Any study on childhood behavior starts with having parents fill out a checklist that reveals their child’s temperament. Basically, your child comes with a “blue print” that is hard wired at birth. This is the “nature” part of a person, which will be molded by the “nurture” part that is their life experiences. People tend to have one of 3 main personality types:
Fifty-five percent of people are compliant and easy. About 15% of these can be slow to warm up and cautious. These people are interested in pleasing others and getting along.
Strong willed or persistent people—sometimes called “aggressive researchers” are about 10 % of the population. These people are always pushing the limit before deciding what they want to do. They will repeatedly test a rule to see if it still stands.
About 35% of people are Fence sitters or observers: These people will sometimes side with the strong-willed or the compliant people. They are “skillful researchers”. They’re deciding which is the smartest path for them.
Most human beings are on a spectrum or combination of these personality types. Understanding your child’s temperament as well as your own is key to parenting your child successfully.
Think about where you and your child are on these spectrums and next we will talk about successful parenting approaches.
*For more detailed information, check out Robert MacKenzie’s “Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child”.