parents and children: a good fit?

There is a nice piece on the NYU Child Study Center’s website about the goodness of fit between a parent’s style of parenting and the temperament of a child, titled: Parenting Styles/Children’s Temperament: The Match. It is this very fit (or lack thereof) that shapes the overall relationship between child and parent. It is important for parents to adapt as best they can to their individual children based on their temperaments and make the fit as good as possible. See below for brief examples of the different parenting styles and temperaments.

Parenting Styles:

  • Strict parent: You come back right this minute and give that ball back to Luisa immediately.
  • Moderate parent: The ball belongs to Luisa. I know you want to play with it, but why don’t you talk it over with her and try and work out a system to take turns?
  • Permissive parent, believing that Annie should be allowed to express her impulses freely, doesn’t suggest a solution and does not use the opportunity to help her solve a problem.

Children’s Temperaments:

  • Easy children are calm, happy, adaptable, regular in sleeping and eating habits, positive in mood and interested in new experiences.
  • Difficult children are often fussy, irregular in feeding and sleeping habits, low in adaptability, fearful of new people and situations, easily upset, high strung, and intense in their reactions.
  • Slow to warm up children are relatively inactive, reflective, tend to withdraw or to react negatively to novelty, but their reactions gradually become more positive with experience.