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NAN: Temperament Traits

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A child’s temperament is an embodiment of how children interact with and engage their world.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are at least 9 major infant temperament traits. 

These include:

Activity level, defined as the level of physical activity, motion, restlessness or fidgety behavior that a child demonstrates in daily activities (and which also may affect sleep). 

Rhythmicity or regularity, defined as the presence or absence of a regular pattern for basic physical functions such as appetite, sleep and bowel habits.

Approach and withdrawal, defined as the way a child initially responds to a new stimulus (rapid and bold or slow and hesitant), whether it be people, situations, places, foods, changes in routines or other transitions.

Adaptability, defined as the degree of ease or difficulty with which a child adjusts to change or a new situation and how well the youngster can modify his reaction.

Intensity, defined as the energy level with which a child responds to a situation, whether positive or negative.

Mood, defined as the positive or negative, or degree of pleasantness or unfriendliness in a child’s words and behaviors.

Attention span, defined as the ability to concentrate or stay with a task, with or without distraction.

Distractibility, defined as the ease with which a child can be distracted from a task by environmental (usually visual or auditory) stimuli.

Sensory threshold, defined as  the amount of stimulation required for a child to respond. Some children respond to the slightest stimulation, and others require intense amounts.

Although it’s present in the word, temperament is not related to a child’s temper.

Michelle LaRoweNAN: Temperament Traits