Children personality types: raising children according to their personality
Hyperactive, tantrum-throwing, impulsive and downright explosive are a few of the many words parents use to describe some children personality types. These behavior traits can drain any parent and/or teacher of all their energies.
“My children used to threaten to shoot me with toy guns. Sometimes they tried to jump over the railing and down from the topmost floor of our two-storey building. Even as a child psychologist, I used to look at my children and wonder what planet they came from,” says Cynthia Nnanna, child psychologist at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu.
Psychology experts have proved that all humans are unique. A child’s behaviour is often influenced by personality type and environmental factors. Even among twins, there are certain differences in their modes of interacting and learning.
Every child has his or her own natural strength and weakness. Understanding this fact is a key aspect of effective parenting.
4 facts that prove that it is important to understand children personality type
Research has shown that effective parenting is connected to the parent’s ability to understand the different children personality types. It is impossible to successfully guide and guard each child if you don’t understand their psychology type.
Here are other reasons parents and teachers must determine and understand the personalities of the children under their watch.
• It helps foster tolerance between caregivers and children. “When you understand why the child acts in a certain way, you’re less likely to over-react,” says Cynthia Nnanna
• It helps you create a safer space for the child to thrive
• Enlightens you about their strengths and talents
• Reduces the risk of psychological abuse
• Promotes optimal growth and development of children
Child psychologists categorize children personality types according to age groups.
Children personality types for toddlers can be divided into three wide categories:
• Calm or cheerful, but aren’t pushovers
• Introverted or cautious, usually attentive and taciturn
• Hyperactive and boisterous—often impulsive, impatient and sensitive
1. Calm or cheerful but not pushovers
Easygoing children signify what every parent wishes for but only one in two children falls into this category. Easygoing children are often full of smiles, tolerant, adaptive and friendly. But even easy children have their own downsides. They are likely to be lost in crowded places; more likely to be ignored.
They will sacrifice attention for their more demanding siblings often to their own detriment.While raising your calm and cheerful child, be sure to inquire about their day. Teach them to open up to you about the tiniest details. Your duty as a parent is to protect and guide your child.
2. Introverted or cautious, usually attentive and quiet
One in ten children falls into this category. Introverted children are usually shy and reluctant to socialise. But they are unlikely to get into trouble. In fact, their mantra is, “if I could possibly get hurt, then I won’t do it.” They tend to study harder in school and are generally gentle beings.
Shy children cope better when protected from rejection and mockery. Caregivers must take care to provide them with the stability and time required to navigate life.
3. Hyperactive and boisterous—often impulsive, impatient and sensitive
These kids are the life of the party. They are loud, impatient, overly sensitive and always jumping onto or over things. But they are often very creative and are more likely to excel in sports, performance arts and other creative endeavors. One out of five children falls into this category of children personality types.
To cope with outgoing children, you need to give their lives a solid sense of structure. Organize regular outdoor activities for them. Overly active children need space to burn off excess energy. But most of all, they demand a lot of patience from caregivers.
The 4 broad personality types are used for children between the ages of 7 -12
• Phlegmatic: considerate, organized, adaptable, observant, and tactful
• Choleric: courageous, strong-minded, blunt, loves competition, uncompromising
• Melancholy: thorough, organized, dogged, dutiful, profound
• Sanguine: spirited, friendly, chatty, energetic, creative
No temperament is inferior. No personality type is superior to another
Children personality types: a note to parents
Parents and caregivers must resist the temptation to compare each child to another.
“Never say to one child: ‘can’t you behave like so and so?’ It’s an ignorant thing to say,” posits Cynthia Nnanna. “Encourage your child to channel his or her energies in the right direction. Every personality type is unique and wonderful.”
Child psychologists have also stressed that children can have more than one personality type. The categories are simply guidelines designed to help parents understand their children and to improve interactions between them.
Whether your child is the life-of-the-party or the quiet scientist, love and revel in the uniqueness of his or her being. Remember every child is specially made for a unique purpose.
Resources: American Psychological Association