February 08, 2019 125 Comments

Understanding you and your child's temperaments can help with parenting. For example, melancholic children respond well to fairy tales describing hardships. The phlegmatic child likes comfort, to be kept warm and delicious food. Sanguine children respond well to calm parenting but enjoy social situations. Choleric children like to be leaders and you may find letting them be in charge of tasks helps to give them direction. In Waldorf schools teachers work with temperaments to help children grow and develop.

Children of these temperaments are often drawn to these colors:

According to Rudolf Steiner- the founder the of Waldorf education - each phase of life has a temperament associated with it. 

  • Childhood: Sanguine 
  • Adolescence: Choleric 
  • Adulthood: Melancholic 
  • Old Age: Phlegmatic 

A goal of adulthood is to bring all four temperaments into balance, to bring harmony into one's life.

Here's a list of animals associated with each temperament.

  • Lion (Choleric/Dominance) Strengths— Visionary, practical, productive, strong-willed, independent, decisive, leader. ...
  • Otter (Sanguine/Influence) Strengths— Outgoing, responsive, warm, friendly, talkative, enthusiastic, compassionate. ...
  • Golden Retriever (Phlegmatic/Steadiness) ...
  • Beaver (Melancholy/Compliance)

You can look at the characters in Winnie the Pooh to find the four temperaments - Eeyore is the melancholic; Rabbit choleric; Pooh phlegmatic; and Christopher Robin himself is the sanguine.

Take a quiz to determine your temperament. (A very fun activity to do with children - our family had so much fun discovering our temperaments!)

Let me know what temperament you and your children are in a comment below. I'll choose two winners from the comment section on February 14 (Valentine's Day!) to receive a $25 gift card to my shop.

For further reading on this subject I recommend looking at Dr. Gilbert Child's work entitled Understand Your Temperament! A guide to the four temperaments: Choleric, Sanguine, Phlegmatic and Melancholic.


100 Responses

Vivian
Vivian

February 14, 2019

Sanguine and choleric. Though my 4 yr old shows attributes in more than one. Will have to get more insight from his teachers at our waldorf school!

Jemma
Jemma

February 14, 2019

Melancholic and melancholic. Runs in the family :) I guess that’s why I see a flicker in his eye and I know exactly how he’s feeling!!

Laura
Laura

February 14, 2019

Sanguine/melancholic here with a cozy phlegmatic husband and daughter. My son is an amazing energetic choleric. Happy Valentine’s Day y’all!

 Thornbury
Thornbury

February 14, 2019

Phlegmatic and my son is Sanguine

Veronika
Veronika

February 13, 2019

I’m melancholic and my daughter is sanguine

Anna
Anna

February 13, 2019

I’m Sanguine and my daughter leans toward Melancholic.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

February 13, 2019

I got sanguine and I would say my daughter leans towards phlegmatic.

Jessica Nolen
Jessica Nolen

February 13, 2019

I’m melancholic (no surprise!) and I’d say my daughter is phlegmatic : )

Emary
Emary

February 13, 2019

Phlegmatic! My babes are too small for me too answer accurately for them, but husband is Choleric :) Thanks for this fun little quiz!

Jasmine Kim
Jasmine Kim

February 12, 2019

I got phlegmatic. I would say my almost four year old daughter is a mix between choleric and sanguine, more so the latter.

Nicole Laris
Nicole Laris

February 12, 2019

The quiz said melancholic and I would have to agree. It describes me almost to a T

Leonta Young
Leonta Young

February 12, 2019

Melancholic here. I think my 4 year old daughter is a cross between melancholic and choleric, depending on if she’s home or on public. Lol

Laura
Laura

February 12, 2019

I’m a choleric melancholic married to a sanguine (thank goodness!). Our oldest is phlegmatic, second is sanguine, third is melancholic/choleric, fourth is sanguine, and fifth is only 3 years old but tending toward the choleric/melancholic too. It blesses me how well our personalities fit together. My weaknesses are another’s strengths and vice versa. ❤️

Tania
Tania

February 12, 2019

I’m a phlegmatic! I see a lot of us here. :) Hi!

Farah
Farah

February 12, 2019

I’m phlegmatic and the description fits me so perfectly! My son’s too young to take the test but I’d like to think we share the same temperament (he really does love water and food!)

Meg
Meg

February 12, 2019

I am sanguine. I have a choleric, a phlegmatic and a melancholic!

maggie
maggie

February 12, 2019

As I suspected I got melencholic and all 6 of my kids are melancholic or choleric . We are mostly introverted and emotional

Shaina Paddick
Shaina Paddick

February 12, 2019

I’m melancholic. Who knew!?

Hayley
Hayley

February 12, 2019

I took the quiz and it said Pheglemic but I don’t really agree with the description! I usually find myself between several options because I like to try to look at things from others perspective too! My son is too young to pick his answers!

Sarah
Sarah

February 12, 2019

My husband and I are both Melancholic and I believe my son to be as well. We attend a Waldorf Parent and Tot class… I’d be interested to see if the teachers can peg the parent’s temperaments. :) What a fun give away. Thank you!

Carrie Niemi
Carrie Niemi

February 12, 2019

Fun test. I am melancholic. My children are all grown and now the grandbabies are coming. What a joy to see their unique personalities! Love them,every one.

Samantha Shapiro
Samantha Shapiro

February 12, 2019

I am phlegmatic, my husband is sanguine and our 4 y/o son is more so sanguine like his Dad.

Carrie Niemi
Carrie Niemi

February 12, 2019

Fun test. I am melancholic. My children are all grown and now the grandbabies are coming. What a joy rose their unique personalities! Love them,every one.

Anne
Anne

February 12, 2019

Phlegmatic parent with choleric and sanguine children. Their energy and drive to accomplish things is certainly unlike me! They are both delightful and exhausting to my even keel but slower temperament.

Lauren
Lauren

February 12, 2019

I got phlegmatic, which sounds about right! I think my son (1.5 years) is more sanguine mixed with a little choleric.

Jan
Jan

February 12, 2019

Phlegmatic, husband is too. Life is pretty slow and cozy around here.😊 Not sure about the kids because they are still so young.

Abbey Baer
Abbey Baer

February 12, 2019

My son and I are both phlegmatic

Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M.

February 12, 2019

Melancholy, that sounds about right

Sara F.
Sara F.

February 12, 2019

I got phlegmatic. My kids are are choleric & melancholic.

Katie P.
Katie P.

February 12, 2019

I am melancholic, but my oldest (7) is phlegmatic :) I think he is actually more melancholic. My daughter (3) is definitely choleric!

Alicia B
Alicia B

February 12, 2019

Sanguine, here!

Ashley Burris
Ashley Burris

February 12, 2019

I’m so grateful to have found this page! I have been truly diving deep into the temperaments as I research and study Waldorf education(looking to create my own preschool/kindergarten..) I found this Information to be super helpful in understanding my questions about the temperaments; and the test was simple and fun! Thank you! I’m a sanguine and I think my 4 year old son is quite a choleric and my daughter who is a year and a half has both Sanguine and Choleric qualities!

Julie
Julie

February 12, 2019

I am melancholic. My husband and daughter are sanguine.

Andrea G
Andrea G

February 12, 2019

I got Melancholic

Katelyn
Katelyn

February 12, 2019

I am meloncholic and my son is choleric.

Erika
Erika

February 12, 2019

I’m choleric. My oldest seems choleric so far and my younger sanguine.

Beth Jarvi
Beth Jarvi

February 12, 2019

I’m melancholic – I could tell that just by reading the descriptions, but my daughter is definitely Sanguine! She is a spark of joy that always helps to bring some sunshine to my deep overthinking :)

Arianna J.
Arianna J.

February 12, 2019

I’m a phlegmatic and both of my kids are choleric! 😅😅

Piper Scott
Piper Scott

February 12, 2019

I am sanguine and, reading the description, it fits me so very well!

Erica Guadagnoli
Erica Guadagnoli

February 12, 2019

I got phlegmatic this time but the other day I took a quiz and got melancholic ;) I have six kiddos but they aren’t around to ask the questions, I will do them later ❤️

Alisha
Alisha

February 12, 2019

I’m a choleric with a dash of melancholic. I have on daughter who is the same and one who is sanguine. Interestingly I find my sanguine’s personality irresistible because she’s so very bouyant. But my heart understands my little choleric better.

Lindsey
Lindsey

February 12, 2019

I am melancholic and my son is choleric.

Jessica
Jessica

February 11, 2019

I got sanguine (already knew that) and my best half, choleric. Our child is too young to take this test :-)

Alyssa Quinter
Alyssa Quinter

February 11, 2019

I am Phlegmatic and my daughter is Sanguine.

Sheena
Sheena

February 10, 2019

I’m Phlegmatic according to the quiz and I can see that my husband is too. However I see a good bit of Sanguine in myself too. My daughter is only a year old but I think she’s somewhere in the Sanguine or Phlegmatic.

Jo
Jo

February 10, 2019

My son and I are both melancholics. Ever since he was a baby I sensed that we were “kindred spirits”. We are so much alike in so many ways. We really see the world similarly and share many of the same joys and fears. It’s a really special connection, I really “see” him and he really sees me. 💙

Sarah
Sarah

February 10, 2019

Well, supposedly I’m phlegmatic, and my three children are melancholic, sanguine, and melancholic. These all seem to be rather one dimensional and likely have more of a correlation to life stage and current developmental change than to whole personality or temperament. Also, the moon is not a planet. A really fun activity is to do the MBTI and then look up the characters from the Lord of the Rings movies that match your score.

Natasha
Natasha

February 10, 2019

My daughter and I are both sanguine- and I’m finding these concepts fascinating! Thank you so much for sharing!

Jutta
Jutta

February 10, 2019

I am phlegmatic

Liza
Liza

February 10, 2019

My son sounds like choleric. I got phlegmatic and My daughter is definitely sanguine.

Ashley Angell
Ashley Angell

February 09, 2019

I’m definitely melancholic and I think my oldest is sanguine like my husband!

Mikhal Burgos
Mikhal Burgos

February 09, 2019

My husband got phlegmatic and I got choleric, my son is too young to take the quiz but I would say sanguine!
This is great, thanks for sharing this!

Steph
Steph

February 09, 2019

Oh my! This is so timely as I have been digging into temperaments this past week and trying to pin down what my daughter and I am. I am hands-down melancholic while I think my 6 y/o daughter is sanguine (at the moment at least!). She also has a melancholic streak, likely her secondary temperament currently. Looking up the book suggestion too! I find temperaments so fascinating. Once you understand yours and the people you frequently interact with, it makes like so much smoother :)

Melodie
Melodie

February 09, 2019

I got melancholic. The description did sound familiar re:many of my tendencies. Interesting stuff! My daughter is not quite three, so didn’t do the quiz for her, but I would categorize her as “Sanguine”

Thanks Sarah!

Ashley Weston Miller
Ashley Weston Miller

February 09, 2019

I’m Choleric and my daughters are Sanguine. This is helpful to think about in my parenting, thanks for postinf

Kelly
Kelly

February 09, 2019

My daughter and I are both Melancholic! This was fun!

Carly
Carly

February 09, 2019

I’m phlegmatic, my kids are melancholic & sanguine.

Tara
Tara

February 09, 2019

I’m phlegmatic, but I would have said melancholic. My kiddo is sanguine.

Lauren S
Lauren S

February 09, 2019

I’m melancholic with one Choleric/Phlegmatic child and one Melancholic child! I’ve been wanting to study these more in order to parent more effectively! Thabks for the post!

Sarah
Sarah

February 09, 2019

I’m a sanguine married to a melancholic. We have children in all 4 areas….it’s interesting to view them through this lens. My phlegmatic child might be the strongest phlegmatic I know! Now I know what to do when that child is having a rough time – warm drink, nourishing meal and some personal space. 😉

Charity Preda
Charity Preda

February 09, 2019

My husband is choleric, and I’m sanguine- both of which I assumed beforehand!

Erin
Erin

February 09, 2019

I got melancholic and totally agree. My little one is going to be two soon and I cannot wait to see what type she falls into as she gets older. Thank you for this. It was fun 🌈

Caroline
Caroline

February 09, 2019

I got phlegmatic on the quiz! The description seems pretty accurate but boy does that make me feel stodgy. Don’t we all want to be a little more sanguine? 😄😄

Cindy
Cindy

February 09, 2019

The quiz came up Sanguine, but I don’t see that at all. I feel strongly like a Melancholic who has occasional Choleric tendencies…

Kacie Zglinicki
Kacie Zglinicki

February 09, 2019

We are both choleric!!!

Michelle
Michelle

February 09, 2019

I am Sanguine and my kids are melacholic

Courtney
Courtney

February 08, 2019

I am Melancholic and my little is Sanguine!

Amber Diamond
Amber Diamond

February 08, 2019

Oops! I meant to say Sanguine, not Sanguime! 💁🏻‍♀️😂
Thanks again!! 🌈❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🖤

Amber Diamond
Amber Diamond

February 08, 2019

I took your quiz & I got Sanguime! My little girl is just going to be 1 next month so she really couldn’t do the quiz but my results do sound just like me. Cool info!! 🙌🏼 I actually had never heard of this b4. Thanks again & I hope to win. 🌈❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🖤

Zara
Zara

February 08, 2019

Melancholic, but definitely with some Phlegmatic tendencies. My twins are both Sanguine, but they express those qualities in different ways, so its interesting to see how, as twins, they are similar and yet still different!

Jenn hen
Jenn hen

February 08, 2019

Ooh that got cut off… Melancholic married to a choleric with a melancholic and 2 sanguine kids. Oof.

Jenn hen
Jenn hen

February 08, 2019

Oh gosh melancholic . so much so its scary.

Andrea
Andrea

February 08, 2019

The quiz says I am melancholic but I bet have some phlegmatic tendencies. My son is only 3 months old but I would think right now he is sanguine/Phelgmatic because he is very much like my brother!

Mari
Mari

February 08, 2019

I am melancholic. Daughter is sanguine. Son number 1 is phlegmatic. Son number 2 is choleric. We got all 4 temperaments in my home. Hopefully we can balance each other out! Lol

Adren Bradley
Adren Bradley

February 08, 2019

Hi Sarah I loved this article so much! I am a Sanguine; my oldest daughter is Melancholic and my youngest is Choleric – facinating

Isabella
Isabella

February 08, 2019

Hello Sarah :) I’m fairly balanced between the 4 but perhaps more phlegmatic lately. My son is choleric and my daughter is phlegmatic. :)

ANITHA KUPPUSWAMY
ANITHA KUPPUSWAMY

February 08, 2019

My kiddo is choleric & I’m Sanguine!!

Sunanda
Sunanda

February 08, 2019

Iam melancholic . My almost 3.5 year old is choleric !😊😊

Amber N.
Amber N.

February 08, 2019

Phlegmatic and my daughter sanguine

Samantha
Samantha

February 08, 2019

I am Phlegmatic and my son is Sanguine :)

Mariel
Mariel

February 08, 2019

I’m melancholic and my kids are both sanguine.

Amanda Coleman
Amanda Coleman

February 08, 2019

I’m Phlegmatic. My 4 year old daughter is Melancholic, 5 year old daughter is Sanguine and my 8 year old son is Choleric. Things are gonna get crazy up in here 😜😅!!

Tif
Tif

February 08, 2019

I’m 100% choleric and my daughter (6) is 100% melancholic. My husband is 100% phlegmatic. My son (2) scored sanguine – but I’m not so sure… but at the looks of it we are a balanced family!

KELLY K
KELLY K

February 08, 2019

I’m phlegmatic and my son is definitely sanguine!!

Amanda Brand
Amanda Brand

February 08, 2019

My son and I are melancholic and my daughter is choleric

SARAH LOUDERBACK
SARAH LOUDERBACK

February 08, 2019

Melancholic. 🙂 Both of us I think lol

Denise Miller
Denise Miller

February 08, 2019

I’m melancholic, my daughter is sanguine!

Christina
Christina

February 08, 2019

Phlegmatic! My kids are phlegmatic and sanguine.

Jennifer
Jennifer

February 08, 2019

I’m Phlegmatic. My son is as well. Too soon to say about my daughter, but I’m guessing she will not be. 😂

Jen G
Jen G

February 08, 2019

Both my daughter and I are sanguine – loves doing this!

Cheryl
Cheryl

February 08, 2019

I got sanguine, which seems about right.

Beth Simmons
Beth Simmons

February 08, 2019

I got Melancholic. I think my four kids are each a different temperament!

Jenn
Jenn

February 08, 2019

I am Eeyore?! Melancholic according to the test. My daughter is Sanguine, so far…

Ashlie
Ashlie

February 08, 2019

I am phlegmatic. My 2.5 year old son is sanguine, and my 4.5 year old daughter is melancholic. Not sure what my 6 week old daughter is yet, but I’m looking forward to finding out! :)

Miriam
Miriam

February 08, 2019

Melancholic for me, and for my little one too!

Stephanie
Stephanie

February 08, 2019

Phlegmatic. That surprised me! Lovely descriptions. Thank you!

Megan
Megan

February 08, 2019

I tested as Phlegmatic. My kids seem like a mix of the other 3 types.

Leah
Leah

February 08, 2019

Great post! I am melancholic and my kids are both sanguine. I am not generally keen on personality tests but these temperaments really resonate.

JennyS
JennyS

February 08, 2019

Sanguine dominant, but I’m striving for balance :)

michelle
michelle

February 08, 2019

I’m melanocholic and I’d say my 3.5 y/o is sanguine/melancholic. He is a huge feeler and big thinker.

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