Understanding children’s temperament; a short guide
A person’s temperament refers to personality traits that determine how they respond to the world, how they behave and interact with others. Temperament tends to refer to individual differences in behaviour that are biologically based. It is formed in infancy and develops over time through growth and maturity. Studies have also shown that temperament does not change but remains constant.
Understanding your child’s unique temperament will help you as a parent or carer to choose a parenting strategy that will nurture their development throughout the years.
You can measure your child’s temperament by considering how children respond to three particular qualities, in how much or how little they show of these qualities;
- Reactivity: this demonstrates how strongly children react to things, for example exciting events or not getting their own way. Reactive children tend to feel things very strongly.
- Self-regulation: this shows how much children can control their behaviour, including the way they show their feelings. It’s also about how much children can control their attention and how persistent they are in tasks and activities.
- Sociability: this is about how comfortable children are when they meet new people or have new experiences.
The Wishing Well foundation
The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.
The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.
The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.
The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.
Support the Wishing Well
The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW. Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis. The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:
- Funding availability
- The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
- The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
- Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person
The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information: