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ˈtemp(ə)rəmənt/ (noun)

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Presentation on theme: "ˈtemp(ə)rəmənt/ (noun)"— Presentation transcript:

1 ˈtemp(ə)rəmənt/ (noun)
Temperament ˈtemp(ə)rəmənt/ (noun) a set of in-born traits that organize the child's approach to the world

2 What is Temperament? In the late 1950’s, temperament research began with the work of Alexander Thomas and Stella Chess. The New York Longitudinal Study identified 9 temperament characteristics or traits that researchers suggest are present at birth and continue to influence development in important ways throughout life. Research suggests that temperament is thought to be a set of relatively stable tendencies to respond in certain ways.

3 Temperament influences a child’s behavior and the way they interact with others It is their personal “style” While temperament does not clearly define or predict behavior, understanding a child’s temperament can help parents better understand how each child responds and relates to the world around them.

4 Each of us is capable of learning techniques to help us moderate our “extreme” traits. These tendencies can be magnified, downplayed, or changed in quality depending on the nature of one’s encounters in the environment.

5 Video About Discipline and Temperament

6 Researchers Have Identified 9 Traits That Depict a Child’s Temperament
Activity Level of the child either high or low Biological Rhythms or regularity of bodily functions Approach or Withdrawal in new situations Mood quality either pleasant or not Intensity of Reaction either high or low Sensitivity to sensory stimuli Adaptability to new situations or people Distractibility either high or low Persistence Level either high or low

7 Activity Level This trait refers to a child’s “idle speed” when there is no extended stimulus to be active. Generally speaking, how active is the child? Does the infant wiggle or squirm most of the time? Or does the child have difficulty sitting still?

8 Biological Rhythms: This trait refers to the predictability of biological functions like appetite, elimination and sleep. Does the child get hungry or tired at predictable times? Or, is it difficult to predict when the child will be interested in eating or resting? Does the child have a bowel movement at predictable times each day or not?

9 Approach/Withdrawal:
This trait refers to the child's characteristic response to a new situation or to strangers. Does the child eagerly approach new situations or people? Perhaps the child initially withdraws, is shy and timid and needs time to adjust? Or, does the child seem hesitant and resistant when faced with new people or things?

10 Mood: This is the tendency to respond to the world primarily in a positive or negative way. Does the child often express a negative outlook OR is he or she generally a positive child? Does his/her mood shift frequently OR is he/she usually even-tempered? Is the child generally in a happy, cheerful mood or is my child generally fussy, unpleasant or serious/neutral?

11 Intensity: This trait refers to the output of energy or level of mood expression, either positive or negative. Does the baby react strongly and loudly to most things, even relatively minor events? Does the child show pleasure or displeasure intensely and dramatically? Or, does the child get calm, quiet or withdraw when upset?

12 Sensitivity: This is relative to how sensitive the child is to physical stimuli. It is the amount of stimulation needed to produce a response in the child. Does the child startle easily to sounds? How sensitive is the child is to potentially irritating stimuli (e.g. loud noises, temperature, bright lights, crowds, textures, or tastes)? Is the child bothered by such outside stimuli, do they tend to ignore or seek such things?

13 Adaptability: Related to how easily the child adapts to transitions or change in routine, like switching to a new activity. Does the child have difficulty with changes in routines, or with transitions from one activity to another? Does the child take a long time to become comfortable to new situations? Does the child want his or her surroundings to stay the same?

14 Distractibility: This trait refers to how easily one can be distracted from an activity. Is the baby easily distracted by sounds or sights while drinking a bottle? Does the child become sidetracked easily when attempting to follow a routine or working on some activity? Is the child easily distracted from what they are doing or can they shut out external distractions and focus?

15 Persistence: This is the length of time a child continues with activities in the face of obstacles. Does the child continue to work on a puzzle when he has difficulty with it or does he just move on to another activity? Is the child often stubborn and unwilling or unable to give up? Can she/he stick with an activity a long time or does his/her mind tend to wander?

16 The Three Basic Temperament Types
Easy or flexible children tend to be happy, regular in sleeping and eating habits, adaptable, calm, and not easily upset. (40% of all children) Active or difficult children may be fussy, irregular in feeding and sleeping habits, fearful of new people and situations, easily upset by noise and stimulation, and intense in their reactions. (10% of all children)

17 The Three Basic Temperament Types
3. Shy, slow to warm-up or cautious children may be less active or tend to be fussy, and may withdraw or respond negatively to new situations; but over time they may become more positive with repeated exposure to a new person, object, or situation. (15% of all children) Note: 35% of children don’t fit into these categories but are a combination of them depending on outside factors.

18 Why is Knowledge of Parent /Child Temperament Important?
It can help you better understand each child’s individual differences. It can facilitate “goodness-of-fit” which supports bonding and attachment. By understanding temperament, you can learn how to help your child express their preferences, desires, and feelings appropriately. You can also use understanding of temperament to avoid blaming your child for responses that are typical for them.

19 Why is Knowledge of Parent /Child Temperament Important?
You can learn to anticipate issues before they occur and avoid frustrating yourself and your child by using approaches that do not match their temperament. The child’s abilities to develop and behave in socially acceptable ways are greatly determined by the adults in their lives trying to identify, recognize and respond to their unique temperament. By understanding temperament, the adults can alter or adjust their parenting methods to be a positive guide in their child’s natural way of responding to the world.

20 Why is Knowledge of Parent /Child Temperament Important?
It can also guide you to identify your children’s strengths and the kind of support they need to succeed in their relationships and in life. Remember that your temperament style must be considered as well! The goal is to develop a keen awareness of the temperaments of both you and your child and with that information build “goodness of fit.”

21 Why is Knowledge of Parent /Child Temperament Important?
Take a few minutes: Turn to the person next to you and discuss your own temperament style.

22 Parenting With Temperament in Mind
The experts suggest it is best not to try to change a child’s inborn traits but to consider ways to help them manage their impulses better. Learn to distinguish between behavior that is temperament induced and that which is learned. Remember that your child probably is not purposely trying to be difficult or irritating. Don’t blame him or yourself. When parents get a clear picture of their own temperamental traits, they can pinpoint areas in which conflicts with their child arise due to temperament clashing. When there is temperament friction between parent and child, it is more reasonable to expect that the parent will make the first move to adapt.

23 Parenting With Temperament in Mind
When a parent or caregiver understands the child's temperament, he or she can organize the environment so that "goodness of fit" can happen. Through understanding temperament, we are able to guide and support rather than punish. Remember that all temperament qualities can be shaped to work to a child’s advantage if they are sensitively managed. Develop specific plans ahead of time to cope with troublesome behavior and enforce them in a compassionate yet firm way. Anticipate high risk situations and try to avoid and minimize them.

24 Parenting With Temperament in Mind
Be attuned to your child’s temperament and encourage her to accomplish tasks at her own rate and style. It is in your power to help your child cope with their temperament and to eventually understand himself better. Enjoy the interactions and differences in each of your children.

25 For Slow-to-Adapt Children:
Parenting Strategies For Slow-to-Adapt Children: This is a child who typically stands at the edge of the group and clings to a parent or who shows distress in new situations. Establish clear routines and prepare the child by discussing plans for the day when the routine changes. Be patient and supportive. If your child is pressured to join the group, the child’s decisional hesitancy or shyness immediately becomes worse. If allowed to become accustomed to new situations at his/her own pace, he/she can usually adapt.

26 For Very Intense Children:
Parenting Strategies For Very Intense Children: Provide activities that are soothing such as: warm bath, massage, water play and stories. Recognize cues that signal his/her intensity is rising. Help your child to recognize those cues as well. Be consistent with rules and follow through. Give calm, clear, brief feedback. Remember that your child needs his/her rest in order to decrease the amount of intensity of reaction. Establish a bedtime ritual and stick to it. Teach your child to use “time-in versus time-out” as a way to calm self-down. Avoid escalating intensity of your child by reacting intensely to his/her behavior. When possible, respond to intense noisy outbursts by waiting them out. Remember they may not signify a depth of feeling.

27 Final Principles to Keep in Mind As You Strive to Achieve “Goodness of Fit”
Be aware of your child's temperament and respect his or her uniqueness without comparing him or her to others or trying to change his/her basic traits. Consider your own basic temperament and behavior and tailor your parenting responses when they clash with your child’s responses to encourage a better fit. Review your expectations and values for your child. Are they realistic and appropriate?

28 Final Principles continued
Make your expectations clear. Set limits to help your child develop self-control. Work with your children to generate solutions to problems but remain firm on important limits. Make communication a priority. Explain decisions and motives. Listen to your child's points of view. Be a good role model because children learn by imitation. Remember what you model for them is what they will learn.

29 Final Principles continued
Though temperament has been shown to be consistent over time , family environment and life experiences can make a difference. Parents who are sensitive to their child's temperamental style and can recognize the child’s unique strengths will make family life smoother. Find a way to get some refreshment or renewal for yourself and your child by scheduling some time apart. Remember: Parenting with Planning and Purpose Matters!

30 As a Parent, Where Do I Go From Here?
The IT3 Temperament Tool

31 Go to for more information.
The IT3 is a tool to help parents identify temperament traits, their child’s and their own. Go to for more information.

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