What is Temperament, and What Does It Mean for Toddler Parenting?

What is temperament? What is it important in toddler parenting? You see, sometimes there’s this unreasonable expectation for all kids to act according to some “model” behavior, or for kids to be happy and friendly all the time.⁠

But this isn’t the case. There is no one “ideal” personality. Researchers have found that even at birth, babies already show their “personalities” based on nine temperamental traits. ⁠

When we hear the word “temperamental”, we sometimes think this is a bad thing. But it’s not!⁠ Temperament is what makes each of us unique. No one temperament is better than the other. Each has its own strengths.

When there’s a misunderstanding about this, here’s what happens. Mom gets judged.⁠

  • “You didn’t bring him out enough, that’s why he’s so shy.”⁠
  • “You didn’t sleep train, that’s why her sleep pattern is not that regular.”⁠
  • “Why isn’t he as friendly as [insert other child’s name]?” ⁠
  • “When my child was that age, I didn’t have a hard time.” ⁠

⁠The child also gets labelled.⁠

  • “He’s naughty and disruptive.”⁠
  • “She’s aloof and unfriendly.”⁠
  • “He just doesn’t like me.” Some people might take it personally when a child doesn’t seem ecstatic to see them.⁠

⁠Remember that these are just outward behaviors. A child who seems quiet can be just as happy as a child who is laughing and dancing around. A toddler who has frequent tantrums is NOT inferior to a child who has no difficulty with this.⁠

Want to learn more about dealing with toddler tantrums? Read this article.

It can be a challenge to parent a child whose temperament is different from ours. We sometimes can’t understand why they would react that way to something that doesn’t bother us at all. Or sometimes, our child is different from the picture of a dream child we had in our head before we had kids. Despite the challenges in these situations, let’s love and appreciate all kids for who they are.

Let us show love and acceptance. Let us celebrate our differences. After all, we need people of ALL temperaments to show their unique strengths and make this world a better place.

Want a variety of stress-free activities that will be suitable for your toddler, regardless of temperament? Not all toddlers will be content sitting for arts and crafts. Some prefer to move around. If you’re struggling to find activities for your child, download our FREE guide here.

Want to learn more about temperament and toddler parenting? This is an excellent resource from Georgetown University. This also has helpful tips on parenting toddlers with different temperaments.

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