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NAN: Temperaments and Interactions

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Each childcare provider also has her own temperament. According to the Infant and Toddler Temperament Tool, the compatibility of the caregiver and child temperaments can affect the quality of the relationship. This compatibility, or goodness of fit, is when the caregivers expectations and methods of caregiving match the child’s personal style and abilities. 

Even if a caregiver and child don’t have completely compatible temperaments, a caregiver can adjust her caregiving style to support the way the child interacts and engages his world. For example, an active child who has trouble with transitions can be given verbal and visual prompts that a transition time is coming. 

A child’s temperament influences how people respond to him.  A caregiver may take pleasure in being able to easily comfort an easygoing infant but may feel frustrated or insufficient when trying to comfort a slow to warm up or an active child, as it’s likely to require extra effort and creativity on the caregiver’s part. 

Social interactions affect the wiring of a child’s brain. Repetitive positive experiences like singing, reading and cuddling positively affect brain development. Meeting an infant’s needs fosters his ability to communicate by encouraging him to continue to interact. When he’s communicating a need and a caregiver meets it, it supports the development of cause and effect thinking. 

Michelle LaRoweNAN: Temperaments and Interactions