Preschoolers sure are an unpredictable bunch, aren’t they? One minute, your little one is squealing with laughter in the playground, the next, they’re brooding in front of the TV or sulking with their favourite toy.
Though you have some way to go before they hit the angsty teen years (when you’ll really start tearing out your hair — but we also have help for you), we’re sure you still feel baffled by your kiddo’s temperament.
But understanding their personality type lets you help your child better express their feelings. It’ll also prevent conflicts and help you anticipate behavioural problems before they occur.
Plus, it’ll ease the way you parent, and allow you to see the positives in their actions. By the way, note that no two children are the same — junior may, in fact, be a combination of two or more of the personality categories!
Your family is planning a trip to the zoo for the weekend and you’ve just told junior. They react…
A Excitedly, asking “Who’s coming along”?
B Unhappily, saying, “Why the zoo?
Why not the Bird Park?”
C By asking what’s going to happen if it rains?
D By jumping for joy and knocking over their bowl of cereal in
You’re at a wedding and your second aunt, who lives in Australia, introduces herself to your kid. They…
A Smile and give her a big hug.
B Take one look at her, and decides to ignore her.
C Lean on you hesitantly. Later, they ask you quietly where this aunt came from.
D Either shriek with joy, or burst into tears as they want to get back to playing with the other kids.
Compared with other kids of similar age, when it comes to doing a colouring activity, your child…
A Often peers over a classmate’s shoulder to see what he or she is doing.
B Keeps to themself and completes the activity as well as they can.
C Gets upset when they colour outside the lines.
D Uses large bold strokes with their colouring pencils, not really caring if they colours within the lines.
“Understanding their personality type lets you help your child better express their feelings. It’ll also prevent conflicts and help you anticipate behavioural problems…”
When you reprimand your munchkin for getting chocolate stains all over their new outfit, they…
A Grin at you and you can’t help but smile back.
B May look confused or upset, but don’t cry.
C React emotionally and cry.
D Chuckle and try to give you a hug.
At mealtimes, your mini-muncher is…
A Best behaved when seated with the entire family and digging into a shared meal.
B Sometimes good, sometimes not. Either they like the food or they really, really don’t.
C Eating well when they get their favourite bowl and spoon.
D Running all over the place, while you’re screaming at them to come to the table.
A day out with your little one…
A Is no biggie — they travel anywhere easily and have fun wherever they goes.
B Is fun, if they get to choose where to go.
C Is best if you go somewhere they’ve already been to so they know what to expect.
D Is exhausting — you can’t keep up with them!
When they’re really interested in something (for example, a new toy), they are likely to…
A Try to get everyone and anyone to sit down and play with them.
B Focus so completely on it, they’ll refuse to do anything else.
C Ask a few burning questions, such as “How does it work?”
C Zoom around the house with it, so that they can show it off to everyone.
Your child is best described as…
A Lovable and often the centre of attention.
B Quiet and determined, often stubborn.
C Easily overwhelmed, especially when it’s crowded or noisy.
D An aggressive bundle of energy.
Click “more” to find out what the scores mean for your tot…
If your child scored mostly As
The social child
It’s a laugh-a-minute with this one. They wake up with a bright smile and when they’re around, their peers are naturally more playful because they can turn anything into a game. They come up with a new idea for every situation — though not all are realistic — and love meeting new people. Celebrate their personality, and guide them on activities that require more focus and concentration.
If your child scored mostly Bs
The serious child
They have strong opinions about what they like, what they do and who they are. Many see these children as strong-willed or demanding, but they’re also determined, confident and often mature. Value their personal style: Not everyone needs to be a social butterfly, or even blend into all social situations — some kids simply prefer to be low-key and may prefer time alone. The serious child has a gift for thinking logically and seeing the big picture.
If your child scored mostly Cs
The sensitive child
This child often comes across as kind, gentle and thoughtful. They’re in their element among people they love and feel connected to. Embrace your sensitive child by honouring their needs. They are probably comforted by routine — so, if you’re doing anything out of the ordinary, be sure to let them know early. Don’t expect them to fake being outgoing. The sensitive child can get overstimulated easily and needs a lot of time to unwind in the evening before bedtime.
If your child scored mostly D
The spirited child
Sure, it feels like you’ve been running on adrenaline all day, but this little munchkin makes sure you know when they’re happy and when they’re upset. If they get riled by anything, steer them away from the crowd and give them some “quiet time”. This child is an energetic little thing who needs healthy ways to express their feelings. They really need your full attention, so get down to their level and make eye contact when you talk. Remember, spirited children can’t handle last-minute visitors in the house — these spunky sweethearts find them way too exciting!