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 you and your child are?
“Goodness of fit” affects how you respond and attune to your child, as well as how your child eventually learns to see herself. When you understand the dance between your child’s temperament and your own, you will be able to create approaches and strategies to help your child adjust to the world.
You can help your child find “goodness of fit” when you:
• Adapt routines, develop tools, and create strategies to match your child’s temperament and development.
• Regulate your child’s emotions and behavior by setting appropriate limits and healthy boundaries.
• Model frustration tolerance and self-regulation. Show that you know how to handle having hurt feelings or delay gratification and tolerate discomfort.
“Goodness of fit” can also refer to the match between your child’s temperament and her environment—as well as the match between your child’s temperament and the people who are in her environment. By understanding how your child naturally approaches the world, you can help her understand and adapt to different environments, from home to playground to school.