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Children’s Personalities according to the Five Elements

February 28, 2024

The Five Elements in Chinese medicine


In Chinese medicine, the five elements play an important role. These elements are Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. Each element is connected to a myriad of different things like a season, colour, organ, emotion, smell and so on. The five elements have particular energetics and they also relate to the different aspects of our personalities. We all have some of each of the five elements within us but almost always one of the five is represented strongest in us.

In children in particular, it is interesting to determine the main element of the child’s constitution. This is their strongest energy and at the same time causes the most imbalance in their lives. With careful observations it often becomes clear what the child’s element is. Knowing and understanding this makes it easier to support their physical, mental and emotional health.

In this blog we will describe the characteristics of each element. Your child will be unlikely to fit with everything you read about an element below but there will likely be one that fits best.


Fire_ElementThe Five Elements: Fire


The personality traits of a Fire element child are: active mind, bouncy, curious, charming, playful and mischievous, creative and insightful. They are into something different each day.

A Healthy Fire Child:

  • Loving – they ooze love!
  • Has a strong “joie the vivre” (delight in simply living their life).
  • Warm and sensitive. 
  • Is a  people person and loves the energy of a group of people.

A Struggling Fire child:

  • Lacks in joy and/or is compulsively cheerful (like it’s their job to entertain everybody).
  • Might be excessively vulnerable and/or closed off.

The Fire child needs:

  • Love, warmth, communication and intimacy, overtly expressed.
  • Hugs and cuddles and time with their parents.
  • Emotional stability and constancy.
  • Fun, joy, laughter, a little every day!


Earth_ElementThe  Five Elements: Earth


The personality traits of an Earth element child are: supportive, nurturing, comforting, welcoming, empathetic, subdued and rhythmic (helps them to feel stability).

A Healthy Earth Child:

  • Feels centred and grounded; they have a mothering vibe.
  • Is a natural caregiver.
  • Looks after their own needs
  • Is a great team person and will do better when working in groups.

A Struggling Earth Child:

  • Is either excessively dependant and needy, or unable to accept help (they might reject offers of support, sympathy and affection).
  • Can be overly empathic (they feel the distress of others like it is their own).
  • A ‘worry bug’.

The Earth Child needs:

  • Consistent, responsive, nurturing and mothering. Attuned parenting.
  • They benefit from time at home.
  • Neither a lack of mothering, nor ‘smothering’ mothering.
  • An emotional and physical stable home environment (they might struggle to go different houses in case of separation).


Metal_ElementThe Five Elements: Metal


The personality traits of a Metal child are: sensitive (one of the most sensitive kids), clean, refined, idealistic, inspirational, hopeful, encouraging and orderly. They have to learn about boundaries as they tend to take on a lot. 

A Healthy Metal Child:

  • Has a strong sense of self-worth, they know they’re good enough.
  • Is able to deal well with sadness and loss (they feel it and are able to move through it).
  • Brings quality to everything they do. They really get into the things that interest them and have a hard time to move on to the next thing.

A Struggling Metal Child:

  • Tends to be melancholic, They can feel stuck and can’t let go.
  • Is inert and withdrawn. They come back from a day at school and want to be alone.
  • Constantly striving and self critical.

The Metal Child needs:

  • Support in dealing with loss (have adults that are okay with children crying and being sad).
  • Acknowledgement and praise (they are their own worst critics).
  • Time alone.
  • Ordered, peaceful and un-chaotic home life.


Water_ElementThe Five Elements: Water 


The personality traits of a Water child are: mysterious, calm, deep, great potential and inner strength. 

A Healthy Water Child:

  • Is neither particularly fearful nor reckless and has a balanced approach to danger. They can judge danger very well.
  • They how prudence in their approach to rest and activity, their instinct is usually correct.
  • Is sensitive and attuned.
  • Still waters run deep.

A Struggling Water Child:

  • Might be overly fearful and anxious, or reckless at other times.
  • Either never stops, or lacks in drive.
  • They tend to be very competitive. 

The Water Child needs:

  • To feel safe and secure.
  • Reassurance – not verbal but having calm, solid people around them.
  • To be allowed to develop at their own speed and in their on time, they don’t like being rushed. 
  • A balance between rest and activity. Water kids like to lay down and have a hard time waking up in the morning.


Wood_ElementThe Five Elements: Wood


The personality traits of a wood element child are: driven, active, pioneering, assertive, dominant, direct and intense.

A Healthy Wood Child:

  • Is a natural Leader, an authority.
  • Likes adventure and new things.
  • Is organised and likes to know the plan for the day.
  • Has a strong sense of right and wrong, a strong radar for injustice.

A Struggling Wood Child:

  • May be overtly angry (aggressive or destructive behaviour, irritable, moody), particularly when they feel constraint. 
  • They might repress their anger which may lead to feeling depressed and apathetic, overly compliant and unassertive.
  • May show an unnaturally strong drive for independence OR an inability to grow into independence.

The Wood Child needs:

  • A right balance between boundaries, rules and guidance versus freedom and independence.
  • Good modelling of angry emotions.
  • Support with expression of emotions in the anger family.


How do the Five Elements play a role in the treatment of Children?


When a child comes in for treatment we will try and determine the child’s constitution according to the Five Elements. We do this by observing the child, talking to them (if they’re old enough) and talking to the parents. Once we are clear on the child’s constitutional element it can then form the foundation of the treatment.

Every element has accompanying meridians and acupuncture points. This is how we can strengthen and balance out the elements. We can do this with acupuncture, massage techniques, laser treatment and cupping, depending on the child and their preferences.  By balancing out their element, their life will become more harmonious and they will have less problems, physical, mental and/or emotional.


Marieke_Paediatric_AcupunctureCan I book my child in for treatment?

Here at Natural Solutions, Marieke has a keen interest in treating children and she has done extensive paediatric studies. You can book an appointment with her for your child here. If you have any questions, please give us a call on 0414 067 874.