Temperament is the innate behavior style of an individual that seems to be biologically determined. Although some experts feel that labeling a child too quickly as “difficult” may create a self-fulfilling prophecy of problematic parent-child interaction, knowing what kind of temperament your child has may make the difference between a happy and a troubled child – and between an accepting and frustrated parent. You can use the table below to get a rough idea on how easy or difficult your child is to raise.
|Activity Level (how active the child is generally)||Low||High|
|Distractibility (degree of concentration and paying attention when child is not particularly interested)||Low||High|
|Intensity (how loud the child is)||Low||High|
|Regularity (the predictability of biological functions like appetite and sleep)||Regular||Irregular|
|Sensory Threshold (how sensitive the child is to physical stimuli: touch, taste, smell, sound, light)||High||Low|
|Approach/Withdrawal (characteristic responses of a child to a new situation or to strangers)||Approach||Withdrawal|
|Adaptability (how easily the child adapts to transitions and changes like switching to a new activity)||Good||Poor|
|Persistence (stubbornness, inability to give up)||Low||High|
|Mood (tendency to react to the world primarily in a positive or negative way)||Positive||Negative|
If your child weighs more heavily on one side of the spectrum than the other, he may be a classic example of the easy or difficult child. However, if your child is in-between and his behavior presents you with problems, you may be in need of some new management techniques.