We know that people with certain personality traits or temperaments – people who are perfectionists, easily flustered, or have low self-esteem, for example – are more likely to develop mental health conditions.
Examples of behaviour that might suggest a child has these personality factors include:
- feeling anxious
- withdrawing from or avoiding new situations
- being irritable or aggressive
- not being able to follow rules or instructions
- displaying behaviour that is difficult to manage
- lacking an understanding of consequences
- having difficulty understanding or using language.
Most children will behave this way from time to time – for example, many children avoid new situations purely out of shyness.
And while we can’t change our internal make up or personality, parents and carers can help by focusing on positive attributes, building resilience and creating a supportive environment.