Your child is born with their natural style of interacting with or reacting to people, places and things. Scientific studies of temperament have continued to show that children's health and development are influenced by temperament. Temperament is stable and differs from personality, which is a combination of temperament and life experiences.
The nine temperament traits are:
Activity: Child is always moving and doing something OR has a more relaxed style.
Rhythmicity: Child is regular in his or her eating and sleeping habits OR eating and sleeping are somewhat haphazard.
Approach/withdrawal: Never meets a stranger OR tends to shy away from new people or things.
Adaptability: Can adjust to changes in routines or plans easily OR resists transitions.
Intensity: Reacts strongly to situations, either positive or negative OR reacts calmly and quietly.
Mood: Often expresses a negative outlook OR is generally positive. Moods could shift frequently OR stays even-tempered.
Persistence and attention span: Gives up as soon as a problem arises with a task OR keeps on trying. Can stick with an activity a long time OR his or her mind tends to wander.
Distractibility: Easily distracted from what he/she is doing OR can shut out external distractions and stay with the current activity.
Sensory threshold: Is bothered by external stimuli such as loud noises, bright lights or food textures OR tends to ignore them.
There are three basic types of temperaments. Most children have some level of intensity on several temperament traits but one dimension will usually dominate. Your child will probably fit into one of the three patterns. By understanding these patterns we will be able to tailor our approach in such areas of expectations, encouragement and address your child's behavior challenges and improve classroom interactions so that "goodness of fit" happens.
Easy or flexible: Generally calm, happy, regular in sleeping and eating habits, adaptable and not easily upset. Because of their easy style will need special times to talk about their frustrations and hurts because they won't demand or ask for it. The intentional communication will be necessary to strengthen relationships and find out what the child is thinking and feeling.
Difficult, active, or feisty: Often fussy, irregular in eating and sleeping habits, fearful of new people and situations, easily upset by noise, high strung, and intense in their reactions. They need vigoruos play to work off stored up energy and frustraitons with freedom of choice to be succssful. Preparing them for activity changes and redirection will help them transition (move or change) from one place to another easily.
Slow to warm up or cautious: Relatively inactive and fussy, tend to withdraw or to react negatively to new situations, but their reactions gradually become more positive with continuous exposure. Sticking to a routine and your word, along with allowing ample time to establish relationships in new situations are necessary to allow independence to unfold.