Although a toddler’s personality is still developing, several fundamental traits may be present at any age. Identifying these general characteristics can help parents make better decisions when introducing a young child to new people and situations or handling behavioral issues.
Learn more about your child’s personality by considering these three toddler personality type pairings.
1. Adventurous or Cautious
The attitude with which a toddler approaches the world is a significant personality trait. Some children are outgoing and eager to explore, while others take more time to observe situations and may even show signs of anxiety. These characteristics can significantly impact a wide range of behavior and should be recognized early on to allow for more productive learning and socialization processes.
Parents of adventurous toddlers should seek out entertaining but safe challenges to stimulate mental and emotional development. More cautious children can benefit when parents maintain physical contact during introductions to new people or places or take time to observe situations together rather than pushing the child to play. Parents may also want to take extra measures to prepare sensitive children for new experiences or find ways to combine familiar and new elements.
Keep in mind that even an adventurous child may become anxious, reluctant or tired under certain circumstances. Likewise, a cautious child may open up in a familiar place among people they know. These tendencies primarily apply to new experiences. These categories also tend to overlap with social extroversion and introversion, as children carry over attitudes toward new stimuli from things to people.
2. Extroverted or Introverted
Most personality tests attempt to account for extroversion or introversion. Extroverts tend to be outgoing, seek interpersonal interaction and thrive in social circumstances. Introverts may be slower to warm up to people, appreciate your
One of the easiest ways to determine a toddler personality type is to observe a child’s preferred play style and approach to social interaction. If your child is hesitant to make eye contact or speak with unfamiliar people, he or she may be more introverted.
Extroverts are more likely to pursue social interaction one-on-one as well as opportunities to join groups. These social attitudes may also align with adventurousness or cautiousness. Extroverts may be more tolerant to change, whereas introverts may require more transitional time or observation before opening up to new situations or relationships.
An awareness of these social personality traits can be helpful for anticipating a child’s needs. Regardless of whether your child is an extrovert or introvert, it may be helpful to reduce stimulation as a toddler starts to tire or recognize when downtime may prevent or mitigate a meltdown. Parents can promote understanding and foster social interactions based on these characteristics to allow children to grow and develop at their own pace.
3. Agreeable or Tenacious
Toddlers have a reputation for stubbornness, but distinct personality traits are already apparent between the ages of one and three. An agreeable or easygoing child may have strong opinions, but they express them in manageable ways without becoming angry. A tenacious toddler may exhibit a wider range of emotions marked by higher highs and lower lows.
Agreeability and tenacity do not necessarily correlate with adventurousness and cautiousness or extroversion and introversion. An adventurous and extroverted child can tend toward agreeability or tenacity, and the same goes for more cautious and introverted types. Most toddlers have moments of remarkable tenacity. These tendencies have more to do with a child’s range of emotions and how predictably or quickly his or her attitude is prone to change.
These pairings of traits can help parents make more informed decisions when it comes to introducing toddlers to new people or situations or styles of play. Each of these categories is intended for use as a guide, and not restrictively. Every toddler personality type will continue to develop and may shift as a child adjusts to environments such as daycare or preschool. Even the most cautious and introverted children can become more open to new experiences. Some fundamental characteristics may remain, and these traits are likely to be most apparent when a child is confronted with changes. In these situations, basic personality types can provide parents with helpful insight.