By Dr. Kate Brennanperson-cute-vintage-playing-medium

What is temperament? We are all born with certain temperament traits. Some of us are active while others less so. Some of us are extraverts while others prefer to stay behind the scenes. This begs the question: Is it nature or nurture? Well, it turns out it is both. How does a child with an active temperament fair in a household of quiet sensitive types? Fine, if the parents realize this and make space for the active child to express him or her self. If given the opportunity, the active child will be able to channel the extra energy into sports perhaps, while the sensitive child may discover latent artistic talents. Temperament is the force that gives shape to certain aspects of personality. For example, a sensitive child may develop aptitudes that lead to a more quiet and reflective life as an adult.

Having a working knowledge of your child’s temperament can help you in being able to choose the best approach when working with them. It can help the preschool teacher to know in advance if they have a slow to warm up child who may need extra time to enter a group and It can help the doctor to anticipate how much compliance they are going to have if they know the level of tolerance the child has in their examining room.

Parents who understand their child’s temperament can avoid blaming themselves for what are normal issues for their child’s Temperament. These parents posses the confidence that helps them to anticipate issues before they occur and can use techniques that match their child’s temperament.

Preventive Ounce is an organization that has provided temperament resources and analysis for children 3mos –5yrs. The Kaiser Permanente group has found that both children and parents benefit from temperament analysis. Indicators in include, fewer trips to the doctor with psychosocial concerns and parents who feel more confident and report fewer behavior problems at home.

Dr. Kate Brennan offers both temperament analysis, therapy for families including postpartum depression, attachment, sensory motor processing, PTSD, ADD, anxiety and depression. She can be reached at and at 415/453-1402 To schedule an appointment