Temperament is everything. . .

when it comes to parenting and sleep

In my work as a sleep consultant and researcher, I have found that temperament may be the key factor in whether a child sleeps easily or not. Temperament is rarely—if ever—factored into research studies or parenting advice, even though higher levels of just about every aspect of temperament (sensory sensitivity, perceptiveness, intensity, alertness) make sleep harder.

Take the Temperament Assessment here.

Is temperament why my child isn't sleeping?

 

There are some good reasons why sleep training sometimes stalls or doesn’t work at all, and many of them have nothing to do with what you are or aren’t doing. Here are a few things to look at when you've tried everything else.

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Secret Superpowers: The upsides of a difficult temperament

 

Research considers traits like intensity, difficulty with self-soothing, and sleep problems to be a sign of a "difficult" temperament. What research hasn't looked at is whether there are positive abilities that, in early childhood, look like difficult behavior, but really are just by-products of some considerable abilities. This article suggests what “superpowers” might be lurking under that complete and total refusal to sleep.

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Parenting intense-sensitive-alert little ones: Superpowers for parents

Being able to see the "upsides" of your child's challenging spirited traits is a superpower by itself. How to address them in positive ways, may not be as straightforward. This article gives a few practical tools parents can put in their utility belt to help support the abilities that underlie challenging behaviors.

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Sleep hacks for parents of babies and children who are temperamentally “more”

 

If you have an intense, sensitive, alert, non-stop child, almost nothing is easy and almost everything is a “big deal.” There’s more persistence, more pushback, more meltdowns, more questions, more interaction…. just more of everything (except sleep). You may feel defeated or incompetent…but it’s not you. Really.

© 2020 by Macall Gordon, M.A.