What Is Creating a Good Fit?

The term “goodness of fit, refers to parents meeting the needs of a child by parenting according to the temperament of each child. Goodness of fit between a child’s temperament and your parenting style is essential for healthy social and emotional development for both you and your baby. In addition, you have to meet your personal needs as a parent in daily living from sleeping well at nigh (eventually) to having a date night now and then.

How To Create A Good Fit?

The Nine Traits inventory is helpful in determining reaction patterns in children and typically is used from infancy through the first to fifth grade. For example, two-year-old Lucy was very shy. Each month when Mom’s book group came for an evening, Lucy’s mom thought she was helping by pushing Lucy forward or holding Lucy while mom’s friends gave her a hug hello. Lucy, however, appeared frightened and pulled back.

Being with and observing your child, you start to note how your he or she responds to people, environments, stress, food, etc. You’ll be observant of how you respond. Are you reactive? Or are you proactive?

Your goal is to become an active parent by recognizing feelings and watching behaviors. The more you observe your child’s traits, the more prepared you’re a master at managing and supporting temperaments. You are watching your child adapt, and then you adapt to varied environments and situations as you go along. Lucy’s mom took the hint when a book club member mentioned that because Lucy seemed overly shy, why not let her hang out at the book club meeting for several weeks without pushing her into anyone or anything. Instead, the friend suggested that Lucy explores and find her own level of comfort in her own way. These moms would watch how she did it and learn what comforted Lucy. That advice was excellent for Lucy’s mom to allow temperament expressions to evolve.

What Does Adapting the Environment Mean?

Here are examples of how different parents handled changing the environment to meets the needs of a child.

Marilynn got upset when something new was happening the next day or an activity would be different. Her mom started talking about the exciting new event one week before it would happen. She’d mention in normal conversation each night, and the night before the event was the most critical. Marilynn asked, “Is it tomorrow?” Mom responded wth yes, which made Marilynn cry more. Marilynn would speak of being scared and not liking new things she didn’t know about. Mom adapted the environment by talking about the event with her daughter. She left an additional hour to get ready for Marilynn to get ready for bed, cry, read a book, and talk some more before turning off the light. On the following mornings, Marilynn did all right and held herself together. Somehow, her living through the fear seemed to make her happier to be there.

Do you see how common sense the adaptations can be?

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Summary of Adaptation in "Goodness of Fit" of Parent's and Child's Temperaments

by Caron Goode
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