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Child Temperament: Flexible, Feisty, or Combined?


To promote proper development in a child, one must consider their characteristics and identify the temperament that a child is most likely to have. Despite the fact that there are only three possible results, the unique combinations of nine traits, as well as different degrees of their intensity, allow for a rather accurate identification of a child’s educational needs and the strategies that can be used to meet these needs successfully.

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According to the framework, three primary types of temperament can be observed in most children. The flexible type is the most common one since it is believed to be characteristic of 40% of children (Lin et al., 2017). The identified kin of personality can be described as very flexible and, thus, prone to learning and successful communication. Although the children of the specified personality type might seem very easy to handle, especially as far as meeting their needs is concerned, there are certain impediments to the successful management of these children’s requirements. For instance, a child of the first personality type is unlikely to complain loudly even when there are evident impediments to the well-being and development. Therefore, overlooking the factors that may pose a threat to the health and progress of the children belonging to the identified temperament is dangerously easy. Consequently, one must carry out a detailed analysis of the factors to which these children are exposed to address emerging issues efficiently (Lin et al., 2017).


The second type of temperament, which approximately 10% of children tend to have, is termed as feisty since it implies the unwillingness to conform to established norms and assumes suggested behaviors and attitudes (Lin et al., 2017). The children that fall under the identified category are characterized by rather sharp mood swings. As a result, they might find it difficult to develop social skills, particularly communication-related ones. It should also be borne in mind that, due to mood swings, the children of the specified type may also experience certain health issues. Furthermore, infants may be quite difficult to potty train (Lin et al., 2017). Similarly, one is likely to encounter problems when determining the depth of feeling experienced by a child of the specified type when it reacts to a particular irritant. As a rule, children belonging to the specified personality type display either contentment or dissatisfaction of nearly the same magnitude when facing environmental factors of varying intensity. Therefore, care and attention are required to develop a better understanding of such children’s needs (Brock & Curby, 2016).


Finally, the third type of temperament represents a mixture of the two described above. The third kind of temperament is also rather rare since around 15% of children have it. The identified type of child personality is characterized by a rather shy behavior and a propensity toward a slow expression of their emotions and needs (Sun, Bot, & Steinkrauss, 2014). As a result, there is a certain social awkwardness in their behavior, which may lead to a lack of initiative. For the children that belong to the third personality type, parental support and encouragement are essential. However, it is also imperative for parents to allow their children to take their time when it comes to decision-making.


Creating the environment in which children will be able to acquire essential information and train necessary skills becomes possible once their key characteristics as learners are provided. Although the suggested categories are rather generic, they provide rather clear instructions for the further design of teaching approaches. As a result, the learning process becomes consistent and effective.


Brock, L. L., & Curby, T. W. (2016). The role of children’s adaptability in classrooms characterized by low or high teacher emotional support consistency. School Psychology Review, 45(2), 209-225.

Lin, Y., Xu, J., Huang, J., Jia, Y., Zhang, J., Yan, C., & Zhang, J. (2017). Effects of prenatal and postnatal maternal emotional stress on toddlers’ cognitive and temperamental development. Journal of Affective Disorders, 207, 9-17.

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Sun, H., Bot, K., & Steinkrauss, R. (2015). A multiple case study on the effects of temperamental traits in Chinese preschoolers learning English. International Journal of Bilingualism, 19(6), 703-725.

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