Your child’s response to stress may help shape their personality. Professor Davies at the University of Rochester noted that children’s behavior may be categorized as doves – submissive and cautious; or as hawks – bolder and more adventurous.
How your child reacts to stress is highly caused by your parenting style. Children who experienced attachment-style parenting are less likely to be stressed, while those who experienced non-secure attachment were more likely to experience high stress levels. Non-secure attachment parenting is more like to cause a child to develop anxiety problems such as general anxiety disorder and separation anxiety.
This does not mean that you should adopt an attachment style all the time. For example, some parents prefer to co-sleep with their children, while others prefer to have their own privacy & have their children sleep on their own. The former enhances a sense of security, while the latter allows them the opportunity to develop self-soothing skills.
Another factor we can consider when dealing with our children is their birth order. Firstborn children tend to beat themselves quite hard on doing things perfectly, and love to abide by rules and laws.
Only children as “super firstborns,” but enjoy the undivided attention of both parents, and may sometimes manipulate the adults to get things their way.
Middleborn children generally require lots of reminder that they are loved all the same, but they make great peacemakers as they prefer to avoid conflict.
Lastborn children usually enjoy relaxed rules at home and are given lots of protection and care from both parents and elder siblings. They are spontaneous and love to have fun with everything they do.
When it comes to parenting styles, it is usually a double-edged sword. What works in 1 situation may not work in another. As parents, we know our children best ourselves, and with some trial and error, we’ll eventually find out what works on each child.
In trying to make your child a dove, perhaps he/she can achieve much greater things as a hawk.