Last night I went to a really great parent-ed night hosted by Betsy of Playgroup Los Angeles. It was led by Waldorf educator, Lisa Profumo, and was about learning ways to parent children of the four temperaments. I learned so much! In case you're wondering, the four temperaments are described below:Phlegmatic Children
Phlegmatic children live through their senses. This is the temperament of the first years of life, and in studying the nature of babies you can get a fairly good picture of the phlegmatic nature. Children of this temperament value safety, order and comfort. They are methodical and reliable. They take joy in rich sensory experiences, and tend to have good memories. They often appear soft, a bit round, and their skin usually feels warm and moist. Their favorite color is often green. Their element is water, and they tend to take joy in activities involving water.
Sanguine children, like sunbeams, bring light into the spaces they occupy. This is the temperament of early childhood. If you visit a nursery or kindergarten and observe the children moving quickly and easily from friend to friend, activity to activity like a butterfly among flowers, you can develop a feeling for the nature of the sanguine child. Sanguine children want to know everything and everybody, and to do everything, and in pursuit of this end may appear easily distractible and forgetful. They enjoy variety and spontaneity. They often appear slender and frequently run on their toes. Their element is air, and you may see all the colors of the rainbow expressed in whatever they do.
Choleric children are energetic, enthusiastic and often impulsive. This is the energy one encounters in adolescence. They love working hard, especially when the task has clearly defined parameters including an easily identifiable conclusion. These children immerse themselves fully in everything they do. They accomplish a lot in a short period of time, but find sustaining activities over an indefinite period to be challenging. Their element is fire, and they frequently show a preference for fiery colors,particularly red. Choleric children often have a sturdy build and can wear out a pair of shoes at record speed because of their firm, purposeful tread. Their handshake is firm, and often very warm. They are quick to anger, but also to laughter, and often can't remember exactly what sparked the emotion.
Melancholic children are thinkers and planners. They take their responsibilities seriously. This is the temperament of adulthood. Melancholic children are typically loyal friends and careful workers. They tend to care deeply for all living things, and are drawn to healing and fixing all that is damaged or broken. Melancholic children often appear slender and pale and, unlike the sanguine children, the melancholics tread firmly on the earth, sometimes even dragging their feet a little. Their hands often feel cold to the touch. Melancholic children often show a strong interest in nurturing occupations and will work tirelessly for the benefit of others. Their element is earth, and they generally find the care of the earth satisfying. With their propensity for seriousness, they usually exhibit a strong, reliable memory, and a talent for leadership
While M is too young for me to fully understand which temperament she is, I can see that her sanguine-side seems most dominant right now (which is where most children her age should be)
Lisa gave really specific, detailed information and gave real-life situations and how each temperament would handle each situation, as well as the best way to react to each temperament. The funny thing is, I had a few of Oprah's famous "AHA!!" moments, not just about parenting M but how to react and treat certain people in my life. While, during adulthood, it's best to have a balance of all the temperaments, I do notice that a few people in my life are dominant in a couple of the temperaments. For instance, my sister screams Melancholic. And, often, I want to shake her and tell her to get over it. But, that isn't the proper way to respond to a melancholic...and now I know of certain things to do or say to validate her feelings and keep her moving forward. Also, Ivo is a classic choleric. And some of the ways I learned to respond and communicate with someone of that type were so informative!
I'm so glad I went last night and will definitely be looking more into temperaments and hopefully attending future classes on the subject. Thanks to Elizabeth for posting about the class! So, so glad I went.