Recognizing the mood characteristics of children
There are many differences between children’s mood characteristics. You have probably noticed that some children are often more cheerful than others. Some children always seem to smile and others always look serious and sullen.
When adults look at young children, they describe their expressions as happy, sad, or angry, and of course, their guesses may be correct. In any case, a child’s instinctive personality can be defined by traits such as always happy, sad or angry, and it can be very useful for parents to understand the general mood characteristics of their child before analyzing how he or she behaves.
Every mother or father or every babysitter knows that there are obvious differences between children that can be seen from the earliest days of life. Some cry a lot, some are silent, some sleep according to a regular schedule, some are constantly moving.
Of course, it is possible to make children more irritable and active, but we must accept that some children tend to have a certain mood and certain reactions. These tendencies, which are based on nature, are called temperament.
Psychologists are interested in mood characteristics for two reasons. First, if certain mood traits are inherited or related to prenatal factors, they remain unchanged throughout the baby’s development.
Second, just as parents influence the child, so does the child, so children with different moods provoke different reactions from their parents, and in the face of similar experiences or parenting methods, Behave differently.
The researchers categorized children in terms of mood characteristics, categorizing them as painless, distracted, and children reacting.
Children are very different in terms of mood characteristics
The painless children, who made up 75% of the sample, were overall fresh, had a good night’s sleep and food was more adaptable, and did not get upset easily.
Perverted children (about 10%) were often mischievous, had poor sleep and eating habits, were afraid of new people and situations, and had very strong reactions.
Children with a slow reaction (about 15%) were relatively inactive and mischievous, reacting negatively to new things or avoiding them, but gradually reacting positively to new experiences.
At the age of seven, the more distraught children had more emotional problems. It is possible that the parents of such children have reacted harshly to their children’s behavior, thus inciting the child’s irritability, which was originally one of his characteristics.
Not surprisingly, parents gradually treat their children who are distracted in a certain way. A group of mothers was asked to explain how difficult it is to take care of their children. The group was then observed twice, once when their child was 12 months old and again when their child was 18 months old.
In the first evaluation, each mother was given different tasks. For example, a mother was asked to tell her child to give him something as soon as he named it (for example, a spoon or a key). Mothers were given other homework when the children were 18 months old. For example, help the child put the puzzle pieces in the right place.
When the children were twelve months old, the mother’s behavior was the same as that of the distraught and painless children. But six months later, mothers who had crooked sons did not bother to do their homework. It was as if their expectations of the child had diminished.
Crooked children apparently influenced their mothers’ attitudes about their abilities. If such children do not live up to their mothers’ expectations and continue to do so, their failing behavior will persist.
Two of the most persistent mood traits are shyness and silence
The level of activity of
children who are lively and restless when they grow up and go to school will not necessarily be naughty and controversial. Although very active babies will be more active in the first year of life than other children, they are less likely to maintain this trait in later childhood.
Differences between children in terms of characteristics such as crying, mood swings, and general irritability in the first six months of life are not lasting differences. But severe irritability in children over 7 months usually lasts until the first year or two of life.
Evidence, however, suggests that children who are highly irritable are less likely to be social at age two, as such children are less likely to smile or laugh than other children.
Reaction to the unfamiliar situation The
two most characteristic mood traits are shyness and silence in unfamiliar situations and vice versa, ie being social and spontaneous. These two characteristics are recognized by parents.
About ten percent of two-year-olds become very quiet and shy when they are in an unfamiliar place with a stranger and do not walk away from their mother for ten to 15 minutes. Such children are called shy.
More and more children, who are called spontaneous, start playing immediately and do not show a state of shyness.
Children in the first group are similar to introverted adults, and children in the second group exhibit conditions similar to those of extroverts.
These two profiles reflect a more general characteristic, for example, the tendency to refrain from talking and playing and withdrawing from a stranger when facing difficult people or situations.
Restrained and calm words are characteristic of a shy child, and free, energetic, and spontaneous words are in harmony with the characteristics of a spontaneous child.
Children who were extremely shy in the first three years of life had the same characteristics in the first years of school. They avoided risky activities, had minimal aggression, complied with their parents’ requests, and avoided unfamiliar individuals and groups.
The way children are raised affects the number of shyness children has. If a child who is prone to shyness is raised in an environment that encourages extroverted behavior, he or she will not be shy later. On the other hand, if the environment is stressful, even children born with a social temperament will shy away in the future.
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