I often come across parents of nuclear families these days that are juggling between work, home, and baby- sitters. They constantly ponder about the fact that their children would be raised better in the hands of their family members or grandparents versus a baby- sitter, or a care- taker. So are we blaming the changing …
Given the fast paced life we all lead, it is a tad too difficult to supervise our children the way our parents probably did. They need to be more independent and therefore need to be aware of all the do’s and don’ts of daily life, especially those pertaining to safety. While this is of paramount importance, it is equally important to provide a balanced perspective of safety to our children.
What I mean to say is we need to guard against communicating to the child that ‘the world is an unsafe place’ and that ‘people are all out to take advantage of you.’ If the child adopts any such belief, it may lead to emotional turmoil which could manifest in anxiety and apprehension, separation anxiety and clinginess or a refusal to be alone. Let us understand better how this happens:
This is a guest post by Monisha Mukundan.
Walking towards the stream one day, I passed two little boys intent on their toy. It completely absorbed the attention of both the boy manipulating the device as well as his companion. It was the metal lid of a tin, perhaps a tin of powdered milk or ghee, with rounded edges, and a length of wire. The wire was bent at one end, to hook around the lid. The boy was driving the lid along the cement path with the wire. The path was not smooth and it took skill and concentration to keep the lid turning. The boy’s companion was as intent on the game as he was, perhaps he was waiting for his turn and mentally practising as he watched.
Coping and dealing with a child who has a developmental difficulty requires patience, understanding and firm inner resilience, which is why it is referred to as being relatively difficult. It takes us time to understand the nature of our child’s barriers to growth and then help them. But, what about a situation where we probably do not understand fully that our child is facing genuine barriers to growth?? What about when we attribute their problem behavior to their personalities and miss out on recognizing a mild form of a developmental disturbance?? This blog muses about these possibilities.
‘Self-esteem’ is, to put it simply, what an individual thinks of himself/ herself. Also known as ‘self-confidence’, self-esteem is a key determinant of how we feel about ourselves and the world. It drives our actions and choices and pretty much establishes how we live our lives. Think about that goal you’ve been longing to achieve but haven’t tried to so far. There’s something about that goal which is repulsive…or intimidating. The overt thought is “I want this and don’t want it at the same time.” In several cases, the underlying thought is, “what if I am not able to achieve it??” This ‘what if?’ is so threatening that we choose to ‘camp’ and to stop pursuing that goal.
‘Initiative versus Guilt’ is one of the eight stages of psychosocial development proposed by pioneering psychoanalyst Erik Erikson (1902 – 1994). Each of the stages described by Erikson constitute a milestone in personality development, wherein the child is faced with a primary psychological issue / theme/ conflict that he/she needs to resolve satisfactorily for healthy development of the personality. For eg., the conflict faced by the child in its first year is, “ Is the world a good and safe place to live in?” and in its second year is, “Am I capable of controlling my environment?”
“What’s in a touch?” one may ask. I came across an article on ‘psyblog’ ( read it here) that seemed to convey, “what is NOT in a touch?” The potency of touch as a means of communication is often underestimated. We often use ‘conversation’ or ‘talking’ and ‘communication’ synonymously, even while we surely have read about facial expressions and body language as being more powerful than spoken content while in interaction. Going one step ahead, body language immediately brings to our mind elements of body posture such as slouching, stooping, standing upright, having hands folded etc. Well, what we miss out on, possibly due to cultural norms, is that body language also involves touch.
Imagine a scenario, where you are an athlete, a runner and you have a coach who is giving you some last minute instructions before the race starts. Which set of instructions are likely to help you?
“Be attentive to all those around you, there are superior runners here. Some have won many such races in the past. They are medalists. Be very attentive to the whistle. Don’t miss it.”
“You have practiced what you could, now enjoy the run. Run freely with your whole mind and body. Don’t worry. Give your best.”