Every child is special. There are no two children alike, they are individuals; emotionally, physically, socially and intellectually. They are what many consider to be a gift, a miracle, an answer to our prayers. And because these precious little souls hold such an important place in our lives, it is only right that we try to understand them more so as to help them grow into well rounded, witty and intellectual adults who will be able to fend for themselves as well as to care for others.
Becoming familiar with a child’s personality goes a long way in helping to anticipate their reactions and to understand why they act in certain ways. Basically, getting to know a child’s personality traits will enable a parent to help equip them with the necessary skills to transition into adulthood smoothly.
For example, one would not expect a shy child to immediately make new friends at playschool. Or expect a feisty and energetic child to be able to sit quietly in the corner reading a book by himself. So here at Moms, we have prepared a general breakdown of the various types of personalities traits that kids might possess and the tried and tested ways that can help to nurture them.
Let's start with the 10 common personality traits...
20 The Wallflower
The wallflower is often a shy and introverted child, preferring to lean on you and stick to his or her comfort zone. The wallflower does not warm up to strangers instantly, preferring instead to tread cautiously on unfamiliar terrain. The child will not like crowded places or activities that are too loud or stimulating, preferring a more subdued and quiet environment with a few loved ones nearby. “Hey, there little one! I finally get to meet my nephew! Come and give Uncle Ted a big hug!” The child looks startled and bursts into endless tears, worthy to fill the Nile River. “Hey, look at the new attraction at Disneyland! Let’s go try out the Ironman Ride!” Child backs away and whimpers. If these few examples ring a familiar tune to you, my dear you have a little wallflower on your hands.
19 The Thinker
The thinker is a quiet child, one who thinks before reacting or answering. Thinkers tend to be perceptive and have their very own logical thinking (as logical as can be for a child). Ask the child to put on his shoes before he goes to play and the wheels in his brain will start turning. “Why do I need to put on shoes mummy? Is it to protect my feet from worms and rocks?” Or “Is the sun good for us daddy? Is that why we keep lying around in the backyard on sunny days?"As great as it may be to have a thinker, there will also be times when they will annoyingly try to correct you based on their limited understanding, “No mummy, you shouldn’t drive in the fast lane, not when you’re driving like a tortoise."
18 The Explorer
Explorers are a curious little bunch. Everything surrounding them will hold some sort of fascination for them. From the lamp in the bedroom to the knob on the door to the birds on the tree. They will want to see, feel and touch practically all that they can feast their eyes on. “Son, what are you doing?” “Oh nothing, just wanted to see if the ants like eating freshly baked brownies is all” or “Honey, where are you going with your backpack and teddy bear?” “I’m going to visit grandma” - Grandma lives in another state. If you have a child who loves to try out new things and seems curious about practically everything, then you definitely have a little explorer in the family.
17 The Caregiver
The caregiver is a caring child, often seen to be tending to his or her teddy bears and dolls, feeding them food and drinks and playing doctors. They will usually be extremely giving, not minding to share their toys with others and even going to the length of making others feel happy. They will gladly help with the house chores and will try to ease your burden. “Mummy, let me help take in the laundry” Tries to scoop up a pile of laundry higher than his or her head. “Daddy, let me help you wash the car” Proceeds to drench the car, lawn and even daddy with water.
16 The Artist
The artist will be uncannily gifted in drawing, painting or even handicraft, often being able to think outside the box. As children, they might be able to come up with paintings that would make Van Gogh proud. They might even be better at origami and paper cuttings than the average adult and also wow us with their fashion sense. “Did your teacher help you sketch this wonderful portrait darling?” “No mummy, I did” or “Here Aunty Lynn, I think you’d look better with a pale blue skirt instead of the frumpy green dress “. If you have an artistic child, be prepared to have them transform their ordinary looking room into one filled with vibrant colors and interesting sketches.
15 The Performer
The performer is generally an extrovert, one who definitely is not shy to make friends and be the center of attention. In fact, they crave to be in the limelight, often being the loudest and most animated in his or her gang of friends. Put them on a stage and they will blow your mind with their ability to command attention and engage you with their performances (be it singing, acting or dancing). Performers usually end up as actors, singers, talk show hosts and even motivational speakers. So if you have a performer in your house, rest assured that there will never be s dull day in the household.
14 The Visionary
The visionary is what many consider d to be a mature child. One who is able to grasp and understand his or her surroundings and situations and have the ability to quickly adapt to whatever comes their way. They may or may not like crowded places, change or even new faces but they will definitely be able to understand the need to blend in and accept whatever challenge that lies ahead. “Darling, we’re moving to another school again okay?” “Alright mummy” or “Sweetheart, daddy and mummy will be out of town for the next few days so Aunt Edna will stay over alright?” “Aunt Edna sucks, but okay, come back soon mummy”.
13 The Zen Child
Consider yourself the luckiest of all if you have a zen child. A zen child is one who is calm and mature. Sure they will occasionally throw a tantrum or two but the zen child is more often than not an optimistic child, one who is able to see the positive side of things even when all seems to be unwell. “Darn! Why do all the electrical applied in the house have to break down at the same time?” “Don’t worry mummy, the technician will be here soon” or “No, it’s raining again. Sorry honey, we can't go swimming," “ Well, then we get to watch TV and eat cookies right mummy?” If you have a zen child, quickly go down on your knees and thank your lucky stars. The rest of us will just sit here and grumble about how unfair life is.
12 The Wild Child
Ahhh, the wild child. The wild child is the most difficult to handle of the lot. That being said, there are many perks with having a wild child and if nurtured well, their extreme passion for life and livings it to the fullest will reap its rewards in the future. Sure they will defy almost all of your orders and threats, but what fun is a house with no scribbles, stickers, and drawings on the wall? “Baby, stop jumping on the bed, you might fall down”. Child proceeds to jump up and down staircase instead.
11 The Sensitive Child
The sensitive child feels everything. He or she can feel your joys and sorrows and react accordingly to it. They also wear their hearts on their sleeves, so it is very easy to tell whether they are happy or sad. Scold them a little and you might just have tears streaming down their tiny little faces. Have a fight with your spouse and they might try to defend you but feel lost and hurt at the same time. Tell them a sad story and they might feel down for the next few days. One needs to be extra careful with the sensitive child as they tend to react strongly to how their loved ones feel.
And here are 10 ways a parent can nurture their child, depending on their personality...
10 Prepare The Shy One
With the wallflower, we have to take things slowly. Prepare your child before you head to a new place together, hold his or her hand firmly and constantly give them reassurances that you are there with them. Do not expect them to be able to run off and become a social butterfly with their friends. Instead, let them warm up at their own pace. Sure you can encourage them, but do not push them into mixing with other kids as this can make them feel smothered. Remember, there is nothing wrong with a child who prefers to keep a low profile.
9 Cultivate The Thinker
As the thinker’s mind is always on the go, encourage the child to learn new things. Indulge their need to feed on information, lather them with books and gadgets as well as informative toys. Dazzle them with all the wonders the world has to offer. Thinkers are particularly fond of puzzles, building blocks, interactive toys (like toy robots and computers) as well as books. So do not be stingy, bring them to the library, let them enjoy playing with slime and homemade play dough, allow them to conduct simple experiments and get ready to be wowed by their innovative thinking.
8 Protect The Explorer
To the parent whose child is fearlessly confident and seen constantly darting through the playground and exploring everything they lay their eyes upon, try to treat them like adults. Allow them to help out in the kitchen, encourage them to bathe themselves and brush their own teeth. Allow them to be as independent as can be and shower them with praise and encouragement whenever they perform the tasks correctly. Try not to control them too much or be overly protective of them as they might feel as if you do not trust them. And while it is great to have them try to look after themselves, do try to toddler-proof your house, just in case the little one accidentally hurts himself or herself.
7 Encourage The Giver
Not every child is willing to share by nature. Most just want to protect what is theirs while others actively seek to conquer the possessions of their peers. So if your child is a giver then he or she is definitely a gem. And try your hardest to preserve their giving nature because a caring nature is something we all need more of. Bring them to the orphanage on Christmas and have them pass out toys to the less fortunate. Encourage them to tag along to the soup kitchen and more importantly, instill in them a sense of love and responsibility towards their family by allowing them to help look after their siblings and even pet toys. After all, charity often begins at home.
6 Embrace The Artist
So what if your child loves drawing so much that he or she doodles on the house wall? Yes, you have every right to discipline them but do jot snuff out their love for art. Instead, guide them to channel their love for drawings, paintings, and the arts into something less destructive. Invest in easels and drawing papers, let then have fun with arts and crafts. Let them decorate the Christmas tree and allow them to bake simple cakes. Let them be little, for they’re only that way for a while. So do not limit their creativity and maybe, just maybe they might become world-renowned painters one day.
5 Engage The Performer
It is said that Emma Stone gave a very passionate presentation to her parents during her childhood and convinced them to move to Hollywood to jump-start her career. Fast forward to more than a decade later and Mr. and Mrs. Stone have an Oscar-winning actress for a daughter. The moral of the story is, if your child is passionate about the performing arts, do not stop them. Let them join acting classes, singing classes or any other classes they are passionate about. Of course, we shouldn't simply enroll them in any of the classes just because of a sudden craving; only if they are truly serious about performing.
4 Marvel at The Visionary
If the visionary shares with you his or her ideas about the future, his or her thoughts on school, the car, the teddy bear and even an opinion on a piece of paper, take the time to listen. While what they share might not seem significant to you, just having you by their side and listening to them makes all the difference in the world. It reinforces their confidence and promotes their self-worth. This goes a long way in helping them become self-assured adults who will not be afraid to share his or her thoughts in the future.
3 Nurture Your Zen Child
While the zen child may be the easier to handle of the lot, they will still require a lot of nurturing and attention. While they may have a calm and easy going demeanor, do not forget to pay attention to them and engage in playtime with them once in a while. They may be independently playing by themselves but engaging play time with them enables them to learn even more about socializing with others. Also, remember to praise them for getting things done when asked and keep an eye that they do not imitate bad behaviors that they might pick up from others as zen kids have a tendency to follow and do what they see regardless of whether they are right or wrong actions.
2 Tame The Wild Side
The wild child is often very loud and expressive. They are very easily stimulated, so always keep in mind to tune down any games that might over excite them (and no, a constant game of chess is not the answer . We want to keep them from being overly active, not bore them out of their minds). As the wild child might have more trouble concentrating, always go down to their level and look them in the eye before engaging in any serious conversations with them. If you require them to perform a task, give them clear but simple instructions and they might just surprise you with how efficient they can be.
1 Aid In Managing Your Sensitive Child's Emotions
The sensitive child is generally considered to be the most mature of the lot as they are usually able to empathize with what others ate feeling. That being said, however, one should not expect them to be able to act and think like a real adult so be prepared to have meltdowns and lots of crying sessions. Do not scold them or punish them for crying. Allow them to express their frustrations, pull them into a big comforting hug and let them calm down before explaining to them what they did wrong. By being calm, we will send an unconscious message to their brains that while crying isn’t necessarily a bad thing, there ate other ways to tackle one’s emotions. And from there, they will slowly learn to control and keep their emotions in check.
References: wikipedia.com, parents.com, babycenter.com.