What Kind of Temperament Does Your Child Have?

All children are different. In this article, we look at some of the different kinds of personality types.
What Kind of Temperament Does Your Child Have?
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Where did your child get their temperament from? You’ve probably asked yourself this question on more than one occasion, especially when you watch how they behave. In fact, you may have several children, and they all have such different temperaments that it never ceases to amaze you.

Is it possible to change the personality of a child? Absolutely. As a matter of fact, personality settles in people over time due to their experiences. However, babies are born with a certain temperament that you must know how to channel, enhance, or correct in order for them to be happy. Furthermore, they must learn to properly manage their emotions thus adapt better to society.

This is a complex process and something that requires dedication, effort, love, patience, and some basic psychology. However, it’s a worthwhile adventure. Here are some hints.

The hereditary factor

Sometimes, your child’s temperament will surprise you. You ask yourself where a particular trait of theirs might’ve come from. “Where do they get it from? I’m not like that”, you might find yourself asking. Nevertheless, your child certainly inherits part of your character. In fact, if you look back to when you were a child, you may well recognize some of your gestures in them. However, the years have changed and matured you.

Your child was born with a particular temperament. It’ll always be there. although you can redirect them, enhance their virtues, and control their inappropriate behavior. On the other hand, if you let them continue behaving badly, allow their tantrums to continue, don’t establish boundaries, and don’t display good communication skills with them, their ‘negative’ temperament will continue to grow. Their personality is built gradually, as the years go by. Therefore, if you give them adequate guidelines and redirect them in a logical and balanced way, you’ll raise a happy child. Or, at least, you’ll be doing your best.

Character is definitely inherited. Nonetheless, education and experiences can make a child’s character change.

a child with a difficult temperament.

Childhood temperaments

Easy temperament

In general, this temperament is noticeable from birth. These children are cheerful and undemanding and easily adapt to routines. They tend to sleep well and adapt successfully to new situations. In fact, their emotions and reactions are quite moderate. They’re not dramatic, aggressive, or moody.

They’re docile and easy-going children. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that the development of their personality should be neglected. As a matter of fact, they may sometimes end up being rather introverted with a tendency to hide their emotions. It may also happen that they have siblings with slightly more complex characters. In these cases, it’s an easy mistake for parents to focus more attention on the rebellious siblings, thinking that their ‘calm’ children don’t need as much attention. However, it should be remembered that a ll children need the same support, love, and dedication.

Slow to warm up

These children are rather reserved and don’t adapt particularly well to change. They’re somewhat fearful and extremely attached to their parents. In general, they tend to be quite passive and somewhat slow and shy. They need a lot of time to do things like getting up, getting dressed, tying their shoelaces, etc.

Experts suggest that when these children reach the age of six-eight, they often take a maturational leap and improve. They may find it rather difficult to learn to read and write but, in general, they usually catch up and develop fully.

If your child is like this, give them time, encourage them and be patient. If you get exasperated by their slowness and draw attention to it, they may become anxious and insecure. Be calm, support them, and trust them.

Active or feisty

These children have been crybabies since they were born. They’re somewhat irritable yet often extremely bright. They have a hard time falling asleep and find it difficult to adapt to change. They tend to get nervous easily. In fact, they’re demanding, nervous children, who demonstrate exaggerated happy and sad emotions.

They often go from one extreme to another. For instance, they throw a tantrum then immediately demand affection. It seems they both love and hate their parents at the same time. If you have a child like this, you should establish clear guidelines, routines, and rules. If they have tantrums, ignore them. Let them realize that with those kinds of reactions they’re not going to achieve anything.

Be demanding with them but also show them closeness and understanding by talking with them. Explain why you set rules and why you punish them from time to time. Teach them to manage their rage and anger, to channel it. Tell them to think before they act. Keep in mind that these children may become extremely creative and independent adults.

A child and a woman talking.

These kinds of children often get extremely tired. They’re really restless and don’t stop for a second, are interested in everything, and have a thousand questions to ask you. They can even be reckless. Therefore, they tend to suffer small accidents when climbing in places they shouldn’t, looking for excitement.

By the time they’re three years old, their activity may be even more exaggerated, and their character can be either docile or combative. According to parents, they’re the most difficult children to deal with. A psychologist will usually diagnose if the child has ADHD (attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity). Nevertheless, this kind of behavior isn’t always due to a disorder. In fact, these children are often simply more restless than normal children. This means that they require more patient parents who are capable of accepting their different rhythms.

Finally, always remember that, as an adult, you must be an example for your child. Therefore, ensure you always act in a balanced way, Be calm, patient, and make sure you’re always by their side as they grow and mature.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.