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Thread: Temperament....

  1. #1

    Default Temperament....

    Hello everyone.....

    Just want to throw something out here to you all to see what you think. With this being a gentle parenting site, I am sure that some of you will agree that labelling babies is totally wrong - well, I think that it is anyway.

    Anyway, our little miss is.... how can I put it, quite a challenge. She knows what she wants, when she wants it...... like NOW mummy. Or 5 minutes ago would have been better, thank you very much!

    DH is a feisty person, I can be but am (usually) more laid back on the outside, I generally internalise my anxieties so people think I am cool as a cucumber. HA!

    Do you think that temperament is all genetic?

    For example, when watching for her tired signs (and I do WATCH very closely for ages), she displays them for maybe 2-3 minutes, then she cracks it. DH agrees that we don't have much of a window of opportunity to get her down - I usually have to watch the clock more than I'd like to as she just cracks it really quickly. Could this just be to do with her temperament? Also, she bores very very quickly and again, cracks it, so I have to watch her boredom signs closely so that I can move her onto her next activity.

    I am so sick of hearing people ask me if she is an "easy" or "good" baby. She is neither good or bad - she's a BABY! I hate to say that she is good or bad because that suggests to me that she is behaving purposely a certain way - and she doesn't have the cognitive ability to do that.

    I'm not sure where I am going with this post, I've been meaning to post it for ages though to get some opinions on what you guys think about labelling babies.

    She isn't an easy baby but she isn't particularly difficult either - having a baby is an overall challenge isn't it? Isn't that the case for ALL of them? Isn't this the one thing that ALL babies have in common? Or do people have "good, easy babies?"

    Thanks for reading.
    Sue x


  2. #2

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    I don't think there is such a thing as an "easy" baby...let's face it, looking after a very dependant little person is a challenge all on its own! It is amazing how different their personalities are, I guess it would be more apparent with additional children and being able to see the differences between your own kids.

    DD is normally pretty easygoing (I won't say easy..lol), she's generally happy and chatty and often plays on her own. But she does have her moments, if she doesn't get her own way or wants something she isn't allowed to have (the tv remotes, my mobile for example!) then she will throw a tantrum- crying, scrunching her hands into a fist, trying to scratch or bite me and if I'm holding her up will try and throw herself onto the floor. It's probably not as bad as it sounds, I have to try and stop myself laughing at her sometimes (I know I'm mean..lol). Mum said I was always a champion tantrum thrower, so it seems that DD takes after me in that way. I do have a fairly hot temper sometimes too So I guess in that way I think temperament may be partially genetic, but mostly just them ITMS.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by MummaSue View Post
    I am so sick of hearing people ask me if she is an "easy" or "good" baby. She is neither good or bad - she's a BABY! I hate to say that she is good or bad because that suggests to me that she is behaving purposely a certain way - and she doesn't have the cognitive ability to do that.
    Interesting post. I agree with you on the "good" baby thing. What is the definition of good anyway? My bub doesn't sleep overnight for 12 hours, but i am happy with how she is going (most of the time!) so, is this good or bad?

    BUT, i'm not sure that bubs can't (at some times) behave purposely. My bub has learnt that when she smiles she gets more reactions, so she smiles & giggles. On the weekend she realised that if she copied her aunty in doing a stretch, she got lots of attention. So surely there is cognition happening?

    I know when she is over tired or hungry, her ability to reason decreases and her focus narrows, but this happens to big people too- it's just more exaggerated in little people.

    You asked if temperament is all genetic. I don't know, probably not, but bubs certainly come into this world with their own characters. They are not all the same or all blank slates. Bubs is know of similar ages are so different to each other (which is great!) and it certainly can't all be just from how they have been raised this side of the womb.

  4. #4

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    I think you're right - just having a baby is a challenge in itself! And I've found that all babies have their moments, days, weeks where they are more unsettled or clingy. Just remembering this used to make me feel better when my DS was being challenging lol.
    I think genetics play a part, don't know how big or small though. I'm quite stubborn & impatient, am seeing these traits in my DS eeek!

    I do remember when he was younger that there wasn't much of a window of opportunity to get him down to sleep. Now that he is older it isn't such an issue, hopefully your DD will be the same.

  5. #5

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    I absolutely detest it when people ask me this! I usually answer with "of course! He doesn't know how to be "bad"!"
    yes he's learning certain actions get certain results but he doesn't deliberately try to be manipulative or naughty.
    As far as genetics go. Yes I think in a way temperment is genetic. If you look at dogs (not that I'm likening a baby to a dog) each breed has thier own temperments. If it's the case with dogs it's definately possible with humans.

  6. #6

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    Well, my 3 are very different and they were different from day 1.

    #1 has *always* been a good sleeper, and still sleeps longer than my toddler. She has *always* been very talkative, and *always* been stubborn and has to be right. The only things that have changed is her vocabulary has increased something severe so the arguments have been getting ever more pedantic as she's got older.

    #2 has *never* been a good sleeper, and is still a grouchy mc grumpyface when she's tired. She's also a mega-observant thief and has been since she could crawl. We'll see how that goes.

    #3 is an 'easy' baby, as in its not hard to get him to settle, he's a happy little thing and doesn't cry often. He's quite placid, which is good because #2 keeps climbing on him and getting in his face. We'll see how that goes too

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the responses guys, it is good to know that others feel the same.

    Hehe, took her to the chiro today who told me that she's a "grumpy wee thing". Ha, well I'd be grumpy too if you poked and prodded me too when I have no idea what you're doing to me!!

    What I mean by the cognitive ability part is that she isn't able to make the link between her behaviour and reaction. Ok, they do cute things to make us laugh and copy us but they are unable to actually realise at this point in their development that that is what they are doing. (I've been reading way too much "Science of Parenting" book, can you tell?) Missy loves making us giggle but she also makes me tear out my hair!

    Thanks again guys,
    Sue x

  8. #8

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    I think babies are a whole lot smarter than we give them credit for, but they don't always have the physical or mental ability to control or express themselves. Anyway, yeah, I think some parts of personality must be genetic, or else why are they all so different from birth?

  9. #9

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    Oh the "good" baby thing used to annoy the bejebus out of me!!! I used to say ummmm well no, runs around non stop and won't listen!!! lol... stunned mullet looks in return Well, ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer right? lol I do think though, that genetics do play a part in temperament, but only a part and then it's developed by the person as they grow.

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