The Sanguine Child

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!


2 thoughts on “The Sanguine Child

  1. I start reading this article because my partner believes my 9 y.o daughter is spoiled, it’s not even a year since we started living together but he is already frustrated and on the verge of hating her… i read about what makes kids spoiled and i find none of it is her behavior, she is accepting orders with a bit of whimper n some complaints but she does what she is told, she is well mannered and don’t disrespect others but whatever little mistakes she does as a child seems to annoy him and can’t handle it very well…. the only thing she does wrong is sometimes she doesn’t finish her school notes or lunch box and she keeps getting distracted during study…. i want to know other peoples experience and if there is any distinct behaviors that shows a child is spoiled, in case i love her too much and unable to see it…. if all fails all i want to remain is be kind and loving to her.
    Thank you.

    • HI There!
      Somehow I missed this comment! A “spoiled” child — great topic. I think responsibility, work, good manners are all hallmarks of good parenting. I guess I would want to know exactly what your partner sees as spoiled…Some people have had very difficult childhoods with either physical or emotional abuse and then view a parent that unconditionally loves their child as “spoiling” that child…Sometimes there is a lot of emotional woundedness that appears in us when we begin to parent. Girls can also be harder for a male partner to come in if they are used to men – girls can seem “emotional” which some men equate to being “spoiled.” I wonder if working with a counselor would be helpful for your family? I also have a lot of back posts of working as a family together under Family Life in the header. Thank you for your comment, many blessings and peace – Carrie

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