January 2018 - Temperament & "The Match" February 23 2018

Temperament is an individual difference that influences how we react to situations, interactions and environments. It includes things like activity level, impulsivity, sensitivity and the ability to focus attention. Even identical twins who have identical genes and share the same family and home environment, have different ways of acting and interacting with their world. Understanding temperamental differences has a tremendous impact on caregiving and teaching, as it helps to make sense of children’s feelings and actions.

As parents/caregivers, we also need to consider the influence of our own temperaments and personalities when interacting with children. Does our temperament match or not match the child’s temperament, and then, in each case how might that affect how we interact?

In the first video, you will meet identical twins, Brooke and Leah, who tend to approach life in very different ways. Consider the importance of being aware of each girl’s temperament when interacting with these two children.

In the next video, Dr. Joan Durrant, Child-Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor of Family Social Sciences, University of Manitoba, describes temperament and the importance of parents/caregivers understanding “the match” between themselves and the children that they support.

Have you ever experienced a “mismatch” between your temperament and that of a child? Were you able to accommodate the difference?
For more information about temperament and child-caregiver match check out SECD’s Coping and Competence module.