Temperament is a set of innate/inborn traits that help define our own unique character. Accepting our children and ourselves for who we are, is important for a healthy parent child relationship. There is a biological, neural, hormonal and hereditary basis for tem- perament. Temperament describes how we consistently respond to the world over time. Although there are no good or bad temperament traits it is the extremes of temper- ament, either low or high, that tend to be most challenging. Based on the research of Thomas and Chess, there are 9 temperament traits.
Whether or not a child’s temperament is problematic is often determined by a parent's perception of the child's temperament. What constitutes a challenge is a matter of paren- tal perception and the fit between the parent and child. For example a parent who is physically active will value a high activity level in a child, where as a sedentary parent would likely find a highly active child challenging. A shy parent may be happy to have an outgoing child who finds it easier to approach people or be uncomfortable being drawn into the child’s conversations with other people. It is only when temperament traits get in the way of learning and relationships that problems occur. In most cases allowances and adjustments in a parent's routine and approach are all that are needed to best work with their child's temperament while still honoring their own.
I suggest some great reference material in this post. There is also a link to a short online quiz called, "Temperament: How do you and your child compare?" The results of the quiz provide a graph comparing the parent and child temperament traits and it provides parenting suggestions based on the comparison.
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