Parenting Guide

Parenting Guide

Understanding Temperament

Get to Know Your Child Better

“The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings.”


  • What’s Your Child’s Temperament Style?

    Your child is unique, and so are you. We all arrive into the world with a special combination of mental, physical, and emotional traits that make up what scientists call “disposition” or “temperament.” These traits are closely interwoven, and set the stage for how we interact with the world—and how the world responds to us.…

  • The Importance of Understanding Your Own Temperament

    Think about yourself and your own temperament. Understanding your own temperament will help you identify the “goodness of fit” between your temperament and that of your child. Perhaps you’re an early riser while your child is a night owl. Did you, an introvert, give birth to a social butterfly? Are you stunned at how different…

  • Strategies to Honor Your Child’s Temperament

    Once you understand your child’s temperament, develop strategies that honor both your child’s temperament and her need to adapt to the surrounding environment. • Help your child express her feelings, desires, and preferences. • Anticipate issues before they occur, including situations that will overly frustrate or challenge her. Some frustration is important for growth, but…

  • Ava Goes Early to the Party: An Example of Adapting to a Child’s Temperament

    Two-year-old Ava feels shy and cautious at birthday parties. Ava’s mother, Joan, tries everything she can to make Ava comfortable, but is getting frustrated when Ava clings to her at parties. Ava is a quiet child, but this behavior is extreme. Joan is an outgoing person who thinks that perhaps Ava is overwhelmed by too…

  • Resources for Further Reading

    Allard, L. T. & Hunter, A. (2010). Understanding temperament in infants and toddlers. Retrieved from Brazelton, T. B. (1983). Infants and mothers: Differences in development (revised edition). New York, NY: Dell. Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation. (n.d.). Infant toddler temperament tool (IT3). Retrieved from Levine, M. (2006). The price of privilege:…

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