Challenging Toddlers Part 1: Understanding your child’s personality type


When you’re two, the world really is a frustrating place. Not only toddlers are challenging their independence but they’re also developing the language skills to convey their ideas, needs and wants. American pediatrician Harvey Karp, author and creator of  The Happiest Toddler on the Block, says if babies are angels, then toddlers are cavemen. ‘Noisy, mobile and caught in a riptide of emotion, toddlers are the uncivilised  pedal to the metal humans, matched only by the older edition called teenagers’. So, it’s no surprise toddlers are prone to meltdowns and tantrums but there are ways we can help and we’ve put together a 4-part survival guide.

As a teachers, we understand you and your toddler can feel a little hesitant about swimming lessons. If you are yet to experience a toddler tantrum firsthand, you’ve certainly heard about them. According to the experts there are 3 broad personality types for toddlers: easy-going, shy or spirited. So, let’s have a closer look at the personality types you may come across during your learn to swim class.

The Easy Child

About half of all toddlers are happy and easy-going. They wake up on the “right side of the bed”, cheerful and ready for the day. These kids are active, tolerate change and generally like new people and situations. They don’t anger easily, however they aren’t pushovers either. Tip: Children with the easy personality type sometimes can be lost in the crowd, so make sure they don’t become neglected.

The Shy Child

About 15% of kids are slow-to-warm up. Shy toddlers are gentle souls and need to be given the time to process new situations; they shouldn’t be rushed or forced into something. They’re often quiet observers and require time to study with intensity how a new game is played before jumping in. Their mottos is “if in doubt, don’t!” Tip: Children with this personality type are often extra-sensitive to the feel of their clothing or the temperature in a pool. They need a lot of transition time from activity to activity and will often resist change.

The Spirited Child

About 1 in 10 toddlers are strong-willed and challenging. These toddlers have high highs and low lows. They are more active, more impatient., more impulsive, more defiant, more sensitive, more rigid and more intense.  They test the limits over and over and desperately want to be “in charge” of themselves, and will sometimes put their desire to “be right” above everything else. When their heart is set on something, their brains seem to have a hard time switching gears. Strong-willed kids have big, passionate feelings and live at full throttle. Tip: Keep them active but give them structure! These kids have loads of energy that they need to burn to work through their moods. They also need a firm routine to keep them safe and stable and (lots of) patience.

Want to keep your toddler interested and engaged in the water? We can help! Contact us today.

See you next month with part-2 of our survival guide for challenging toddlers.

Weronika and the team at Aquatica Swim Academy.

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