What Is Temperament?
All children are born with a combination of in-born traits that determine how they react to the world around them. Although "temperament" and "personality" are often used interchangeably, they are not the same.
"Personality is the totality of the human being," says Carey. "It describes how bright you are, what you are interested in, what you are capable of doing. Temperament has nothing to do with abilities or how well adjusted you are. It is the style with which you approach the world."
Understanding a child's true temperament can help parents solve a host of issues including temper tantrums, power struggles and problems at school. More often than not, a child's "bad" behavior stems from incongruities between their personal style and their environment. With a few simple modifications, parents can formulate an approach that minimizes conflict and maximizes a child's chances of social and academic success.