Nature & Nurturing:
Parenting with Your Child's Temperament in Mind
presented by Liliana Lengua, Ph.D.
Is your child the one clinging to you at the door when you try to drop him off at a birthday party, too nervous to join the party? Or was your child the one that was so excited to get to the party that she darted into the street even after you just got done telling her to stay right by the car when she got out? Or did you not even make it to the party because your child was so frustrated and angry about having to wear a jacket that he broke down into a total crying and yelling fit?
And were you feeling self-conscious that other parents were viewing you as ineffective and not in control of your child?
Some of these challenging behaviors from our children can stem from their temperament – the emotional and self-regulation characteristics that they are born with. Many children present challenging emotional and behavioral responses to every-day situations, and these experiences can be very stressful for parents and families. It’s not always clear what is the most effective way to deal with these behaviors – should a parent use more negative consequences? More rewards? Be more firm? More gentle? Pick your battles? Stick to your guns? More importantly, children can present these challenging behaviors for very different underlying reasons depending on their temperament, and parents can be more effective if they understand the source of their children’s reactions. Little if any parenting advice that is available to parents provides the critical understanding of the role of children’s temperament in shaping children’s behavior and our parenting. This presentation will provide an opportunity to learn about:
1. The sources of children's temperament or individual differences in their reactions.
2. How temperament can elicit less-than-ideal parenting from even the best of parents.
3. How to parent more effectively with children's temperament in mind.
About the Presenter
Liliana Lengua, Ph.D. is a mother of 3 (temperamentally unique) children, a child clinical psychologist, a professor of psychology at the University of Washington, and director of the UW Center for Child and Family Well-Being. She is internationally recognized for her research on children’s vulnerable and resilient responses to stress, demonstrating how parenting and children’s temperament contribute to children’s responses to stress. She has conducted 25 years of research on the interplay between children’s temperament and parenting. She is also recognized for her research on the effects of stress and disadvantage on parenting and children’s social-emotional development. She has been the principal investigator of several federally funded research projects and is the author of more than 70 published papers.