Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What parents can do to fit their child's temperament

Some babies have regular sleep patterns and cruise serenely through the day, while others wake up often during the night and during the day, demanding seemingly constant attention. Some children make friends easily and others have difficulty making friends. Just as babies are born with different combinations of physical characteristics, they also have certain patterns of behavior, or temperament, which make them unique.

Sometimes parents and children have different temperaments, and in that case, parents may need to adjust. How can you, as a parent, create a good fit between your own temperament and your child’s temperament? First, be aware of your temperament and how your child’s temperament is similar to or different from your own. Keep these differences in mind when you don’t see eye to eye on things, when your youngster pushes your limits, and when you have trouble understanding your child’s behavior.

Embrace what makes her or him unique, without comparing your child to others or trying to change your child. For example, you may have been painfully shy as a child and when you see your young child being shy, you might want to “force” your child to be more outgoing. Be patient, and actively work to change any negative reactions you have to your child’s behavior. Also, avoid situations that might set your child off. If your child becomes anxious around crowds and commotion, having a large birthday party at a busy play center may ruin the day for everyone.

When we can adjust our parenting methods so there is a good fit between our own temperament and the child’s, time together can be more enjoyable.

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