Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gift of Discipline Workshop: Week 5

Today's topic was temperament. The talk was lead by the Early Years employee who usually does these things (but didn't the last three weeks because she was someplace warm). This is related to discipline because, she says, it's important to know a child's temperament so that you can implement a strategy that will work for them. Sort of a custom job. Also, the way your temperament meshes with your child's can create issues.

Some temperament traits: activity level, regularity, first reactions, adaptability, sensory threshold/sensitivity, intensity of reaction, mood, distractability, persistence/attention span. (The talk explained what each of these traits is, but if you think about it you could probably figure it out yourself).

So what? You're supposed to spend time observing your kid so you can figure out what end of the spectrum he fits into for each of these categories. I'm already stuck on #1; activity level. No one can deny that William loves to run around, but he also enjoys sitting reading a book, or quietly playing blocks, or watching TV for an hour (Yes, I am that sort of parent. Technology is there for us to use people!)

At the end, we were given a little quiz we're supposed to do to where I put every family member (I didn't really include Jadzia because she's a baby) on a scale for each of the temperament traits. That way we can see at a glance whether there will be a conflict of personalities. Let me just glance here... It seems my husband is the problem. His intensity of reaction is too low and he has too much attention span with too little distractability. I, on the other hand, have the temperament of a two-year-old, so William and I should get along famously.

Unless, of course, he goes the entire day without a nap, even though he is clearly tired because he refuses to listen, hits his sister over the head multiple times and spends the afternoon throwing things, including a water glass that makes a big dangerous mess on the floor, and feeding crayons to the dog. But what are the odds of that ever happening?

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