Kids are amazing. They come in all shapes and sizes, and all different personalities. No two are exactly alike, and the better you understand your child’s unique personality, the better you’ll understand what makes him or her tick. This allows us to know what motivates them, identify their strengths and weakness, and understand how they are likely to react to different situations.
Some are introverts, some are extroverts, and there is a wide gamut of personalities in between. It is important for parents to remember that their children may not be like them and having their own unique personality is not only ok but very common and desirable. Understanding who your child is will help you better parent them. Kids are uniquely themselves, and a one-size-fits all method for parenting is not effective.
There are five primary indicators that can help understand who your child is. In observing your child, pay close attention to how they manage these factors. They are your cues on how to parent, guide, and support them.
The intensity of reaction –
Does your child respond intensely and passionately to every situation around them, or are they more low key and take everything in stride?
Activity level –
Is your little one moving full speed ahead at all times? Or does she move about her activities at a leisurely pace and like to nap a lot?
Tolerance for frustration –
This is the difference between the quick to anger/”I give up” to the “oh well, let’s try again” temperament.
Response to change –
does the slightest change throw your child for a loop, or does he go with the flow and adjust easily to change?
Reaction to new people –
Is your child shy around new people and hesitant to interact, or does he engage instantly and make friends quickly?
There are no rights or wrongs to theses answers. Your response to them may have been wide and varied. That is the key to understanding your child’s unique personality. These character traits are what make your child who he or she is. When we can see why they are the way they are, we can better help them adjust their behaviors, adapt their feelings, achieve their goals, and cope with frustration.
Challenging behaviors and temperaments
While some behaviors and temperaments are certainly more challenging than others, particularly when children are young, some of those trying attributes can become positives as they grow and mature. For example, when a young child is extremely stubborn and intense, that may turn into great drive and determination as an employee. A child who is sensitive and a bit introverted may become a great listener and compassionate partner. The best we can do as parents is try to understand these traits and nurture them. This arms our children with appropriate coping skills, healthy responses to others, and a reinforcement system that is effective for his or her personality type.
Unique is a gift
Being unique is a gift. All children should know they are special and valued just the way they are. Understanding their personalities and providing guidance and structure accordingly will help discover their individuality. When they have been encouraged to be themselves and taught to love themselves, children will thrive.