Children are born with unique temperament characteristics. The examination of a child’s temperament generally occurs when the child’s behaviour is difficult. We Homoeopaths use a series of interviews, observations, and questionnaires that measure the nine temperament traits using a spectrum (scale) indicating mild to intense responses or reactions. By understanding temperament, we homoeopaths can very easily get to know the personality of the child which thereby helps us in selecting the exact constitutional medicine & then a Homoeopath can work along with the parent in improving the personality of a child rather than trying to change his or her inborn traits.
The nine temperament traits which I use in my practice and an explanation of the dimensions are given below:
Activity: Is the child always moving and doing something OR does he or she have a more relaxed style?
Rhythmicity: Is the child regular in his or her eating and sleeping habits OR somewhat haphazard?
Approach/withdrawal: Does he or she “never meet a stranger” OR tend to shy away from new people or things?
Adaptability: Can the child adjust to changes in routines or plans easily or does he or she resist transitions?
Intensity: Does he or she react strongly to situations, either positive or negative, OR does he or she react calmly and quietly?
Mood: Does the child often express a negative outlook OR is he or she generally a positive person? Does his or her mood shift frequently OR is he or she usually even-tempered?
Persistence and attention span: Does the child give up as soon as a problem arises with a task OR does he or she keep on trying? Can he or she stick with an activity a long time OR does his or her mind tend to wander?
Distractibility: Is the child easily distracted from what he or she is doing OR can he or she shut out external distractions and stay with the current activity?
Sensory threshold: Is he or she bothered by external stimuli such as loud noises, bright lights, or food textures OR does he or she tend to ignore them?