A Matter of Temperament

Children’s temperaments vary immensely and a child’s basic temperament may require parents to modify their styles of discipline. Temperament has to do with the way a child is equipped to react to his world and the challenges in it. Child specialists recognize and identify three basic categories of temperament among children: easy, quiet and difficult.

The description of temperament follows the specific traits each type exhibits.

Whatever your own child’s temperament, as you evolve your individual disciplining styles, pay close attention to his reaction and pace your demands accordingly. When you accept him as an individual and become his partner rather than his adversary in discipline, you will allow his strengths to develop and his natural potential to come to the force.

Children with easy temperaments adapt very little trouble to new schedules, new faces or new food. They react to everything with a minimum of fussing and generally raise short- lived protests when something troubles them. They are always cheerful and do not become frustrated easily. Easy children take authoritative discipline with good grace and learn readily from its lessons.

Highly sensitive, the quiet child is prone to feeling of discomfort in new situation, even with a parent present. These children should be handled a little more gently than the easy child. You should not force any issue on the child through badgering or punishment. This might likely to send her into deeper withdrawal or trigger stubborn resistance.

The difficult child is characterized by the unpredictability, quickly frustrated and smiles less easily than other youngsters of his age. He has tantrums when thing do not go exactly his way. In disciplining the difficult child, punishment might as well decide at the outset to adjust their expectations. They should never lose sight of their goals but move with persistence towards them.

Child behavior experts recommend that parents of difficult children to simplify their demands. This may well mean setting priorities, putting such all important issues at the very top of the list. Also important is getting the child to modify his aggression against people and things. Above all parents of difficult children need to display patience, firmness and consistency in handling disciplinary matter.

geeta krishnan