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In our day to day we use the terms personality, temperament, and character in children as if they all alluded to the same thing, that is, as if they were synonymous. But, nothing to see!
The use we make of these terms on many occasions is wrong since they do not refer to the same thing. The purpose of this article is to detail what are the differences between "personality", "temperament" and "character" in childhood in a clear and simple way to avoid possible confusion.
- Character: Character refers to the psychological characteristics that the person has been learning from birth. It arises as a result of the education that the child has received and the social context in which it has developed. Character is made, it is shaped according to the experiences that we have throughout our lives. We are not born with a certain character but we acquire it during our development.
- Temperament: Temperament refers to those psychological characteristics of the person that have been inherited from their parents. It certainly has a heritable basis. It is the result of biological dispositions and implies differences in behaviors related to emotionality and excitability. Therefore, we can say that temperament is born, that is, it is inherited. In fact, if we observe several newborn children, with only 24 hours of life, we can realize that they are not all the same (some are calmer, others more angry, others more moved, others more crying, etc.).
Character and temperament interact and directly influence the formation of personality from an early age, giving rise to the person developing a more or less stable way of thinking, feeling and acting.
When we talk about personality it seems that we are referring to something very complex but it is not at all like that. Personality is made up of only 3 main ingredients: thoughts, feelings and behaviors. This is personality!
Everything we think about throughout the day, everything we feel and everything we do is what shapes our personality. This is!
But, we don't always think, feel or act in the same way. This leads us to conclude that personality is not something static that remains stable during our lives rather, over time our personality is modulated mainly depending on the experiences we have in our lives.
We invite you to reflect on this: do you think in the same way that you did 5 years ago? Do you always feel the same? Do you always do the same things or act in the same way regardless of the years? Surely the answer to all these questions is NO! This leads us to affirm that the personality is transforming continuously because our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are changing.
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