Your Child’s Temperament and Learning
Your child’s success in school depends on many factors, including his individual temperament. Temperament is a natural feature of every human being which determines his emotional response to any situation. It can be influenced by genes, and can be the basis for many of your child’s habits, behaviors, and activities.
Temperamental characteristics are most clearly expressed in young children. But as a person matures, his temperament often smooths out. This happens as a process of adapting to and coping with the expectations of the world and other people. Everyone comes into the world with temperamental predispositions that can be both beneficial or counterproductive to the learning process, depending on the environment’s demands. To understand how to help your child succeed at school, it is necessary to consider the peculiarities of his temperament.
Among children there practically exist no “clean” types (absolute choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic, or melancholic). Everyone has features of multiple temperaments within them. But, the predominance of features you notice in your child can help you to determine that child’s temperament.
Choleric: an irrepressible child, touchy, impulsive, aggressive and hot-tempered.
How to help: Excess energy and aggression can be used on the football field or basketball court, or at the swimming pool. Board games, construction, sculpture, and drawing can help the child to pay attention, stay on task, and persevere through challenges.
Phlegmatic: a calm, self-possessed child, reasonable, does everything slowly.
How to help: Involve your child in sports and physical activity. Team games, dance, or martial arts will stretch your child’s comfort zone and help them learn to be a little more flexible in new situations.
Sanguine: a sociable, thick-skinned, cheerful, and optimistic child. He likes to talk; he always has a lot of friends, but may lack patience.
How to help: Use any types of games and activities that lead to quick and visible results – erector sets, blocks, and other construction toys, collecting and stringing beads, embroidery, painting, applique.
Melancholic: a quiet, shy, and impressionable child. He is often found alone, it is difficult for him to make friends and socialize with other children.
How to help: Play indoor games that give the child control over the situation, with specific rules so he will know what to expect. Encourage him to participate in low pressure competition, such as running races, to help build confidence. Having the child create, write, and speak about their interests will help them learn to overcome shyness, and playing team games will help him to communicate effectively with others.
Once you’ve recognized your child’s temperament, you will be able to help him respond to challenges and build effective relationships with peers and classmates. Remember, there are no good or bad temperaments; each of them has its pros and cons. The goal is to be aware of the features of your child’s individual temperament and build on their strengths, to give each child, of any temperament, the greatest chances of success.