Understanding Temperament: Mood

image via Flickr by David Dodge

image via Flickr by David Dodge

A key goal in effective treatment for Attention Deficit Disorder should be to understand our temperament and the temperament of the children we live and work with. 

Understanding the concept of temperament and applying that knowledge to ourselves as parents and teachers and to those around us helps us to better understand behavior…struggles, failures, and successes.

Understanding MOOD

Mood refers to the overall quality of emotion throughout the day ranging from very positive to very negative.

Those of us with positive mood spend the greater portion of our day in a pleasant mood; we are likely to put a positive spin on everything; problems are challenges.

Others of us with a negative mood may seem more critical throughout our day; we are likely to see the glass as half empty.

A child with positive mood is generally pleasant in the classroom and may even struggle to recognize when difficulties are present or percolating.

The child with negative mood is likely to respond with frown, a headshake, or critical comment to most anyone or anything.


Temperament Traits and ADHD | The Being Well Center | Free PrintableUpcoming blog posts will discuss the other 9 Temperamental Traits that make you and your child unique.  Follow along with this Being Well Center | Temperament Worksheet designed to help you pinpoint where your or your child’s temperament trait falls on the continuum. Catch up on previous posts about Activity LevelRhythmicity, Tolerance, and Intensity.


Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and join a community of people interested in getting the facts straight with compassionate support for ADD/ADHD!

Understanding Temperament: Intensity

image via Flickr by Craig Sunter

image via Flickr by Craig Sunter

A key goal in effective treatment for Attention Deficit Disorder should be to understand our temperament and the temperament of the children we live and work with. 

Understanding the concept of temperament and applying that knowledge to ourselves as parents and teachers and to those around us helps us to better understand behavior…struggles, failures, and successes.

Understanding INTENSITY

Intensity of Response refers to the strength of our responses ranging from high to low. These responses can be demonstrated outwardly or experienced inwardly. So it is not always easy to judge someone’s intensity of response by what we see.

Our intensity is independent of the quality (negative or positive) of our response and the immediacy of our response (threshold).

Those of us with a high intensity of response experience or show strong responses. When we are happy we are very, very happy; when we are sad, we are very, very sad; when we are angry, we are very, very angry. Others of us who have a low intensity of response barely show a blip on the screen when our emotions are set off.

A child with high intensity may become overly silly at birthday celebrations, rageful during a conflict on the playground, and immobilized with nervousness on math time-tests.

On the other hand, the child with low intensity of response may not seem to react at all; she does not experience extreme excitement over a special event or intense disappointment over a failure.

In fact, we may find it difficult to read the reactions of a child with low intensity, often misjudging low intensity for not caring.

It is important to remember that when observing for intensity of response, we can’t always judge the book by looking at the cover; some very intense people experience all their intensity internally; nail-biting, skin-picking, complaints of a tightness in one’s chest, stomachaches, jaw aches, or headaches, etc., may be our only clues to what is going on inside.

High intensity of response (externally or internally) is a very powerful temperamental trait. When present, it can rule over everything: good thinking, paying attention, proper self-control, and appropriate social skills to name a few.

Failure to identify a high intensity response pattern and appropriately accommodate for it can, inadvertently, set a child up for turning to a variety of other dysfunctional behaviors in an attempt to cope with her strong reactions including such things as over-eating, drug use, and developing an “I don’t care” attitude.


Temperament Traits and ADHD | The Being Well Center | Free PrintableUpcoming blog posts will discuss the other 9 Temperamental Traits that make you and your child unique.  Follow along with this Being Well Center | Temperament Worksheet designed to help you pinpoint where your or your child’s temperament trait falls on the continuum. Catch up on previous posts about Activity LevelRhythmicityThreshold, and Frustration Tolerance.


Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and join a community of people interested in getting the facts straight with compassionate support for ADD/ADHD!

Understanding Temperament: Tolerance

image via flickr by David Dodge

image via flickr by David Dodge

A key goal in effective treatment for Attention Deficit Disorder should be to understand our temperament and the temperament of the children we live and work with. 

Understanding the concept of temperament and applying that knowledge to ourselves as parents and teachers and to those around us helps us to better understand behavior…struggles, failures, and successes.

Understanding FRUSTRATION TOLERANCE

Frustration Tolerance refers to the level of difficulty we are able to experience before we become frustrated. Frustration tolerance ranges from high to low.

Those of us who have a high frustration tolerance are able experience an awful lot of difficulty before we feel frustration.

Others of us who have a low frustration tolerance become frustrated very easily.

The child with a high frustration tolerance may be able to deal with repeated struggles and failures in the classroom without experiencing significant frustration.

The child with a very low frustration tolerance, however, can be quick to experience frustration when asked to perform tasks of only moderate difficulty. This, in turn, sets him up for repeated struggles and can turn into negativity towards school and other learning situations.


Temperament Traits and ADHD | The Being Well Center | Free PrintableUpcoming blog posts will discuss the other 9 Temperamental Traits that make you and your child unique.  Follow along with this Being Well Center | Temperament Worksheet designed to help you pinpoint where your or your child’s temperament trait falls on the continuum. Catch up on previous posts about Activity LevelRhythmicity, and Threshold.


Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and join a community of people interested in getting the facts straight with compassionate support for ADD/ADHD!

Understanding Temperament: Threshold

image via Flicker by Danny Dodge

image via Flicker by Danny Dodge

A key goal in effective treatment for Attention Deficit Disorder should be to understand our temperament and the temperament of the children we live and work with. 

Understanding the concept of temperament and applying that knowledge to ourselves as parents and teachers and to those around us helps us to better understand behavior…struggles, failures, and successes.

Understanding THRESHOLD OF RESPONSE

Threshold of Response refers to the amount of stimulation, ranging from high to low, we require before responding.

Those of us with a low threshold require very little to make us happy, sad, angry, etc. Others of us with a high threshold require a lot before we react.

The child with a very high threshold may be injured and not seem to notice his pain.

At the other extreme, the child with a very low threshold may be bothered by the slightest noise, the frown from the teacher, the tags in clothing, the buzz of the fluorescent lights, the seams in socks, and the taste, texture or smell of food.


Temperament Traits and ADHD | The Being Well Center | Free PrintableUpcoming blog posts will discuss the other 9 Temperamental Traits that make you and your child unique.  Follow along with this Being Well Center | Temperament Worksheet designed to help you pinpoint where your or your child’s temperament trait falls on the continuum. Catch up on previous posts about Activity Level and Rhythmicity.


Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and join a community of people interested in getting the facts straight with compassionate support for ADD/ADHD!

Understanding Temperament: Rhythmicity

Temperament: Rhythmicity | The Being Well Center

image via Flickr by David Dodge

A key goal in effective treatment for Attention Deficit Disorder should be to understand our temperament and the temperament of the children we live and work with. 

Understanding the concept of temperament and applying that knowledge to ourselves as parents and teachers and to those around us helps us to better understand behavior…struggles, failures, and successes.

Understanding RHYTHMICITY

Rhythmicity refers to the predictability of our daily bodily routines for sleeping, eating and going to the bathroom. It ranges from highly regular to highly irregular.

Those of us who are highly rhythmic are hungry, have a bowel movement, and feel sleepy at about the same times every day.

Others of us, who are highly irregular do not have a schedule or rhythm at all…our wake-up time varies from day to day; we feel ready for bed at different times and need to go to the bathroom at various, unpredictable times throughout our day.

This unpredictability can present a challenge for the child who is asked to adhere to a rigid school schedule where everyone eats and takes bathroom breaks at the same time every day.


Temperament Traits and ADHD | The Being Well Center | Free PrintableUpcoming blog posts will discuss the other 9 Temperamental Traits that make you and your child unique.  Follow along with this Being Well Center | Temperament Worksheet designed to help you pinpoint where your or your child’s temperament trait falls on the continuum. Catch up on yesterday’s post about Activity Level.


Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and join a community of people interested in getting the facts straight with compassionate support for ADD/ADHD!

Understanding Temperament: Activity Level

image via Flickr by David Dodge

image via Flickr by David Dodge

A key goal in effective treatment for Attention Deficit Disorder should be to understand our temperament and the temperament of the children we live and work with. We need to critically consider how any extreme temperamental traits might be contributing to problems in performance, behavior, or social interaction.

In our experience, understanding the concept of temperament and applying that knowledge to ourselves as parents and teachers and to those around us helps us to better understand behavior…struggles, failures, and successes.

Understanding ACTIVITY LEVEL

Activity Level refers to the amount of activity from high to low that we engage in throughout our day.

Some of us are always moving and physically active; others of us are more sedentary and spend most of our time engaged in quiet activities.

The child with a high activity level is likely to be in his element in gym class and playing tag during recess and to have more difficulty staying settled during quiet seated activities; on the other hand, the child with a low activity level might prefer sitting and drawing or reading during free time rather than going outside to play an active game.


Temperament Traits and ADHD | The Being Well Center | Free PrintableUpcoming blog posts will discuss the other 9 Temperamental Traits that make you and your child unique.  Follow along with this Being Well Center | Temperament Worksheet designed to help you pinpoint where your child’s temperament trait falls on the continuum.


Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and join a community of people interested in getting the facts straight with compassionate support for ADD/ADHD!

Rule for Effective ADHD Treatment: Know Thy Temperament

Know Temperament for ADHD Treatment | The Being Well CenterTemperament refers to our in-born (not learned) behavioral style. We all come into the world with a unique set of temperamental characteristics that remain stable throughout our lifetime. These characteristics modulate how we respond to every situation in our lives.

Understanding our own temperament as parents and teachers and the temperament of our children is incredibly helpful in being the best we can be and in bringing out the best in our children.

In our experience, understanding the concept of temperament and applying that knowledge to ourselves as parents and teachers and to those around us helps us to better understand behavior…struggles, failures, and successes.

In fact, failure to understand a child’s temperament and the role it plays in his behavior and performance can be a major source of frustration for parents and teachers.  In our model, there are nine dimensions of temperament and we all fall somewhere along a continuum for each one. The ranges for these continuums are presented in upcoming blog posts for each temperamental trait. It is important to know that where an individual falls along this continuum for any given temperamental trait is neither good nor bad…it just is!

In fact, the same temperamental trait (e.g., being very intense) that is helpful to us in one situation may interfere with our behavior or performance in another.

A key goal should be to understand our temperament and the temperament of the children we live and work with. We need to critically consider how any extreme temperamental traits might be contributing to problems in performance, behavior, or social interaction. When temperamental extremes do interfere with performance, behavior or social interaction, we need to learn how best to work around or control these extremes.

Therefore, when we suspect that an ADD/ADHD child’s temperamental characteristics play a role in his failure to meet an expectation at school, we know we must develop some type of accommodation to address this contribution.


Keep following along this week as we delve in deeper detail into the 9 Temperament Traits recognized at The Being Well Center.

For greater detail and worksheets to guide you in discovering your child’s (and your own!) temperament and how to make those traits work positively for you, purchase Dr. Liden’s book, Accommodations for Success.