Nurture vs. Nature
From the moment she was born, Andrea Kaye's toddler, Sally, was a firecracker. "She's been outgoing from Day 1," says the mom from Brooklyn. "Now she's more active than ever -- running around like a nut, waving at strangers, and letting us know exactly what she wants or doesn't want, whether it's spitting out her peas or refusing to give up her bottle."
Most of us realize that our children have a distinct personality from the get-go, and experts agree: "Some aspects of a child's temperament are essentially hardwired," says Jonathan Pochyly, PhD, pediatric psychologist at Children's Memorial Hospital, in Chicago. "Many are predisposed to, say, being shy. But that doesn't mean you can't help guide and influence your child's behavior." In fact, there are plenty of ways to help your little one feel comfortable with who she is and to realize her full potential. So go ahead and pick one of the four common personality types that best sums up your kid. Then find out how to nurture those special qualities and quirks!