This last post in this series talked about Chapter Three; today I wanted to finish up the last little bit of this chapter. The very last section talks about screens and how children sometimes react based upon their temperament. (If you need more information about temperament, I suggest this back post.)
Choleric Children, also noted to be “active children” in this chapter: they may soon tire of screens as it is not active enough for them, but they may be very attracted to computer games and such. It is noted that these types of children need very strong boundaries and structure so the child can feel safe and secure in these limits.
Melancholic, also noted as “sensitive children” in this chapter: sensitive children need their parents to hear them, they need a lot of empathy and as they are often full of feeling and sometimes vulnerable, screens can increase their isolation. Not only that, program content can also be overwhelming for their level of sensitivity. They often cannot just shrug off what they have seen on a TV show or what happened in social media.
Sanguine children, also called “responsive children” in this chapter: these children usually like change, have many interests, and are outgoing and very social. They are easily distracted and can “flit” around. From page 47, “They enjoy reacting to life’s experience and need stimulation, but can throw tantrums if they don’t want to move on. If left to the screen, they can be caught by the ever-changing images – and this can really over-stimulate them.” These children need help turning the screens off – usually some sort of even better distraction will do the trick. Since the early years are noted to be a time of sanguinity, I find this description applies to many small children.
Lastly, phlegmatic children, called “receptive children” in this chapter are the children who need a regular rhythm, who like repetition and routine and like to know what is coming up. They often enjoy just sitting and being dreamy. Since these children often enjoy comfort, they may get into a rhythmical habit of screen time that is difficult to change. They need help from their parents as well – they need tasks to do, and they need help to develop their own interests. They need a rhythm to the day and week that capitalizes on other things than screens!
Of course, every child is a UNIQUE individual. However, the temperaments can be a helpful, loose guide of what some children need from their parents regarding screen time and what would be helpful in the pursuit of balance.
Many blessings and on to Chapter Four. Who is reading along?