Some kids are easygoing, adaptable, and generally have predictable reactions to everyday situations. For others, going to the supermarket can either be a calm, quiet experience, or a torturous excursion – with very little in between. These children’s behaviors are unpredictable, with their temperament constantly in flux. While this can be challenging as a parent, understanding general characteristics of temperament can be helpful in diagnosing reactions and coming to solutions. Here they are summarized:
Activity & Regularity: Kids have a threshold for the amount of activity they can handle in a day and how irregular, or off schedule, their day can be before they become overwhelmed. This can affect them both mentally and physically, especially at mealtime.
Approach to Stimuli: This describes the type of reaction your child gives to a new stimulus –with confidence versus hesitancy.
Adaptability: This is the ease with which your child adjusts to changes and whether your child’s feelings can be modified through learning.
Intensity of Response: This has to do with the energy level with which your child has a reaction, be it negative or positive.
Mood: The degree of agreeableness or hostility with which your child communicates.
Attention Span & Distractibility: The degree to which your child can concentrate on a specific task without distraction, and how easily distraction can occur.
Sensory Threshold: Some children respond immediately to stimuli, while others require higher amounts to cause a reaction.
By understanding and being able to identify your child’s characteristics, you could begin to predict the unpredictable in certain situations. As your children grow, their behavior patterns may shift. Talking through characteristics with your pediatrician can help them give you parenting techniques to support your child.
Source: Healthy Children