The Four Temperaments: A Window to Our Understanding of the Child



Knowledge of the four temperaments can be a gateway to understanding human nature. This knowledge has been used by teachers, philosophers, doctors, and healers since ancient Greece. Rudolf Steiner indicated that in the second seven-year cycle of a child’s life, the unconscious expression of a child’s temperament can be a window to the child’s being and a golden moment for the education of their temperament. As nurturers, we can gently help children by meeting the needs of their temperaments. Our task is not to work against nor change a child’s temperament, but to recognize what the child is striving to express at this stage of development and how that expression can bring conflict, harmony, kindness, or even new direction to those around them. Temperaments change throughout a person’s life, and as adults, we can consciously work to balance our own.


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