Behavior researcher Priscilla Dunstan, creator of the Dunstan Baby Language System and of Oprah fame, has it all laid out in her new book, Child Sense (Bantam). "All kids have a dominant sense that determines how they experience and relate to the world," she says. Here's a guide to understanding your little alien:
The Tactile Child
Tactile kids express themselves physically. If happy, they skip; if sad, they need a cuddle; if angry or excited, they push or shove. They learn by doing.
What it means for babies:
These little ones love to be held all the time, but they're also soothed by movement. If your arms need a break, put him in a swing or carrier.
What it means for toddlers:
These are the guys you see throwing themselves on the ground and thrashing about. Try tickling him or doing something else that is physical yet playful to "wake him up" from the tantrum. If that doesn't work, walk away. Tactile kids don't like to be alone, and the act of running after you may help him switch gears.
What it means for preschoolers:
He'll respond best to lessons that involve tangible items. Use blocks to teach counting, and find objects that all start with the same letter -- ball, butter, belt; cat, cup, carrot -- to help him learn the alphabet.