This may seem similar to At what age does a child's moral compass form?. If a child inherits a short temper from their parents or, if it is innate, can we consciously try to change it?

What can parents do to provide an atmosphere which prevents this temperament developing?

  • 1
    You mean more like their personality, as opposed to their moral character? Friendly/serious/quick tempered? – Joe Jan 10 '20 at 22:35
  • Also: on this forum you could easily get very opinion-based, "soft" answers, as well as well-researched, detailed answers. If you have a particular preference for the latter, I would suggest explicitly stating it. We don't encourage opinion-based answers really here, but it tends to be somewhat unavoidable if the question isn't highly specific on the matter (if that's what you're looking for). – Joe Jan 10 '20 at 22:37
  • 1
    You might want to narrow down what you mean by "character". The dictionary defines character as "...all the qualities they have that make them distinct from other people...", which is very broad. Some things are inborn (nature), some ingrained (nurture), some earlier/later than others. You're more likely to get a helpful answer that way. Thanks. – anongoodnurse Jan 11 '20 at 0:06
  • I flagged this as being too broad. 'Personality / behavioral' traits is way too broad and can't be generalized into a single answer. Some parts of a person's personality - extraversion for example - are innate at birth. Other parts of a person's personality may be much more affected by the environment. IOW, you need to be specific about which part of their personality you mean. – Canadian Coder Jan 12 '20 at 23:33

Evidence seems to suggest a genetic component in both aggressiveness and access to self control. So that would suggest no.

I don't have a reference at hand, but I know Steven Pinker argues in The Blank Slate that in the nature / nurture divide, parents provide almost only nature, and that influence from environment stem largely from age-matched peers.

In the context of parenting however, I think the idea of parents shaping our children is missing the point, and I'd rather see our role as guiding them. Don't think of giving your child certain characteristics (since you may have no control over that), think rather of giving them certain tools. To that end, I would say that whether temper is innate or not, all children have tantrums and they all need to develop their own methods for dealing with that.

I believe our tendency to rush to address the issue that the tantrum is over is detrimental to that goal. Nor do children need to be informed that what they're crying about isn't worth crying about. In my experience, you help a child build grit and the ability to work through their own issues if you stay with them during their upset, and validate their feelings. I believe a child feels safe when they feel that all feelings are allowed, and that children who feel safe will be more successful, all other things being equal, in dealing with adversity.

  • 1
    Thanks. That was great explanation – ravindar tharanikumar Jan 14 '20 at 16:36
  • 1
    This is so spot-on in the essentials, +1. There are tools as you say; can you elaborate a bit on them or provide a good link? Books are costly and not always available everywhere. Thanks. – anongoodnurse Jan 14 '20 at 19:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.