Are you struggling to deal with your toddler’s behavior? It’s no secret toddlers can be little terrors sometimes. Once they hit two years of age, their own personality starts to really kick in and they’re not afraid to show it!
While it’s great to see your little one developing into their own unique person, it can be really difficult transitioning from parenting a sweet, innocent baby to a mischievous, hurricane of a toddler!
However, one thing that’s going to make it one hundred times harder is trying to change their personality. This is a common mistake many parents make, but what does it mean? Could you be trying to change their personality without even realizing it?
Here we’ll look at the different toddler personality types and why accepting, rather than challenging it, is key to making your life easier.
Understanding The Different Toddler Personalities
If you do a little research, you’ll find there are quite a few different terms branded around to describe different toddler personalities. From “Auditory” to “Intuition”, it can be difficult knowing which category your child falls into, or even what the correct term to describe their personality is!
To simplify it, all of these terms roughly amount to three different categories of toddlers. The majority of experts agree that toddlers fall into one of the following personality types:
- Easy Going
Those are the three basic personality types. Of course, toddlers often go through numerous phases, so at some point they may express traits from all three of the above categories. However, you can tell which one they largely represent by the behavior they most commonly present.
So let’s look at these different personality types in a little more detail…
Easy Going – Many toddler’s fall into this category. They adapt quickly and easily to change, appear cheerful the majority of the time and they don’t tend to get angry easily. That isn’t to say they won’t stand up for themselves and have tantrums. They’re toddlers after all so tantrums are par for the course!
The only potential pitfall here, is that because they’re quite content doing their own thing, it’s easy to leave them in front of the TV for longer than is healthy. Or, to ignore them more if you have another, more difficult child to deal with. As easy going as they might be, neglecting them could lead to issues later on in life.
Shy – Now this is probably the most difficult personality type to identify. All toddlers, even easy going ones, go through shy phases. However, you can actually notice shyness in babies as young as 9 months old. If they’re going to have an easy going personality, your little one will smile at strangers. However, if they’re going to be shy, they’ll likely cry and be a lot clingier.
You’ll also find shy toddlers don’t cope well with change. They can also be a lot more sensitive to different things such as the temperature of the room or the simple feel of their clothing. They observe, rather than interact so this does make them more sensitive and aware of the things around them.
Shy toddlers typically require a gentler parenting approach. They thrive on gentle persuasion and praise. It’s also important to not rush a shy toddler into things as this could lead to the development of fear.
Spirited – The least common, yet the most challenging personality type, is the spirited toddler. Known for causing havoc and challenging absolutely everything, a spirited child knows exactly how to express their opinions; particularly when they aren’t happy about something!
If your little one is especially active, jumps right into situations rather than trying to figure them out first, are impulsive and very impatient, they most definitely have a spirited personality.
There’s no doubt raising a spirited toddler is hard. In fact, it’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. However, the key is to keep them as active as possible. It’s important to give them chance to burn off all of that excess energy. They also tend to require a more structured and firm parenting approach. The main thing you’re going to need however is patience – lots and lots of patience!
The Trouble With Trying To Change Your Toddler’s Personality
Now you know the different personality types, why does changing your parenting style to match it matter? Well, if you don’t, you’re simply going to end up having a lot more battles with your child, it could impact their overall development and make both of your lives a lot harder than it needs to be.
So many parents focus on who they want their toddler to be, rather than accepting them for who they are. You need to remember that every toddler is different. So, what works for one in terms of discipline, won’t work for another.
Trying to change their personality isn’t going to work. If you accept it and alter your parenting style to suit their personality, you’ll quickly find over half of the battles you currently have with your little one just disappear overnight.
Embrace the differences in your children. It’s sometimes hard to embrace a spirited child, but think about the positive things that will add up to when your toddler becomes an adult. That forceful, confident personality will help them develop into healthy, happy adults and turn them into helpful, contributing members of society. Your shy child will grow up with a lot more empathy and understanding of the world around them. Focus on the positive aspects of their personality rather than the negative.
Overall, you’ll be amazed just how much difference it can make if you adjust your parenting style to fit your toddler’s personality. Wouldn’t it be great to eliminate over half of the battles you and your little one have? Think of how much easier life would be!