What’s your toddler's personality type

How to identify which toddler “tribe” your child belongs to.

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While all babies are hardwired with certain personality traits from the minute they’re born, their personas really emerge when they’re toddlers. That’s when they start doing, erm, fun things like shoving Lego bricks up their noses (they’re curious), drawing on the walls (immense creativity), or throwing a tantrum because they don’t want to wear what you’ve chosen (assertive/fashion-forward).

To understand these little creatures, the first step is to figure out your toddler’s personality. Early signs can give you a real taste of what type of adult your child will be — your hyper-energetic tot could be destined to conquer Everest or your laidback little lady may be a born teacher.

Here are some pointers you can use to help juniors live up to their full potential…

1. The Kiddult

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What she's like: Articulate — think a 2-year-old going on 20. Smart and curious, she’s likely to ask you all those tricky questions.
First word: “Why?”
Most likely to: Announce that Dora The Explorer is for babies.
Possible careers: CEO, lawyer or psychologist.
How to nurture her:
• Kidults need consistent messages. Don’t negotiate with them.
• Try not to palm her off with untruths — she’s so astute, she’ll guess.
• Answer her enquiries clearly and confidently whenever you can.

2. The sweetie 

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What she's like: Gentle and empathetic. She’s not prone to tantrums — if another toddler snatches her toy, she’ll let them have it.
First word: “Lalalala!”
Most likely to: Give her lunch away.
Possible careers: Teacher, nurse or social worker.
How to nurture her:
• Help your Sweetie learn to express her needs by giving her choices about what she wants to do.
• Build her self-esteem by finding something she likes doing — dancing, music or swimming.
• When your Sweetie says, “no”, be positive that she’s asserting herself and try to accommodate her.

3. The mild one

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What she's like: This one assesses situations cautiously before joining in. She’s slow to warm up and careful about engaging with new people.

First word: “Maybe…”
Most likely to: Hide in the wardrobe.
Possible careers: Artist, writer or designer.
How to nurture her:
• Invite friends over to play, one at a time. Keeping things low-key will help her relax.
• Help her learn to operate in new situations by organising role-playing games — try playing shopkeepers or hairdressers.
• Warn her in advance if there are going to be changes to your routine so that she has time to adjust.

4. The drama tot

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What she's like: No need for stage school, your little one’s already a major diva. She wears her heart on her sleeve — noisily joyful when she’s happy, passionately grumpy when she’s upset.

First word: “Want!”
Most likely to: Tell you off.
Possible careers: Actor, reality star or Lady Gaga.
How to nurture her:
• Find things that soothe her — it might be playing on her own with a jigsaw or reading quietly together.
• Don’t create busy itineraries for the Drama tot. She’ll respond negatively if she’s over-stimulated.
• Help her find words to describe her emotions so that she learns to process them.

5. The busy bee
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What she's like: Full of energy — take your eyes off her for a second and she’ll be halfway up a lamp post with your handbag.

First word: “Mine!”
Most likely to: Swallow small change.
Possible careers: Race-car driver, athlete, or an entrepreneur.
How to nurture her:
• Plan lots of physical exercises to allow these kids to work off their energy or they will explode in ugly ways.
• Be careful she’s not getting extra stimulation from sugary food, or too much TV.
• Get her attention by whispering to her. The tone will make her think it’s something really important.

6. The chillaxer
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What she's like: This toddler is super-easy-going and takes most things in her stride. If she gets in a tizzy, it’s easy to work out what has upset her.

First word: “Wow!”
Most likely to: Hug strangers.
Possible careers: Musician, dancer or yoga instructor.
How to nurture her:
• Reward your Chillaxer’s positivity with attention, praise and love.
• Laugh together. Studies show that the more a child grins, the more her brain pathways become wired towards smiling.
• If a younger sibling comes along, make sure you don’t neglect your easy-going toddler. If she needs to change her behaviour to get your attention, she will.

Photos: INGimage

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