Your Child's Unique Temperament

Insights and Strategies for Responsive Parenting
Pages: 150
ISBN: 9780878224913
Item Number: 5225

$20.99You save $9.00 (30.01%)

This evidence-based parenting manual emphasizes the major impact that a child’s temperament has on his or her behavior and development.

The book helps parents of children ages 5-12 to develop strategies that are responsive to their child’s unique temperament. Dr. McClowry draws on her 15 years of research with school-age children and their families and 30 years of clinical practice as a pediatric nurse and preschool teacher. She combines her professional expertise with her own experience of being a parent to offer a down-to-earth parenting approach that will improve child behavior and make family interactions more relaxed and enjoyable.

The manual features the School-Age Temperament Inventory (SATI), a 38-item parent inventory of children’s temperament. The SATI has undergone extensive development and evaluation. Readers are invited to visit Dr. McClowry’s website and generate a free Child Temperament Profile.

Book Review

“McClowry (nursing, New York University) presents a simple process for identifying a child’s temperament, reframing perceptions of the child, and responding appropriately to each child’s temperament. She then suggests parental strategies for gaining compliance from school-aged children, expressing warmth, and developing a discipline plan.”

Reference & Research Book News


PART 1: The Three Rs of Parenting: Recognize, Reframe, Respond

Chapter One: Recognizing Your Child’s Temperament

  • Principles of Temperament
  • Dimensions of Temperament
  • Parenting Exercise 1: Parent Observation Guide

Chapter Two: Reframing Your Perceptions of Your Child’s Temperament

  • The Temperament Profile
  • The Dynamic Four
    • Freddy the Friendly
    • Coretta the Cautious
    • Hilary the Hard Worker
    • Gregory the Grumpy
  • A Few Cautions about Labeling
  • Reframing Your Perceptions
  • Parenting Exercise 2: Reframing

Chapter Three: Parental Responses

  • Counterproductive Parental Responses
  • Adequate Parental Responses
  • Optimal Parental Responses
  • A Familiar Scenario: “He Hit Me”
  • Parenting Exercise 3: Observing Your Own Parental Responses

PART 2: The Two Cs: Gaining Compliance and Cherishing Each Other

Chapter Four: Gaining Compliance

  • Parent-Child Relationships
  • Behavior Contracts
  • Guidelines for Contracting with Your Child
  • Advocating for Your Child
  • Parenting Exercise 4: Child-Parent Behavior Contract
  • Parenting Exercise 5: Child-Parent-Teacher Behavior Contract

Chapter Five: Expressing Warmth

  • Engendering Trust
  • Communicating Affection
  • Paying Attention
  • Affirming Goodness and Talents
  • Encouraging Assertiveness

Chapter Six: Disciplining School-Age Children

  • Behavior Problems in the Context of the Family
  • Components of Discipline for School-Age Children
  • Disciplinary Strategies
  • Developing a Discipline Plan
  • Parenting Exercise 6: Discipline Plan

Chapter Seven: Parents Are People, Too

  • Nobody Can Be Giving All the Time
  • Time-Out for Parents
  • More about Time-Out for Pleasure
  • It’s Not Easy Being a Parent . . .
    • of a Child Who Is High in Negative Reactivity
    • of a Child Who Is Low in Task Persistence
    • of a Child Who Is High in Activity
    • of a Child Who Is High Maintenance
    • of a Child Who Is High in Withdrawal
    • of a Child Who Is High in Approach
    • of Children with a Variety of Temperaments
  • Other Common Bothersome Behaviors
  • Parenting Exercise 7: Time-Out for Pleasure

PART 3: Putting It All Together

Chapter Eight: Fostering Independence and Looking Towards the Future

  • Just When You Think You Have Figured Them Out
  • Enhanced Parenting Strategies: Fostering Children’s Independence
  • Everybody Has a Job
  • Parent Memories and Messages
  • Adolescence Is Right around the Corner

Chapter Nine: A Brief Accounting of Temperament Research

  • A Historical Perspective on Temperament
  • Contemporary Temperament Theory
  • Lingering Debates
  • Promising Areas of Investigation Regarding Adaptive Functioning
  • Hopes for the Future

APPENDIX: School-Age Temperament Inventory

  • Directions for Completing and Scoring
  • School-Age Temperament Inventory
  • Scoring Sheet
  • Calculation Sheet
  • Temperament Profile

Figures and Tables


  1. Temperament Profile for Jodi
  2. Sample Child-Parent Behavior Contract
  3. Sample Child-Parent-Teacher Behavior Contract


  1. Dimensions of Temperament: Strengths and Possible Concerns
  2. Counterproductive Parental Responses
  3. Adequate Parental Responses
  4. Optimal Parental Responses
  5. Guidelines for Contracting with Your Child
  6. Developmentally Appropriate Loss of Privileges
  7. Harsh Punishments
  8. Strategies for Dealing with a Child Who Is High in Negative Reactivity
  9. Strategies for Dealing with a Child Who Is Low in Task Persistence
  10. Strategies for Dealing with a Child Who Is High Maintenance
  11. Strategies for Reducing Bedtime Hassles

The program, INSIGHTS into Children’s Temperament, on which this book is derived, has been shown to significantly reduce the behavior problems of normally developing children. Even larger effects were found for children who have attention deficit with hyperactivity, oppositional defiant disorder, and conduct disorder — without the use of any medication.

These findings are more fully explained in the following manuscript:

McClowry, S. G., Snow, D. L., Tamis-LeMonda, C. S. (2005). An evaluation of the effects of INSIGHTS on the behavior of inner city primary school children. Journal of Primary Prevention, 26, 567-584.

INSIGHTS has been tested in three federally funded research studies. More information about the program is available at:

Consultation, workshops, and clinician training are available for individuals, schools, or organizations. For more information and available dates, please contact:

INSIGHTS Intervention, LLC
119 Ball Pond Rd.
New Fairfeild, CT 06812

Phone: 917-685-8408

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