Discover Your Child's Personality

How do you discover your baby's personality?

When you open up to your baby and look for everything he 'tells you' with his body language, you get a very good idea of your baby's personality. Your baby makes ten leaps in his mental development during the first twenty months. After every leap he is able to perceive things he couldn't perceive before. This set of new perceptions enables him to do a lot of things he couldn't do before. So, after every leap he is mentally able to do a lot of new things, to master new skills. By keeping track of which skills your baby chooses after a leap, from among the many new possible skills listed in each section of 'The Wonder Weeks', you get an even better picture of our babies personality. Some parents want to check off as many skills as possible. Don't do this. This is like expecting an athlete to master all possible sports at once. Developing skills takes time and practice. The intention behind each list is not for you to check off as many new skills as you can, but to see what your baby's preferences are.

How do you discover your child's talents and interests?

Every time your baby makes a leap in his mental development, a new kind of perception emerges, enabling him to develop many new skills. It is your baby's own choice, though not deliberate, what skills he wants to master first. The things he selects tells something about his interests and talents and therefore his personality. Once your baby has made a few mental leaps, you'll notice that he always takes an interest in the same kind of skills. For one child this may be locomotion skills (bodily kinetic), and for another inter-personal interests and the related games. Because your baby has much development still to come, it is much too early to draw far-reaching conclusions about future directions. You can keep some interest you have noticed in mind and proceed by playing games that correspond to that interest.

Is it important to pay attention to the interests of a child?

Yes! It's very important to pay attention to everything that concerns your baby. In the first year you are getting to know your baby and he is getting to know you. His personality is becoming clearer and this is without a doubt something you are paying attention to. One important aspect of this personality are your baby's interests. They also determine how he develops, how he deals with mental leaps, how he masters skills and what he demands from life.

In short: the interests of your baby are certainly among the most important things to attend to, since his interests determine a large part of his development. Always keep in mind that your baby has his own interests and that these are not necessarily the same as yours. Let him always indicate his interests and do not urge your own interests onto him. That seems obvious, but sometimes this is one of the hardest things to do in bringing up your child.

How do you know what your baby can handle, what he understands, and what is too much for him?

A happy person, including a baby, is someone who can be himself. One that does not have to feel bored, or, on the other hand, have to accomplish things that are too difficult or demanding. People work well and feel good when they are addressed on their own level. Babies too. As a parent you can do your baby no bigger pleasure than being aware of this. Take time to get to know your baby and respond by playing with him at his level.

The older your baby gets, the more you will experience that sometimes he finds things boring and yearns for a new challenge, or just the opposite. In that case you notice that your baby gets frustrated because he must do things he simply does not understand or is not capable of doing. Every parent will be in one of these situations from time to time. That's because as a parent you are constantly busy discovering what your baby's interests are, what he is capable of, what he finds challenging, what he finds too challenging, and what he finds too easy or boring.

Dr. Frans Plooij P.HD is a leading expert on infant mental development and the author of the bestseller The Wonder Weeks. The Wonder Weeks describes your baby's mental development and help him turn his 10 predictable, great, fussy phases into magical leaps forward. It describes in easy-to-understand terms the incredible developmental changes and regression periods that all babies go through during the first 20 months of their lives. The Wonder Weeks is available online in hard copy as well as in eBook.

Want to know more about The Wonder Weeks and when your baby is about to enter a Wonder Week? Visit the website and sign up for the FREE leap alarm. You will get an email during the week when your baby-at the earliest-will make the next leap. Each email will feature a short description of your baby's imminent leap in mental development.

The Wonder Weeks: also available on Kindle, and as eBook on iTunes:
Click here for the eBook in the iTunes bookstore

NEW: The Wonder Weeks: also available per chapter (per leap) on Kindle and as eBook in the iTunes Bookstore!

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