Why is this important?

  • Knowing what kind of temperament your child has will help you better understand him.

  • There are three temperament types to know about that will  help you understand your child.


Every child is unique, and some are “easier” than others. A child’s temperament strongly influences the ease with which he adjusts to the changing environment around him. Many caregivers find it useful to think about their child in terms of the temperament, so they can better help him adapt in challenging situations. The following qualities describe three broad categories, but it’s important to remember that a category cannot offer a whole picture of your child. 



  • quiet

  • watchful

  • observant

  • may like to sit more

  • may be bothered more by change or new things

  • slow to warm up



  • accepts change or new situations without too much fuss

  • may not protest very often

  • smiles a lot

  • approaches new people with confidence

  • may be easily overlooked by adults because of his calmness



  • intense and feisty

  • shows strong emotions

  • difficult to sit still for long

  • not as interested in sitting activities like reading books

  • harder to see his new learning skills because he is on the move

  • may not sit still for cuddles

It is important to distinguish a difficult temperament from other problems. For instance, recurrent or chronic illnesses, or emotional and physical stresses, can cause behavioral difficulties that are really not a problem with temperament at all.

Keep in mind, every child develops at his/her own pace. Talk to your pediatrician if you have questions about your child's development.

Related Resources

How to Understand Your Child's Temperament (American Academy of Pediatrics) 

Temperament (Zero to Three)