Parenting Connection: Understanding a child’s temperament

Parenting Connection

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: Understanding a child’s temperament.

Child experts say every child is born with his or her own individual way of approaching the world — also known as “temperament.” They’re personality traits that determine how kids natually react to things.

According to child development experts with the Michigan State University Extension — understanding your child’s temperament will help you have appropriate expectations for them… and make it a little easier to handle your kids as their parent.

There are 9 different temperament traits:

*Activity level. Experts say you can help a child’s development when you know if they are always on the go or more likely to engage in quieter, calmer activities.

*Sensitivity – it is high or low? Experts say knowing your child’s sensitivity level can help you have more positive interactions with them.

*Intensity of reaction. Children with high-intensity reactions are a bit dramatic. A low reaction kid sometimes makes it difficult to recognize how they are feeling.

*Biological rhythms. Learn if your child works better with a routine, or needs flexibility.

*Adaptability involves you learning how your child adjusts to change or new situations.

*Approach/Withdrawal involves knowing if your kids are willing to explore new things, people, and situations – or need extra time to adjust.

*Persistence refers to how long your kids are able and willing to stick to a task.

*Distractibility simply refers to how easily someone is distracted by their environment.

*Mood — referring to the overall tone of a child’s feelings, interactions and behaviors.

Experts say, there is no right or wrong temperament — because every person has their own unique style, but when you better understand them and how they impact your kids — you can prevent lots of conflict and stress in your future.

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