What Shapes a Child’s Personality?

20th January 2022

It’s a combination of genes, parenting, environment, peers, physical health and condition and early experiences (such as how early trauma and stress can heavily influence a child’s personality for the years to come).

What shapes a child’s personality?

Overall, it’s a combination of both nature and nurture (both genetic and non-genetic factors and influences). As mentioned, early experiences also play a huge role as these can set the expectations of a child towards life. Although children can re-interpret those experiences and revise those expectations later on, these can still affect how their personalities develop through the years.

For example, an early experience about abandonment can make it difficult for a child to build and maintain connections and relationships (as well as having issues about anger and mood swings). As a result, they might find it hard to make friends or cooperate with other people. This in turn can lead to social isolation, which could then limit their learning and fun opportunities. It can become a vicious downward cycle of lack and loneliness.

On the other hand, early experiences filled with fun moments and loving relationships can make it easier for children to build and maintain relationships. It will be firmly planted in their minds that making friends feels good. This will also make playtime and social interactions fun, which will then encourage them to participate more (thereby exposing them to more learning opportunities). As a result, they might develop a friendly, positive and welcoming personality.

Aside from early experiences, a child’s physical condition and health can also heavily influence personality development. For example, if your child is physically healthy and active, he/she will be more inclined to participate in playtime and will have more energy jumping and running around. This further reinforces his/her physical growth and development and helps him/her with his/her confidence (e.g. a healthy-looking child could feel more confident than sickly ones). Also, with more energy and time for play, your child will have more opportunities to interact with other children (which will be good for all of them in terms of their language and social skills).

Notice that it’s a feedback loop where experiences shape personality and vice versa. However, this is much more pronounced in the children’s early years because of their rapid brain development (and how key neural connections are being formed).

Here at Footsteps Early Learning Centre, we help children gain positive early experiences that will guide them throughout their lives. Through our approach focused on care, cooperation and encouragement, children can gain a positive outlook about life. Contact us today if you want to learn more about our approach.