Parenting – Understanding Your Child’s Temperament and Personality

As individuals we all have our own temperament and personality but what many parents do not appreciate is that we are born with the former and that the later develops over time and is influenced considerably by our environment.
A child’s temperament will include such things as his level of activity, how adaptable he is, how easily distracted he is and how sensitive he is.

For many parents a child’s temperament becomes a source of frustration since the child is born with this and, despite the parent’s best efforts, it cannot be changed to any substantial degree. If your child is naturally sensitive then you are not going to have much success in changing that, whatever you do.

The real problem for many parents is that they fail to see the advantage in the fact that a child’s temperament is largely set at birth. Raising a child is immensely complex at the best of times, but having a fixed base from which to work has tremendous advantages and the secret is not to try to change your child’s temperament but to work with it.

The fact that you know that your child is exceptionally active, is not easily distracted or demonstrates a particularly high level of emotional expression gives you an excellent basis for understanding your child and for devising a strategy which works with your child’s temperament to help him to develop and to reach his full potential.

Personality by contrast is a whole different ball game and is a far more complex and less well understood area than temperament. Experts disagree widely about just what shapes a person’s personality and the degree to which various factors influence the development of personality.

There is little doubt however that a child is born with at least the basis of his personality inherited from his parents and that his personality will be shaped by his environment and, to a degree, by his own experience and perception of that environment. There are however many other factor which come into play and such things as culture and the role by a child’s parents are also extremely important is forming a child’s personality.

Whatever view the so-called ‘experts’ might form about personality one thing is certain and that is that we can all recognize different types of personality fairly easily since personality, when all is said and done, is nothing more than those characteristics which make up the individual and set him apart from others. Your child may for example be serious, quiet and reserved or may be very assertive and outspoken. He may be a very organized and practical individual or may be particularly good with other people and be warm-hearted and popular.

Once again the secret is to recognize your child’s personality but, in this case, to understand that personality is not set in stone and can be altered, within reason, with care and the right approach. A child who is assertive and outspoken could find himself making remarks which are likely to run him into trouble but, because this personality trait is not set in concrete, a parent has the opportunity to work with the child to help to curb this particular tendency.

Recognizing a child’s temperament and personality, and understanding the strengths in each and the degree to which changes can be made, is vital in helping parents to create a strategy on which to base their parenting style to ensure the best possible development for a child.

Top Boarding Schools

You have questions... We have answers
  • Q: I read on the website that these schools offer family therapy, but how does that happen when the school is so far away?

    You will participate in the family therapy by phone, and when you come for your family visits, you will then do face to face family therapy.

  • Q: Why are most of these programs in Utah?

    The original Residential Treatment Center was opened in Utah, and they have been improving their system ever since. There is an entire state agency devoted to overseeing and regulating these programs. The other reason is that in Utah, the legal age is 18, so you can force your child to get treatment until they are 18. Legal age varies by state but there are an increasingly high number of states where the legal age is 17 even if you are still financially and physically responsible for them until they are 18.

    As long as your child is under the age of 18 and you have custody of your child, then your child does not have to go willingly. You can force them to go against their will for their benefit.

  • Q: If my child won't go willingly, how do I get them there?

    There are teen transport companies we contract with that are highly trained and they will come to your home and pick up your child. There job is to escort your child there safely! This takes away the worry and the fighting. There is an additional fee for this service.

  • Q: Does insurance cover the cost of treatment or boarding?

    Insurance plans vary so much that there is not a solid answer. You can find out what your coverage is by calling them directly and asking about your in-patient mental health benefits. In order for coverage, it has to be medically necessary, based on diagnosis and most insurance companies require a pre-authorization.