Temperament 101

Have you ever considered how your temperament and the temperament of your child(ren) can affect how you interact with each other? Temperament can be defined as how we relate and interact with the world. There are many different dimensions of temperament. Some examples could be:

Activity Level





and more….

Each of these can have a HIGH or LOW rating for the person being considered.  A child with a HIGH activity level wants to be on the move. A child with a LOW adaptability level may have trouble transitioning from one event/activity to another.

As parents, we figure all of these things out pretty quickly, learning what helps your baby settle into new situations, how much activity they enjoy, what their emotional reaction is to situations,etc. However, looking at the specific parts of temperament and  taking the time to understand your temperament and the temperament of the child you are spending time with, can help you feel even more confident about directing play, reading cues for needs and helping both of you enjoy your time together to the utmost.

An article I read recently also added the idea that understanding your own temperament qualities will also help you interact with children more successfully. Perhaps you are a low activity person spending time with a high activity child. Or perhaps you are a high adaptability person who has trouble understanding why your low adaptability child can’t easily transition from one activity to another.

I found the pages in this article very helpful. They will help you think through your own temperament and that of your child and then give you concrete examples of ways that a HIGH/HIGH or HIGH/LOW or LOW/HIGH or LOW/LOW personality can make the most of their time together.

Click here to read the article for yourself.

The Infant Toddler Temperament Tool (IT3) was developed for the Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, an Innovation and Improvement Project funded by the Office of Head Start. (Grant #90YD026B)




This entry was posted in Parenting Tips. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

Recent reflections from our blog