Temperaments in children is a topic that has intrigued me since I began working in the field in 2009. It started as a result of personal experience coupled with the research being done at the time of nature vs. nurture. I saw first hand, parents struggling to solve behavioral challenges in their children that left them with so many questions. Statements like “they’re just so irritable all the time” to “they worry constantly and I can’t figure out why” “they explode for no reason” led to a greater awareness of how temperaments shape our behavior and SHOULD shape our parenting!
Over the course of the past five years I have worked diligently to be mindful of varying types of temperaments when creating behavior modification plans for my clients When I ask a parent, have you ever tried this… and they say yes and that didn’t work, I first look at any barriers to the disciplinary interventions (did the parents follow through, were the task demands realistic and doable, were the requirements age-appropriate and achievable,did the child have proper motivation, were the consequences expected). If none are present I will then look onward to any behavioral data that could lead me to find a suitable intervention. If we are still not successful after that, I will begin to re-evaluate the child’s temperament. For example, children who have a low frustration tolerance are going to be triggered more easily and tend to be more emotionally driven. Imposing strict or harsh demands on these children in an authoritarian approach is not always effective and can intensive emotional dysregulation. Do any of you have children who if the seam line of their sock isn’t in the perfect position you think their world is coming to an end? If you said yes, then your child has a distinct temperament and should be parented with this in mind!
I have found that so many of the complaints that parents have to the effect of “my child is being a brat!” is sometimes just a component or quirk of their temperament and personality. We never want to change who our children are, just begin to recognize the differences in their unique temperament and teach skills to help them overcome obstacles so that they can be the most successful humans possible!
This subject has generated so much interest in my professional practice that I have begun offering parenting consultations focusing on evaluating your child’s temperament and creating a parenting plan tailored to meet your child’s individual needs. If you are interested in learning more please feel free to contact me. These services are not therapeutic in nature and are available via phone, email, skype and in person.
Have a great day and happy parenting 🙂