A child’s future is like a beautiful painting. Genes, social interactions, and environmental factors draw pen and ink lines and oil mazes. But can colors and brushes become a predictor of a child’s future personality?
Well, some philosophers believe that a child’s mind is a blank slate at birth – and it’s only people’s experiences that determine their future. Other experts claim that genes and their unique chains are the only factors that matter in life. Although the nature-nurture debate in psychology is too complex, doctors agree that for the few months after birth, babies are affected mainly by aspects, such as pregnancy hormones, labor, and basic needs.
With time, infant temperament becomes more and more significant. Although infant temperament with its different facets is not the only predictor of a child’s future personality, the two are certainly interconnected. Studies show that infant temperament can predict later personality. For instance, research showed that babies who scored high on extroversion scored lower on neuroticism at the age of eight. At the same time, birth order, parenting styles, and sleep patterns also affect a child’s future personality.
Greeting the newest member of the family can be stressful, mama, so here are 20 little things newborns do that reveal their future personality!
20 Waving Fists And Tantrums Mean The Baby Is Letting Off Steam
When we think of babies, we usually imagine sweet and innocent creatures. Howeverm babies can be angry, scary, and fussy. Although real temper tantrums don’t start until an infant is 12-18 months old, research shows that newborns as young as two months can experience anger.
According to Psychology Today, temper tantrums peak during the “terrible twos” phase.
Tantrums are completely normal, though. So, if your little one waves their fists in the air when you change their diaper, do not worry! Your little bundle of joy will not become a ball of anger but a normal human being. We all need to let steam off, right?
19 Fussiness Could Mean The Baby Will Be Picky One Day
Genes and social influence mix in one. Although temper tantrums are normal in kids, according to Dr. Linda Dunlap, “temperament is something you’re born with, and it often remains consistent throughout your life.”
In addition, a study showed that babies who were fussy at 3-4 weeks were more anxious as adults.
But that’s okay, mama! People are unique and different, so it’s normal if children are picky or short-tempered. Talking about temperaments, we should mention that there are four personality types – a belief which traces back to Ancient times. Sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic. Note that, usually, people of choleric temperament are described as irritable and fussy.
18 Not Liking Certain Foods Doesn’t Guarantee That The Baby Will Be Picky
From breastfeeding to introducing solids, feeding a baby is one of the main concerns new parents have. Picky eating is concerning as one can never be sure if their little one is getting enough nutrients, calories, and vitamins. Nevertheless, experts claim that it’s normal for infants to refuse foods, especially new solids.
So, don’t worry, mama – your baby will not necessarily become a picky eater. As a matter of fact, Dr. Michele Borba told parents.com, “If you gently offer the same dime-size portion ten or more times, he may eventually eat it.”
Note that picky eating is common in toddlers and older kids.
17 Smiles Vs. Cries Don’t Mean Everything At This Stage
Although genes play a crucial role in child development, environmental factors have a tremendous impact on people. Interestingly, research shows that the personalities of approximately 80% of babies change over time. Developmental psychologist Dr. Ross Thompson says,
“Just because your 1-year-old bursts into tears at the drop of a hat doesn’t mean he’s going to grow up to be a kid who cries all the time. As his brain matures, he may learn to control his emotions better.”
We know that dealing with a crying baby is stressful, but hey – this too shall pass. And there’s no doubt you’ll raise a happy and positive person!
16 Cooing Could Be The Beginnings Of Strong Language Development
A child’s brain is like a sponge. Whether it’s a barking dog or a dirty tissue on the floor, the world around them is like a wonderful playground. Kids absorb all the small things they experience, so it’s no surprise parents can help their children become happy individuals. It’s hard to predict a child’s personality but it’s easy to reinforce positive behavior. According to parents.com, parents should play hand and foot games, read books, repeat phrases, mirror sounds and gestures, and engage their kids.
What’s more, mama, simply by chatting to your little one, you can foster their language and social skills and create an amazing human. Cooing cuteness overload!
15 Babies Who Love To Hug And Kiss Will Be Better Off
It’s not a secret that there are infants who want to be held all the time. Many psychological debates and online feuds bombard new parents with controversial information and parenting advice, claiming that hugs can spoil babies.
Nevertheless, parents know their kids the best, so if you want to hold your bundle of joy – go for it. The fact your cutie needs some extra attention cannot be a predictor of their future personality.
In fact, research shows that by hugging and kissing, babies can develop a secure attachment, which can help them become strong human beings with high self-esteem and diverse social skills.
14 If The Baby Uses The Pacifier A Lot, They’ll Be A Later Talker
When it comes to temperament and personality traits, there are many myths which may confuse parents. One of the common misconceptions “attacks” our best friend – the pacifier. It’s believed that if a baby uses a pacifier a lot, they’ll be a later talker. Nevertheless, speech experts say there’s no link between pacifiers and speech delays.
There are many pros and cons of pacifiers, of course, but when it comes to language development – social interactions and parenting techniques matter the most.
On the other hand, do not forget that pacifiers may cause teeth problems, which may lead to difficulties in pronouncing sounds and words.
13 Are Cute Babies Easy Babies?
Appearance affects people’s lives. It’s not about vanity – research shows that certain traits can leave marks on people’s faces and postures. According to psychologytoday.com, people judge strangers based on their appearance. For instance, prominent cheekbones, which is a genetic trait, are perceived as an indicator of trustworthiness. Sadly, appearance – and the way we perceive people – can affect our social interactions.
At the same time, some beliefs are just funny. Some people assume that if a child has a big head, they are very smart. But as Dr. Linda Dunlap says, “The critical thing is the number and quality of interconnections between neurons.”
12 How Parents Handle Screaming Can Affect The Baby’s Personality
When a baby is screaming and crying all the time, the whole family suffers. A difficult infant may struggle with new stimuli, negative moods, and irregular bodily functions. When a kid learns that crying can be used to manipulate adults, they can start screaming on purpose.
Nevertheless, parents can relax – their crying baby won’t necessarily become a grumpy adult. What’s more, temperament is affected by their parenting style.
According to parentingforbrain.com, moms and dads can help their infant cope with stressful stimuli and changes. With time, parents can start introducing kids to new people and situations – something like exposure therapy. In fact, some adults can benefit from exposure therapy and overcome anxiety.
11 How Babies React To Unfamiliar Things Can Stay With Them For Life
The way newborns react to new stimuli and people is an essential indicator of their future personality. Experts at Harvard University studied babies and their reactions to unfamiliar stimuli and people and found out something very curious. 20% of the babies, those who got very distressed and those who stayed calm, retained their traits, “high strung and laid-back personas,” respectively.
Although social factors and environmental changes affect people, some babies have strong genes that can determine their future.
Either way, your baby is unique, mama, and their temperament only adds more charm to their sweet nature. Embrace who they are!
10 If Mom And Dad Don’t React Appropriately, Baby Will Stay A Trouble Maker
Parents and kids form a special bond for life. As mentioned above, parenting styles may affect a child’s personality. In fact, according to parents.com, the way mothers and fathers react to their child is crucial. We label kids already in the womb, and often boys and girls are raised differently.
On the other hand, parents can modify child development. Good kids are often rewarded for their behavior. If parents are convinced their child is a little rebel, they can start provoking him or her with their words. As psychologist Kevin Leman says, questions like “Will you lie still so I can get that diaper on you?” only make the little one more rebellious.
9 Parents Should Actually Put Themselves First For Better Child Development
Kids are our future. However, new parents often forget about their own lives, interests, and health. According to author David Code, married parents should put their love life and self-worth first, not their child’s demands… which is actually healthier for child development.
Cold told the guardian.com, “We parents convince ourselves that putting our children first is child-friendly, but we make two main mistakes by doing so. First, it becomes harder to respect and enforce the boundaries that shape a child’s character, so he simply badgers his parents until he gets his way. Future bosses and spouses may not be so patient with this behaviour.”
8 How Well A Baby Sleeps Can Determine Their Mood
Our brains need sleep. Putting a baby to sleep is a controversial topic. Experts claim that kids who are able to put themselves to sleep develop better self-regulation and coping strategies.
While sleep methods can’t be a reliable predictor of your child’s future personality, one thing is for sure – your baby needs a good night’s sleep. According to parents.com, a good night’s sleep reduces the risk of diabetes and boosts the release of hormones for growth. Sleep also affects children’s moods and curiosity. In fact, a study revealed that sleep is the biggest indicator of happiness.
7 Birth Order Makes A Big Difference
Believe it or not, birth order can also affect child development. As Dr. Leman explains, “If she’s your firstborn, she has greater odds of being a high-achieving leader, such as an airline pilot, a principal, or a business owner.” Interestingly, a study conducted in Norway showed that the oldest children had a higher IQ. Nevertheless, experts claim that boosting your child’s emotional intelligence matters the most as it can help children become happy and caring individuals later in life.
What’s more, parents should never show any signs of favoritism – they must give their children an equal chance to flourish instead.
6 Big Families Draw Your Future
Birth order matters. Although research shows that older siblings have higher IQ scores than their younger brothers and sisters, younger kids benefit in different ways. Younger siblings often fight for their parents’ attention, which helps them develop social and artistic skills. According to parents.com, some of the best comedians are “the baby of the family.”
What’s more, with time we become better parents. As Dr. Price says, “By the time a second child comes along, you’ve probably become a better parent, and an older sibling often helps out by teaching a little brother or sister what he knows.” The best thing you can teach your children, though, is to love.
5 Colors and Music Can Be Used To See If The Baby Is Developing Well
It’s not a secret that a stimulating and loving environment can only benefit child development and intelligence. In fact, Prof. Joseph Fagan says, “Babies are very good at taking in information and remembering it, which is the basis of intelligence.” He adds that there are some signs which can predict a child’s IQ later in life.
To be more precise, children who can focus one thing for a while and react to new stimuli quickly will exceed in school. Prof. Fagan says, “We can’t predict who will go to Harvard one day, but we can tell if a baby’s cognitive skills are developing normally.”
4 Talking To The Baby Will Help Them Develop Social Skills
Although temperament can’t predict a child’s future personality, some traits are innate and never change. That said, parents can help their kid become a happier person. One of the crucial tasks parents have is to talk. Hearing sounds and using hand gestures can help babies learn words and associate speech with objects.
Interestingly, research shows that babies respond to a high-pitched voice and simple words. Dr. Borba told theparets.com, “Studies show that when you use hand gestures or baby sign language, you’re planting the seeds of language.” So talk, laugh, use your hands, and use your imagination to help your chatterbox develop language and social skills.
3 Parents Can Actually Create A Self-Fulfilling Prophesy With Their Parenting
Child development is a complex process. As explained above, some traits can be indicators of a child’s future personality. However, even temperament can be influenced by social and environmental factors. The nature-nurture debate is way too complex, but one thing is for sure: mothers and fathers must avoid labeling.
Counselor Michele Borba told parents.com, “If you constantly tell people, “Dylan’s a cranky boy,” they may expect your child to act that way, and your statement could wind up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.” So just accept your child with all their weird habits and love them for who they are!
2 Are Early Walkers Athletic?
It’s not only personality traits that concern parents. Milestones, such as crawling, walking, and talking, are essential indicators for child development. However, contrary to popular belief, milestones are something unique and can’t predict a child’ future.
For instance, an early walker won’t necessarily become an athlete. There are many other factors, which will impact a child’s hobbies or career. Interests, chance, talent, practice, and so on and on. As Dr. Dunlap says, “But he needs to have an interest in playing sports and the desire to practice.” But who knows – maybe your little genius will win the Olympics one day.
1 It’s Up To You… And Them!
Our personality is like a palette. Genes, social interactions, parents, and interests draw on our colorful world. While some traits can hint a child’s future personality, the most important thing is to reinforce positive behavior. Talk to your child, dance with them, travel the world, and express your love every day.
As Dr. Thompson says, “A kid’s life is like a painting. The initial brushstrokes begin to define it, but by the time he’s in grade school, there are so many different strokes that you can’t even see the early ones anymore.”
In the end, your little one adds the final colors of their own painting called life.
Sources: BBC, Parents, Psychology Today