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Temperment

The 9 personality traits that determine who we are and how we interact with the world.

Rhythmicity

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Approach & Withdrawal

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Adaptability

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Temperament Quiz

Doctors Stella Chess and Alexander Thomas conducted a long-term study and discovered 9 Temperament Traits that are found, to varying degrees, in all of us. These are traits we're born with. We are all born with temperament traits, which influence the way we behave and interact with the world. All temperament traits have their advantages and challenges. There is no right or wrong... or good or bad temperament. It’s just who we’re hardwired to be. Understanding temperament traits helps us and our children find success. Please take this interactive quiz to learn about where you and your family members fall on the temperament scale.
Refers to how active your child needs to be every day, including how much time they spend being active versus inactive.
Refers to the predictability or unpredictability of biological functions such as hunger, sleep, and bowel movements.   A HIGHLY REGULAR child may need to eat every meal like clockwork. A delay or disruption can make for a really cranky kid.  With kids on the LOW END of the regularity scale, a parent may always be guessing about when the child is hungry or sleepy.  
describes the way a child reacts to a new situation or person, right as the moment is unfolding. Children who are quick to approach are likely to jump in and meet new people or try new things.  Children more inclined toward withdrawal need more time to warm up. 
Describes the way a child reacts to a new situation or person, right as the moment is unfolding. Children who are quick to approach are likely to jump in and meet new people or try new things.  Children more inclined toward withdrawal need more time to warm up. 
Describes how easily someone can adjust to life changes.   HIGHLY ADAPTABLE kids can adjust to a change in plans, and more easily get comfortable with a new routine or setting. This could be a kid who adapts quickly to a new school or a new bed. LESS ADAPTABLE children need more time to get comfortable with these kinds of changes.  
Is about how sensitive your child is to things like sound, taste, touch, and temperature.   Kids with high sensitivity are very affected by these things. Some kids are so sensitive that they will have an intense reaction to things that go unnoticed by most of us, things like automatic toilets and electric hand dryers in public bathrooms. These kids may wake even if you are whispering outside their door.  But kids with low sensitivity tend not to notice things that stimulate the senses. They may sleep through a party. 
Refers to how positive or negative we are as we interact with the world. Adults and kids all experience a range of emotions while going about daily life. Quality of mood is about where we tend to land most of the time.  Kids who have a high quality of mood tend to react to life with pleasure and acceptance. Kids with a lower quality of mood may seem to find fault with everything and everyone. Remember, this is their mood when everything is status quo, and the child is not being affected by big stressors or other things that can influence how they feel.
Has to do with how much energy a child puts into responses, whether they are positive or negative.   The high intensity child will squeal wildly with delight, or complain loudly and pout. High intensity kids may be seen as dramatic, and have strong reactions to something that seems minor, such running out of their favorite snack.   The low intensity child will give a simple smile or quietly sulk. These restrained reactions sometimes make it hard to know how they’re feeling. 
Refers to how easily a child is distracted by the environment around them. Simply put, how easily can a child’s attention be diverted from an activity - be it playing, doing homework, or getting a drink of water.  Highly distractible children can find their attention jumping quickly from one thing to the next. This child could be super thirsty and thinking about getting a drink one minute and in the next, busy petting the neighbor’s puppy.   Children with low distractibility stay focused for a longer time on ONE thing. This child would not notice the dog until he had his water. He wants something to drink and all the puppies in the world are not going to change that.  
Refers to how long someone is willing to stay with a task even when it is challenging.   A persistent child continues an activity even in the face of obstacles. A few setbacks don’t discourage these kids! They often practice something until they master it.    A child with low persistence is often unwilling to continue with a challenging task. For example, they’ll start on a puzzle and, if the pieces do not fit together right away, this child will find something else to do.  

Parent Encouragement Program
10100 Connecticut Ave.
Kensington, MD 20895
301-929-8824
office@PEPparent.org

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