Temperament and Parenting

Resilience, Parenting Techniques & Discipline

Why are children so different? Because each has his or her own temperament! This accounts for why infants and children need to be raised in different ways. Parenting methods and techniques must be compatible with their personalities.

Researchers have long wondered why some children with very supportive and nurturing homes still have done poorly, while some from cold and barren home environments have excelled. Part of the answer is that infants are born with differing levels of resilience in their personalities.

Temperament is important in parenting in 1) knowing the proper parenting techniques and how to discipline, and, 2) how it affects the parent's view of the child and themselves as parents. Both of these dimensions are critical in determining how the parent-child relationship evolves over time.

First, since parents can't change or determine the child's temperamental style, parenting needs to be molded around the child's temperament. Parents who try to make the child fit their concept of the 'perfect child' usually end up feeling very frustrated. A better approach is to observe and learn about the infant's behavioral style and then change the way the parent reacts to the situation.

Temperamental characteristics can be very positive in some situations and challenging in others. Only by sensitizing themselves to the infant's personality can parents learn how to respond to in a helpful way. Most parents learn this through a period of trial and error but when conflict continues to increase rather than resolve itself, or when it appears unexpectedly, assistance may be welcome.

Tune in to your child's individuality

Key Points :-

  • Do not punish the child for temperamental style. If a child is shy, she should not be reprimanded for being hesitant toward a stranger. If the child adapts gradually, she shouldn't be punished for not obeying completely if her response is better than last time (moving in the right direction). If the child is intense she shouldn't be criticized for being loud when she feels upset, just as she isn't punished for being loud when she is happy. If a child is irregular, she shouldn't be punished for not being hungry at every meal or not ready to sleep at every bed time.