16-Month-Old Toddler Development: Toddler Temperament
You may have brought your kid into this world, but sometimes you just have to stare in awe (or terror) and say, "Where on earth did you come from?!" At this age, your kid's personality is really shining through and you may be shocked by how different—or eerily identical!—your kid's personality is compared to you and your partner. What you're thinking: "Surely this kid inherited at least one of my best personality traits. Right?"
- Experts have broken down toddler temperaments into three basic categories: the spirited child, the shy child and the easy child. Your job is to figure out which type of child you have so you can help her be the best kid she can be! Not sure what kind of child yours is? Read on!
- The spirited child, a.k.a. the Tantrum Queen, is louder, more high energy and more intense than other kids. Spirited kids tend to have irregular sleeping, eating and pooping habits. They often have a low sensory threshold and have a hard time adapting to new situations. To get the best out of your wild child, try to prepare her for any changes way ahead of time so she can adapt. Teach her how to calm herself down and recognize her feelings before she gets out of control, and set clear limits for her. Also, be careful not to use negative labels like "difficult" or "crazy" for your spirited kid. Use positive phrases like "energetic" instead, even if you have to grit your teeth as you say them.
- The shy child, a.k.a. your third leg, is slow to warm up and often clings to you like Saran Wrap. She may be low energy and fussy and have a hard time adapting to new situations. The shy kid may need a little extra support and encouragement from you. Try to stick to a routine and give her plenty of time to adjust to new people or situations. Also make sure to give her plenty of opportunities to socialize even if it makes her uncomfortable at first. Small groups or familiar environments will probably be best. And again, don't label your shy kid or she may go through life believing that she's a "wallflower."
- The easy child , is the most adaptable child and tends to be happy. Easy children are flexible and go with the flow. They don't get bothered much by things, thanks to a low sensory threshold. The easy child typically has high regularity in their sleeping and eating habits; they'll even sometimes poop at the same exact time every day (which means no grocery store at noon for you!). Parenting an easy kid is pretty easy, but make sure to take special time to connect with her. Since she won't demand your attention, you may not know something is bothering her unless you take the time to investigate. And be warned that some other parents will be a tad jealous of you for having it so easy!
- Kids come hardwired with a lot of their basic personality traits. Whether yours is as introverted as Howard Hughes or as out there as Paris Hilton, as calm as a little Buddha or wired like the Energizer Bunny, odds are she was born that way. (Phew!)
- "Look, just because my kid doesn't wave to your goony goo-goo face or say "hello" when you do, don't slap a scarlet letter S on her.
"Oh, she's shy," they say all frowny. Um, no, she's not. She doesn't know you from Adam or Eve or the Unabomber. (And why you think you can ask her for one of her pretzels as a conversation starter is beyond me!) Why should she talk to you? And frankly, why should I force her to?" Read more of "Don't Call My Kid Shy!" by ljzmami
Everything you ever wanted to know ... and were just about to ask:
Celebrate your kid's uniqueness with a book all about him! Do It: Circle Painting Activity
Encourage your little individual's artistic expression! Cook It: Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal
No matter what his personality, your kid will dig this yummy breakfast. And you'll dig that it's so high in whole grains, calcium and protein.
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All kids grow and develop at different rates. So please don't compare your toddler with so-and-so's from across the street—you'll just drive yourself nuts. If you have any concerns, bring them up with your pediatrician at your kid's next checkup.