Do you really need to parent your kids differently? The answer is yes...
Child temperament and underlying personality born with the child, determined by genetics, dictates everything from his sleep habits to the intensity of his cries, how he behaves toward individuals and objects and how he is affected by the environment. This makes some kids are more difficult to handle than others.
Temperament is apparent in infancy and remains consistent throughout life. Parents who ignore a child's inborn nature are doomed to struggle against it, while parents who identify and work with it find the parenting journey more pleasant.
Perhaps the best parenting move you can make right now is to form a picture of your child's temperament. This will help you devise the unique approach that's best suited to your unique child. But where to start? Here are the four main temperaments that most kids fall into:
1- Aggressive Temperament:
Active, energetic, impulsive, the one who start the fight. It's very difficult for energetic kids to resist their impulses, but you can take the advantage of his activity by giving him plenty of time and space, every day, to "let off steam." Look for creative ways to funnel that energy. Try sports activities, design a play area at home contains nothing that can be destroyed.
2- Shy Temperament:
Quiet One, relatively inactive, tends to withdraw or to react negatively to new situations. Actually he wants to join but he's not sure what to do about it. But on the other hand, shy people can be keen observers, good listeners. The problem is that shyness may be the most misunderstood temperament. To help your shy child come out of his shell, make him feel comfortable. Arrange small parties so that he can meet new people. Be supportive, but let him warm up at his way. Just don't pressure him to socialize. The child, not the parent, is the best one to determine when it's the right time to join in.
3- Flexible Temperament:
Easy, generally calm, happy, sensitive, responds to the world around him in an easy manner. Adapts easily to new schools and people. When encountering a frustrating situation, he usually does so with relatively little anxiety. Because of their easy style, parents need to set aside special times to talk about the child's frustrations and hurts because he won't demand or ask for it. This is necessary to strengthen your relationship and find out what your child is thinking and feeling.
4- Intense Temperament:
Thinker, anxious, hard on himself can be even harder on parents, always aiming to perfection. You can't tell an intense child to "just relax" he simply doesn't know how, and trying to do so adds pressure on him. A better way to lighten things up is to schedule breaks into their activities. Using humor can help too. As laughter is a great antidote for anxiety, which intense kids have in abundance. But don't worry these children tend to be high achievers in whatever career they choose.
Parents also need to get a clear picture of their own temperament traits and pinpoint areas in which conflicts with their child arise due to temperament clashing. And when it happens, it is more reasonable to expect that the parent will make the first move to adapt. When a parent understands the child's temperament, he or she can organize a peaceful environment for the child to grow in
Here are some principles to keep in mind while you're building up your family environment:
- Be aware of your child's temperament and respect his or her uniqueness without comparing him or her to others or trying to change your child's basic temperament.
- Be aware of your own temperament and adjust your natural responses when they clash with your child's responses.
- Communicate, Explain decisions and motives. Listen to the child's points of view and encourage teamwork on generating solutions.
- Set limits to help your child develop self-control. Respect opinions but remain firm on limits.
- Be a good role model because children learn by imitation.
- Finally, we have to learn to appreciate the strengths of our child's reserve, and our child eventually will, too.
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