Erin Patrice O?Brien
She's the one barreling around the playground, darting toward anything that catches her eye. These kids are confident and likely to become leaders, but their fearlessness can also send them running headlong into unsafe situations.
How to bring out her best:
- Treat your explorer like a big kid. Allow her to handle safe "grown-up" objects like a toothbrush, remote control, or telephone -- and praise her for using them correctly.
- Make exceptions to the rules. "Intrepid kids are independent children, and that's a good thing," says Harvey Karp, MD, author of The Happiest Toddler on the Block. "Sometimes, letting them have extra time at the playground, for example, helps them feel like you're working with, not against, them." So make exceptions to the rules once in a while.
- Insist on naptime! She'll resist because she's so interested in everything that's going on, but an overtired child will be harder to manage and calm down.
- Avoid monotony. Explorers are in constant motion because they thrive on and learn through movement. So skip passive stuff like sitting in front of the TV.
- Turn your home into a playground. After you've toddler-proofed your house (a must, regardless of personality type), let her blow off steam by creating an obstacle course with pillows, stacking empty boxes for exploring, or playing hide-and-seek.