Have you ever broiled a steak at 225°? Or baked a cheesecake at 500°? What if your oven had only one temperature setting, at which you cooked all your food? Cooking would have disastrous results.
What if you decided that there existed only a single right way to raise all of your children? What do you think the results would be? Even if you had a very-middle-of-the-road method, you would likely seem too harsh to your very tender-hearted child and seem like a pushover to your extremely strong-willed child.
Rather, to get the best results, it seems that one needs to work within a framework of principles, while following certain guidelines. A very straightforward method is to use Catholic Montessori child raising principles, while making adjustments within those principles for individual temperamental tendencies.
In July, we addressed in The Hamlet the topic of Obedience. One discussion talked about how using the Montessori principle of Freedom within Limits should be applied differently to children of different Temperaments. For instance, a Choleric child is very likely to push back against the carefully determined limits set by the parents, while a Phlegmatic child might not want to make a decision at all.
Thus, it is quite fruitful to make a focused effort to determine the primary temperament of one’s children, so as to provide more personalized guidance in one’s child raising efforts. Once a parent has gained familiarity as to the characteristics to notice, the parent can likely determine the child’s Temperament by the age of two.
To read more about the Four Temperaments from a Catholic perspective, you may request access to articles on the Four Temperaments here, along with my free ebook, Child Raising: A Skill and An Art.