Steiner talked about four temperaments he observed in children and how to use that for benefit in the classroom setting. The four types are phlegmatic, choleric, sanguine, and melancholic. The goal is to have all the temperaments integrated by adulthood!
So, today we are talking about the sanguine temperament. I love sanguine children, and find they are so needed within the social mix of a classroom or group of friends! They are the ones that can bridge all the social groups and cliques within a group, pull out the shy children, connect children together who otherwise would never talk together, and otherwise bring beauty and fun to a room!
The sanguine child is often full of noticing and observing. These children will notice if you look tired or if you wear a different pair of earrings or what really happened to the little bird that had a nest in the bush outside the door. They often have a million observations and it is so fun to hear!
The downside of the sanguine child is for all their noticing, sometimes they can be just indifferent (okay, yes, and a little shallow) socially as they flit to the new best friend and drop their old friend like a hot potato. They really need social help sometimes to see that they hurt someone’s feelings or the pattern they are leaving in their wake. This is particularly important during the middle school and early high school years leading up to the 15/16 year change. Don’t just let them go without any kind of an eye on what they are creating socially. Many sanguine children do seem loyal on the surface, because they are the ones to remember birthdays and find out how things are with their friends, but often lack the deep skills to solve conflicts well or repair relationships in the preteen or teen years and need some guidance.
As mentioned above, the sanguine child often is the one to remember festivals, birthdays, and holidays. They can be very organized in terms of festivals and holiday celebrations and in making everything beautiful. Outside of those occasions, they may need help following things through. So, when your sanguine child begins something (okay, 20 somethings :)) do help them follow through and make priorities in picking the “best” idea out of the many ideas. It is easy to begin things or think of a million ideas; it is not always so easy to bring things to fruition. Contrary to popular belief, sanguine chidlren can be deep thinkers. However, they do need help to not just flit onto the next thing. I think sometimes in the home environment we need to do a better job with our sanguine children in assigning things and helping them complete it and turn it in, especially from fourth or fifth grade and up, and certainly in middle school and high school.
The sanguine needs help with consistency; whether this be sticking to a rhythm or finishing projects or following through. This has to do with ignoring the impulse to jump around to the next thing that would be more fun! Starting things is fun! Helping them do this will help them grow up into a balanced adult.
I would love to hear your experiences with the sanguine child!