Natalia Presler is a practicing psychologist and psychotherapist who blogs on instagram @ lozhka.meda. In her posts, she talks about the upbringing and development of children.
We at Happy Worthy Life are glad that we found Natalia’s page, so we are happy to share her observations with you.
Features of children’s thinking
- An important feature of the thinking of babies is self-centeredness. In their understanding, the world revolves around them. When the baby is born, his world is the next 20 cm of the crib, mother’s face and chest. With adulthood, the world expands and becomes farther, larger and more diverse. The ability to build connections, build conclusions, and adult logic is emerging. Children will learn that the Earth is not the only planet, that it revolves around the Sun, and even the Sun, which is so significant for us, is only a grain on the scale of the Universe. But until all this happened, the world of the child is small and he is his center. When you face a person and he says: “Go right”, you specify, to the right relative to him or you. Kids will not have such an idea. There is only their “right.”
- A child of preschool age has intuitive thinking, he does not yet have scientific ideas about the world and the phenomena in it, he relies on his foundations, external impressions to draw conclusions. He does not understand the essence of phenomena. To see this clearly, you can conduct an experiment with glasses. Take 2 glasses: narrow high and wide low. Pour the same amount of water from one measuring container in front of the child’s eyes and ask where there is more water. The child will rely on an obvious sign – where the water level is higher, ignoring the correct conclusions. Not because he is stupid, but because he has not yet matured for adult logic.
It often happens that a man is not very clear about his place in the first months after the birth of a child: the wife feeds the baby, puts it in bed, he is completely dependent on her and does not look like he needs someone else. A man may feel unnecessary. So what is the function of the father for the child? At an early stage (in the infancy of the child), the father is needed in order to partially duplicate the mother. If she is exhausted or sick, he gives instead of the mother love and care for the child. But there, in infancy, there is another important function: the father provides the reliability of attachment that forms between the mother and son or daughter. In order for mothers to concentrate on the baby, to enter into symbiosis with him, to give him unconditional love and acceptance, to transmit the feeling “you are good, you are necessary, you are important”, it is important to feel safe. So the husband must defend the “mother-child” pair so that they can merge and have this symbiosis experience important for psychological development. After a period of symbiosis (after six months and more and more actively by the age of 3), the father’s function changes dramatically: now he must become the force that will help the baby break away from his mother and become interested in the outside world. It depends on the father at this stage how the child will build relationships with people, as well as how his sense of self will be formed.
When it comes tophysical custody, they often think of grandmothers. But grandmothers, so as not to be parents with all their responsibility. They can just love, disregard the rules and pamper, enjoy communicating with the baby. If it seems to parents that grandmother has a bad effect on their child, it means that they consciously or unconsciously shifted responsibility for raising their offspring to the older generation. In addition, the desire to control how other people communicate with your child is already talking about hyper-custody. If your grandmother secures your baby 2 times a week on a slide or fastens his jacket, this will not affect his self-esteem. Of course, if it is not about extreme cases (chewing food for a child, feeding sweets in the presence of allergies and other inappropriate behavior). There are situations when the guardianship behavior of grandmothers takes too bright forms, provokes a lot of scandals to the family. And in all cases, practically this speaks of the relationship between the older generation and older children. It is possible that young mom and dad are still in the role of a child themselves, so their parents treat them and their children accordingly. It is necessary to strengthen your family and become independent, then there will be less disputes with grandmothers.
How to deal with whining?
Here are some strategies to help reduce the amount of whining:
- Listen to the child for real – not sitting on the Internet, cooking dinner, watching TV, talking on the phone, but eye to eye.
- Help children develop skills; they can be annoying when something fails.
- Emphasize how you like and how pleased you are when the child speaks in a calm voice. You can use the phrase: “I want you to say the same thing calmly, otherwise it’s hard for me to understand what you want.”
If the previous strategies do not work, then the reason may be that the kids whine not out of habit, but the truth is because they are upset and disoriented.
- Help them understand what is happening. “It looks like you are very tired”, “Yes, it’s sad”, “It’s so bad that it doesn’t work …” and other phrases can be healing.
- If the reflection of emotions does not help, you can simply ask: “Do you want me to hug you?”
- It is also important to include children in their activities and talk on important topics. Remember that whining is not a whim, but a way to cope with difficult experiences, the inability to behave differently, the lack of skills “but how else?”. It is the adult’s task to help the child handle this.
How to help your child become more confident?
- A child is born and grows a unique personality with its interests and characteristics. But at the same time he is the same as everyone. And in this sense, we can find features in him that are familiar to people we know: obstinacy – like a mother-in-law, quick temper – like a father, egoism – like a mother. When we begin to see in our children these are all “like”, this is about projections. At this moment, we no longer see the personality, we put in the child all our grievances, irritations and disappointments from those other people in our lives. They have nothing to do with the child, but firmly adhere to him, and, most importantly, they are like weeds that prevent the flowers of his own unique personality from growing. They do not allow HIS interests to develop, HIS inclinations to appear, to know HIS feelings, to make HIS mistakes and draw HIS conclusions. Therefore, abandon projections on your child, try to understand precisely his feelings, do not rush him in development and always be seriously interested in him, without discounting his small victories.
How not to raise a manipulator?
- Sometimes in families, sympathy is artificially associated with guilt and shame. If a child is rude, does not share, does not say hello, they say: “And aren’t you ashamed to talk to your mother like that?”, “Go take pity on your mother, she’s very upset.” The worst option to stimulate sympathy in a child is to be offended, sulk, stop talking, boycott him in response to rudeness or bad behavior. So you teach him to manipulate the feelings of other people and use resentment to achieve goals. Do not act offense. If you are really offended, it’s better to say it directly: “I was very unpleasant when you talked to me like that. I no longer want to play and chat with you. Do not do that anymore”. With older children (especially with adolescents), such a phrase will fit: “You’re rude to me now. Did I do something that hit you hard or offended you?
What if a child copies bad behavior?
In a situation with “bad” friends, it seems to the parent that it makes sense to tell the child what should not be repeated for the hooligans. But the fact of the matter is that the child repeats bad words or actions after others, because he wants it. For example, he also wants to play pranks. It’s fun. One is scared, but the two of them are not. And he does not understand why he should give up this benefit, than this is bad. The way here is this: to turn to his feelings and the reason for prank. The reason is not his friend urging him, but his own desire. Therefore, it would be much more useful to say: “Sometimes I really want to do something wrong, but very funny. And one is scared [recognized his desires as NORMAL]. And then there are boys with whom it is not so scary to do it as one. These boys seem very brave, and you might even want to be like them. But the real strength of a person is to refrain from improper behavior. Do not offend others when you are angry, do not destroy what others have built, although you really want to. Remember how angry you were at Vova, but you could restrain yourself and not hit? This is real strength [set the line and gave a model of desired behavior]. ”
How to teach a child a healthy attitude to food?
“Food should be just food.”
- Do not stimulate food, do not punish poor nutrition, do not criticize, do not use dinners as a battlefield.
- Form a positive attitude towards food. At the same time, an atmosphere of trust is important: do not check whether the child swallowed the food, do not lie about the composition of the products, do not hide anything in the child’s favorite dish.
- Do not demand from the baby that which does not correspond to yourself. It is strange if mom and dad’s dinner are dumplings, and the child is not allowed to leave the table until he eats a serving of vegetables.
- Do not discuss with anyone other than doctors (and only if necessary) how the child eats.
- Do not get hung up on food. As soon as the topic of food becomes acute, children feel it.
- Do not feed children, do not force to eat by force or with the help of blackmail. This leads to a violation of eating behavior and serious psychological difficulties.
- It is also important the amount of physical activity in the baby’s schedule and the patience of parents (remember that children need to try a new product 10-12 times to understand whether they like it or not).
How to part in kindergarten?
- Do not leave the child without warning and abruptly. More physical punishment children are afraid to be abandoned.
- Talk about parting in the garden and do not discount the feelings of the child.
- Do not lie. If you said that you would return after 5 minutes, and you left for the whole day, leaving him in the garden, then he will cease to trust you and the adaptation will drag on for a long time.
- More information – less anxiety. We need specifics: when will you return (preschoolers do not yet have an understanding of time, therefore, do not become attached to the clock, but to the events: lunch, walk, sleep-hour), what will happen until you are with him, and what will happen when you return.
- Give your baby something that will remind you of you: a photograph, a toy, a note or a bracelet. Enlist the support of those with whom the child remains.
“Agree on what they will do when he calls for mom.” A good option is to play a phone call: “Mom, love you and wait!”
Now we appeal to all the parents who read Happy Worthy Life. Based on your experience, what would you recommend to other moms and dads?