Child Temperament & Child Personality

by : Donald Saunders

As individuals we all have our own temperament and personality but what many parents do not appreciate is that we are born with the former and that the later develops over time and is influenced considerably by our environment.

A child's temperament will include such things as his level of activity, how adaptable he is, how easily distracted he is and how sensitive he is.

For many parents a child's temperament becomes a source of frustration since the child is born with this and, despite the parent's best efforts, it cannot be changed to any substantial degree. If your child is naturally sensitive then you are not going to have much success in changing that, whatever you do.

The real problem for many parents is that they fail to see the advantage in the fact that a child's temperament is largely set at birth. Raising a child is immensely complex at the best of times, but having a fixed base from which to work has tremendous advantages and the secret is not to try to change your child's temperament but to work with it.

The fact that you know that your child is exceptionally active, is not easily distracted or demonstrates a particularly high level of emotional expression gives you an excellent basis for understanding your child and for devising a strategy which works with your child's temperament to help him to develop and to reach his full potential.

Personality by contrast is a whole different ball game and is a far more complex and less well understood area than temperament. Experts disagree widely about just what shapes a person's personality and the degree to which various factors influence the development of personality.

There is little doubt however that a child is born with at least the basis of his personality inherited from his parents and that his personality will be shaped by his environment and, to a degree, by his own experience and perception of that environment. There are however many other factor which come into play and such things as culture and the role by a child's parents are also extremely important is forming a child's personality.

Whatever view the so-called 'experts' might form about personality one thing is certain and that is that we can all recognize different types of personality fairly easily since personality, when all is said and done, is nothing more than those characteristics which make up the individual and set him apart from others. Your child may for example be serious, quiet and reserved or may be very assertive and outspoken. He may be a very organized and practical individual or may be particularly good with other people and be warm-hearted and popular.

Once again the secret is to recognize your child's personality but, in this case, to understand that personality is not set in stone and can be altered, within reason, with care and the right approach. A child who is assertive and outspoken could find himself making remarks which are likely to run him into trouble but, because this personality trait is not set in concrete, a parent has the opportunity to work with the child to help to curb this particular tendency.

Recognizing a child's temperament and personality, and understanding the strengths in each and the degree to which changes can be madeFree Web Content, is vital in helping parents to create a strategy on which to base their parenting style to ensure the best possible development for a child.