Why Your Child Should Have a Temperament Analysis

 By: Pathway Counseling of Savannah

     Is your child struggling with a tendency to become distracted or are they over energized? Does your child or loved one show characteristics that resemble ADD or ADHD? Are you looking for answers on how to effectively parent a child that is sometimes hard to work with?
 

     Temperament testing may be a excellent opportunity for you and your family to understand your child’s inborn temperament.  Learning about your child’s temperament can assist you to begin to provide positive strategies in parenting that match your child’s temperament needs that may be unmet and contributing to your child’s negative behavior.

What is a temperament?

 

  • Temperament is the inborn part of a person  that determines how you react to people, places, and things.  It determines how people interact with their environment and the world around them.  It pinpoints our perception of ourselves and  is a major factor is how well we handle the stress and pressures of life.
     

The three major areas of temperament:
  • Inclusion – Surface relationships and social orientation.

  • Control – How you carry out your responsibilities and who has the power in the relationships.

  • Affection – Deeper relationships with family and close friends

 

A person may have a different temperament type  in all three areas.

 

There are 5 major types of temperament:
  • Melancholy – Characterized by having a need to be alone. Independent, realistic, artistic, and creative thinkers.

  • Sanguine – Characterized by having a need for people. Bright and cheerful people, distractible.

  • Choleric – Characterized by having a need to dominate/control situations, self, and others.

  • Phlegmatic – Characterized by easy going manner, peacemaking abilities, and low energy. Can be stubborn and be resistant to change.

  • Supine - Characterized by having a gentle spirit, exhibits indirect behaviors, and has an inability to initiate relationships or conversations. Tends to serve others and please people.

 

Parents of newborns say each one has unique patterns. When you look in a hospital nursery each one is different. Temperament is indicated in these observations.

 

  • A temperament test is an evidence-based analysis that is conducted before counseling. A temperament test can be administered to the following:

  • Children.

  • Teenagers.

  • Parents.

  • Couples.

  • Premarital couples.

  • Employment agencies and personnel
     

There are 5 different temperament tests that can be administered at Pathway Counseling:

  1. Clinical – This derives information for the therapist.

  2. Personal – This derives results for the client.

  3. Children – Designed for children ages 7-11.

  4. Teens – Designed for children and teenagers ages of 13-19.

  5. Personnel - for career counseling and employers.

 

The objectives/benefits:
  • Parents learn effective parenting according to their child's or teenager's temperamental

  • This knowledge helps people overcome4 challenges, solve problems, reduce stress and find balance in life.

  • It helps obtain emotional healing.

  • Improving relationships is brought about by learning about the temperament of others.

  • This report is effective in providing techniques for communication with others according to their inborn temperament.

 

Why should your child have a temperament test?

1) Parents make right adjustments according to temperament

 

Re-frames how you interpret your child's behavior

  • Example:  A parent might see an active, energetic child as exuberant rather than hyper and intrusive.

  • Example:  A parent sees a shy, introverted child as sensitive and thoughtful

 

2) Proper growth and development for children

  • When see your child's behavior as temperament related you can reduce negative reactions.

  • Disruptive behavior can be seen as purposeful, rather than responding negatively or punitively.

    • Example:  Controlling child (Choleric),  should be given choices within parents perimeters

 

3) Helps you identify and targets strengths and weaknesses of your child

  • Does not excuse a child's unacceptable behavior – It gives direction.

    • Example:  Slow-paced, dawdling child (Phlegmatic), at breakfast:  Provide an extra half hour in morning rather than continual reminders to hurry up.

    • Example: A child deeply involved in drawing project (Melancholy), may need to be reminded several times at intervals that the dinner hour or bedtime is close.

 

4)  Provide an effective discipline and parenting plan according to temperament.

  • Parental Recommendations according to temperament

  • Anticipate when and where there are likely to be problems

    • Example:  Child does not like sudden surprises in the routine-work schedule, babysitter, etc. (Melancholy tendencies)

    • Needs family life orderly or consistent.  The child feels more comfortable when knows ahead, giving time to adapt.

    • Example:  A highly active, intense and distractible child (Sanguine tendencies), needs frequent stops and interesting activities on a long car trip to reduce the likelihood of negative outbursts.

                  

 

Case Study showing how temperament affects parents, children and family life:

Brown family has two sons, Brian and Ryan, ages 10 and 8.  Brian is Sanguine in Inclusion, (social orientation) and Affection (family and close friends), and Ryan is Melancholy in Inclusion, and Affection.

*** Notice the differences in temperament and parental recommendations below:

                       

Parental Recommendations for Melancholy child – Ryan (Social orientation)

Ryan's temperament analysis indicates that he is somewhat introverted and a compulsive loner, and too many people tend to stress him. Parents should refrain from forcing him to socialize, and he needs to be taught to maintain balance between socializing and being alone.  There are times when we must socialize. 

 

Parental Recommendations for Sanguine child – Brian- Inclusion,(social orientation)

Brian's temperament analysis indicates that he is an extrovert and needs to socialize. Parents should provide him with the opportunity to go places and be with people. Inactivity is very stressful to him. Parents should open up their home to friends; however, they need to be cautious of the moral values of the friends.  He could be influenced easily because of his fear of rejection. Allow him to listen to radio or television while performing tasks, doing

chores or doing homework. 

 

Parental Recommendations for Sanguine child – Brian- Inclusion,(social orientation)

Brian's temperament analysis indicates that he is an extrovert and needs to socialize. Parents should provide him with the opportunity to go places and be with people. Inactivity is very stressful to him. Parents should open up their home to friends; however, they need to be cautious of the moral values of the friends.  He could be influenced easily because of his fear of rejection. Allow him to listen to radio or television while performing tasks, doing

chores or doing homework. 

 

Affection, (family and close friends) – Ryan

Provide this youth with love and affection my doing special things (tasks) for him. He will rarely say, “I love you.”  His way of saying “I love you” is by doing tasks. Parents should refrain from forcing this youth to share deep, tender feeling when he is not comfortable.  This youth is very private regarding sharing deep feelings. Understand that it is devastating for this youth to lose a close friend or family member, therefore, he has few deep relationships.

 

Affection, (family and close friends) – Brian – Sanguine

Provide this youth with a great deal of love and affection.  He needs to be touched, hugged, and told constantly that he is loved and needed. Respond to his expressions of love and affection.  When he initiates, parents should not reject him, because he has a high fear of rejection. Understand this child tends to be emotional, and because of a hot temper, he will explode quickly and cool down fast.

 

These are only a few of the parental recommendations for each child.  It is apparent that the two brothers are totally different.  Both parents were Melancholy in temperament and understood Ryan's behavior because he had the same temperament (in two areas).

                       

As the parents discovered Brian's inborn temperament, they were able to make changes in parenting that provided the right temperament needs and relieved Brian of stress.  These changes dramatically helped end Brian's poor behavior.  Balance was restored to the family.

 

Benefits to Youth (teens)
  • Coaching them or educating them about how not to conform to pressures they face.

  • Preventing drinking problems, eating disorders, drug involvement or relationship problems in teenagers, young adults, and even into adulthood.

  • Helping guide youth toward extracurricular activities and career planning.

 

​Parents

  • It is extremely important that you know yourself and recognize your own unique temperament.  Awareness of differences in temperament helps provide a positive way to prevent and manage problems arising from different individual temperaments.

 

We readily offer temperament tests for children, adults and employees. If you are in need of a temperament test, or if you believe that your child may benefit from taking one, please contact us now at Pathway Counseling in Savannah, Georgia.

Pathway Counseling of Savannah 

330 Hodgson Ct, Suite B

Savannah, GA 31406

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