocolate bar in the Coles checkout,
and now they are screaming the place down. Meanwhile, another toddler doesn’t even notice, let alone ask
for the chocolate bar and sits quietly as the parents pay for the shopping.
These temperaments vary widely from toddler to toddler and understanding them, can help parents and
educators better respond to each toddler’s needs. Some common toddler temperaments
Easy-going: These toddlers tend to be adaptable and a little more chilled out.
Shy or slow-to-warm-up: These toddlers may need more time to adjust to new people or situations,
and they may be more hesitant or cautious in their interactions.
Active or high-energy: These toddlers are constantly on the go, and they may have a harder time
Intense or sensitive: These toddlers may have strong emotional reactions to different situations, and
they may need extra support and reassurance.
Understanding your toddler’s temperament can help guide your parenting approach to best support their
unique needs and personality. Temperaments play a big part in not only how we view our child but also how
we parent them. Sounds quite simple really, rethinking how we view these little creatures will undeniably take
some pressure off.
Let’s take a look at the strong-willed toddler that only wants to feed himself;
We can go about parenting this temperament tpe in 2 ways with 2 vvery different outcomes:
- We can persist with trying to help feed him as we are concerned for how much he is eating or the
mess he is making, but inevitably we are going to end up with a huge fight on our hands, exhausted
from trying to fight him, probably close to the same mess, and his mouth will still be shut (Parent sighs
and smacks hand to own forehead)
- We can let go of the mess we know is coming, guide and offer the opportunity for autonomy with encouragement verses taking over, and work with that independent temperament, it may make the whole experience a
whole lot messier but a little less hectic.
How to parent toddlers with challenging temperaments?
Sometimes we need to rethink our strategies for different toddler temperaments. To better understand how
to parent children with different temperaments, it’s helpful to approach them as we would adults. Just as
adults have unique personality traits, so do children. By taking the time to get to know and understand our
toddlers on a deeper level, we can support the toddler in the way that works for them and us.
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