Playtime Personality

When it comes to playtime, is your child a social dictator or a follower? David Sparrow, Senior Editor of Parents magazine, shares the best ways to help your child play well with others.

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-When it comes to playtime, is your child the sensitive soul, the short fuse or maybe the social dictator. I'm Juli Auclair. Your child's personality affects how he plays and socializes with others. David Sparrow, Senior Editor of Parents Magazine identifies the different types of playtime personalities and tells parents how to help their child have a pleasant time at play. -Playtime personality is pretty much the way your child interacts with other kids on play dates and in other social situations. It's something that you'll notice as soon as your child really starts having play dates. So, you might see it as early as one or two but I think, particularly among preschoolers. It's an interesting aspect because every child has their own personality and their own way of dealing with those social situations and of course, so did the other kids at here she's around. So, it's an important thing to try to understand and to the extent that you can mold your child's personality in bringing out the best qualities when she's in social situations. So we've broken down the playtime personality to seven different types and your child is most likely to fall under one of those. So, first we have the Social Dictator. This child you might call her bossy booch, you might-- basically, she's gonna be the one who is going to tell her friend how they should play, what they should play, for how long they should play. -My daughter's name is Irena, and she's 4-years old. Her playtime personality is definitely Social Director, she's very headstrong. She likes to plan out the game. She wants to, sort of, be the leader of the group. -Next we have the Leg Clinger. This is a very shy child who needs to be gently pushed into a social situation. Next we have the Follower and this is basically a child who do whatever all the other kids want him to do. It-- the nice thing about it is this child often is popular because he's easy to get along with. -My son's name is Liam and he's 3-years old. I would say he's under the Follower category because he does follow little kids around. He's easy to get along with and he'll pretty much do what other kids say. -And next we have the Sensitive Soul and this child is one worrier, almost invariably gonna wind up with a meltdown situation. It can be almost anything that's gonna upset him. -His name is Gavin and he's 4 now. My son's playtime personality is the Sensitive Soul. He's very sensitive, very loving, very emotional, you know, he's very sensitive, anything is like meltdown. -Next we have the child who has a Short Fuse, basically a hot-headed kid. If you grab one of his blocks, he's gonna throw things at you or get very aggressive in behavior. -We got Henry, he's almost 4 and Lily is 5 and a half. My children's playtime personalities, Lily is definitely the Dictator and Henry is without question a Short Fuse because God help you if you take one of his toys. -And then we have a Couch Potato. And here's a child who basically would rather sit on the couch and watch TV or if he's a little older maybe play video games rather than go out and play with his friend or interact. And finally, we have the Wishy Washy child. This child just simply cannot decide what she wants to do and I think it's because there's so many choices out there to a young child that she's afraid of making the wrong decisions. So, I think the important thing to realize about playtime personality is it's not etched in stone. A child's personality does develop and change over time and so, if your child is shy now, that doesn't mean she's gonna be shy as an adult. And likewise, if your child is bossy now, she's likely to learn through social situations that that behavior is not going to make her popular and she may not continue it as she gets older being that way. But what's interesting is looking at the playtime personality that a child has as a preschooler and how to make the best to them, how to help your child have more fun, be more popular, get along better with her friends and hopefully get invited back for more play dates. -So, which personality does your child have? Knowing your child's playtime personality can help you provide the best environment for them to socialize and play. Thanks for watching Parents TV. We'll see you soon.