You can’t change your child’s temperament. Your child is who they are, and that’s great.But you can nurture your child’s development by adapting your parenting to your child’s temperament. You can help your child develop the positive parts of their temperament. And you can understand the situations that your child might find hard because of their temperament, and help them learn how to handle these situations.

  • How do your interactions with each infant and toddler in your care differ from one another?
  • How do you support an infant who cries desperately when her father leaves in the morning?
  • How do you respond when a toddler races into the play yard and hardly takes a moment to tell you goodbye at drop-off?
  • Do you enjoy busy play times or do you prefer the quietness of the afternoon when your child may be napping or you have time to snuggle and play? What is it that you like about the time you prefer? What does this tell you about yourself and your own temperament?

Your feelings and responses to these kinds of daily experiences are signs of your temperament. At the same time, you are also adapting to the individual temperaments of your children

  • How do you change how you speak, move, or interact with a child based on what you know about him or her?
  • Does one child enjoy a squeeze and a tickle, while another may prefer a gentle touch on the hand?
  • Have you ever known children who do not really enjoy being snuggled, even though you really like to hold them close?
  • In reflecting on these questions, do certain children and adults in your life come to mind?