Fitting with your Child’s Temperament

“Learn to read your child. That’s really what all of my work has been aimed at, trying to help parents understand their own child as an individual.”  Dr. T. Berry Brazelton

To learn to “read” your child requires understanding, compassion, education, and heaps of patience; especially when your temperament and your child’s temperament are not matches made in heaven.

For instance, you might be a low-energy person who enjoys spending free time reading books and are overwhelmed and bothered by a highly active child who wants you to spend the time riding bikes. Conversely, if you are an on-the-go type of person, you may feel trapped by a child who wants to stay in the house building Legos. Even a child who is very much like you can be a challenge – when a strong-willed parent locks horns with a strong-willed child, there can be fireworks! How well a child’s temperament fits with that of his parents is called “goodness of fit.”

Managing this “goodness of fit” concept can be difficult. But it can be accomplished by accepting the child for who he or she is, finding ways to accommodate both of your temperaments, and honoring the people you are both meant to be. This will:

  • avoid some recurring battles that may take place within your home.
  • build a more trusting, respectful relationship with your child.
  • give him the confidence to show what makes him unique.

To “read” more about temperament, click here.

By Claire Gawinowicz, Certified Parenting Educator

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