Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How parents can help ?



         While it is natural for young children to resist surrendering their infantile impulses to social regulation, youngsters who are basically well adjusted and who feel loved will also eager to please. Rest assured that with your patience and understanding, your child will eventually master the basic tenets of “do unto others” no matter how recalcitrant she may seem at the outset. From the time she begins the most rudimentary parallel play, you can start her on the road to winning friends by following a few simple guidelines.



       Your first impulse may be to rush in and straighten things out when your child tangles with playmates, but you should resort to direct intervention only if you see that a situation is getting out of hand. However fierce these frays may seem to a grownup , to the little ones involved these are passing aggravations, quickly settled and soon forgotten whenever possible give children a chance to work out their own problems ; they will learn that a little friction and frustration in play is not really fatal.  And they will get valuable practice in fending and thinking for themselves.

            When you do feel the need to step into a dispute, to prevent someone from getting hurt or perhaps to bring a chaotic situation back under control, keep your messages short direct and immediate, lengthy sermons will go unheeded in the heat of the moment and if you wait until things calm down to deliver the lesson, your advice will be difficult for the children to apply.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The role of social emotions Part.II

             They signal to the child that his behavior is right or wrong according to the rules that govern the world he lives in, thus serving as sign posts along the youngster’s path to social acceptance. He feels shame; for example, when he believes that someone he cares about has been him do something that he knows is not allowed. Deep inside he may fear the loss of love and respect, and he will very likely either consciously or subconsciously adjust his behavior in the future to avoid that distressing possibility.
             Guilt, by contrast, wells up in the socialized youngster when he senses privately that he has violated a rule and fears that punishment may result, or if the child realizes that he has failed to meet his own internalized standards of behavior. Because the process of absorbing other peoples standards and making them truly your own takes time, guilt is usually the last social emotion to mature.
            Both shame and guilt are negative emotions, sufficiently unpleasant that the socially mature child will eventually learn to avoid the antisocial behaviors that trigger them. The emotion of pride on the other hand, comes when the child knows that he has measured up to the group’s expectations. It rewards the child with good feelings, encouraging him to repeat the behavior that brought them on. Over time, these social emotions become powerful forces in molding the child’s overall personality, in determining how well he succeeds in play, at school, in his family life.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The role of social emotions Part.I


             Finally by the age of five most youngsters add interludes of “cooperative play”, working together at recreational tasks while engaging in conversations that show their newfound ability to listen and respond each other. The fears from three to five are an expansive period, a time when children actively seek out the company of their peers. Antisocial incidents are fewer now, becoming more verbal and less physical in nature as the children mature. Preschoolers, while aware that others have feelings, have not yet acquired the tact to handle them gently. Gathering in cliques and excluding unwanted playmates are unintentionally cruel ways that children of this age explore social bonds. Four years olds tend to be particularly bossy and boastful, although peer pressure will usually solve this problem by kindergarten age.

             By the age of five or six, your child will have learned a great deal about social behavior, figuring out which actions please and displease by interpreting the verbal and facial expressions of the people around him. Through these trial and error lessons, he develops a whole new layer of complex emotional responses, the so called social emotions that include embarrassment, envy, guilt, shame and pride.
             As an infant, he used more basic emotional expressions such inborn responses as distress, interest and fear as wordless signals to communicate his fundamental needs to you. Like those primal emotions, these newer ones are survival tools, but their aim is social rather than physical survival. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

The evolution of children’s play

                A child’s pattern of play is a good guide to how far he has matured mentally and emotionally. At eighteen months, toddlers are already very interested in playing, but not with children their own age. Rather, their energies are directed toward exploring and mastering things- a toy car, a ball, a stacking tower of colorful rings.

             Sometimes during the third year, youngsters begin to enjoy the first stages of social play, playing side by side with another child, though with no real interaction, in what psychologist’s term “parallel play.” Toddlers of this age, in the process of defining themselves as individual personalities, are absorbed in the lessons of “me”, “my”, and ” mine”. In their view, wanting something is tantamount to owning it, and sharing something seems the equivalent of losing it forever. These early play sessions are likely to be filled with frequent, though fleeting, conflicts.

            By about four years of age, the well adjusted child has broadened his play to include a greater degree of involvement with others. In this next stage, called “associative play,” children still play separately and individually, but they begin to engage in social chatter. If you listen closely to the conversation between two children of this age, you will notice that they are not really talking to their playmate, but are conduction separate monologues, each child talking about his own concerns without regard to the others. “Me first” is still the ruling sentiment, and a certain amount of friction is inevitable: hitting and pushing and fighting over toys typically peak at this age.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

From ego centered to empathetic

              
             As the babies and toddlers, children envision themselves squarely at the center of the universe and understand their own needs only. This so called egocentric viewpoint is not deliberately selfish, but simply results of their inability at this stage to comprehend that other people have independent existences and feelings of their own. Watch a pair of two years olds playing in a sand box:  They seem hardly aware of each other’s presence, until one decides suddenly she must have the pail and shovel her friends is holding, and snatches it away as though the other child were not there. The victim, surrendering the toys in wordless surprise, runs waling to her mother for solace as her companion plays on unperturbed.

             But then observe the same two fiends after two years’ passing. Chances are they will be working together on a sand castle, playing and chatting away so peaceably that their mothers feel no need for supervision at all. What has happened in the interim is a watershed development that experts have identified as the first stirrings of empathy: a widening of the child’s self absorbed viewpoint into a broader understanding of other people and their feelings. The growth of empathy between the third and fifth years, coupled with an increasing ability to detect and follow society’s unwritten rules, will be the key to your child’s social adjustment for the rest of her life.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Getting Along with Other Children

Over the course of your child’s lifetime, his relationships with other people will be a major factor in his emotional well being- as central to his happiness, probably, as good food and exercise are to his physical health. Yet babies do not come endowed at birth with the civilized spirit. It takes a few turbulent years, and usually more than a few tears, for the social skills to develop and mature.
            The socializing process actually begins in infancy with the loving give and take between the parents and the child, a model for future social involvement that occurs long before a child shows any interest in playing with peers. But more specific training in getting along with others- sharing, taking turns, being friendly, considerate, generous and tactful has to be keyed to a youngster’s mental and emotional maturity, before he can control his behavior on his own, a child must be able to remember what is expected of him and to understand how a certain behavior affects himself as well as others.
 These abilities advance at different rates in different children, much as physical growth varies, and parents will experience nothing but frustration and disappointment if they insist on trying to hurry their youngster along before he is ready

Friday, September 24, 2010

Growing pains in your child

The life of an infant is enviably structured; everything is tailored to the child’s personal needs. When she wants a warm bottle, a clean diaper or an undemanding playmate, an attentive parent obliges. With the end of infancy, however, this comfortable patterns changes. No sooner does the child emerge from her parents’ protective cocoon –tentatively walking talking and asserting her independence- than the pressure to conform to the grown up standards of family and society begins.
            Suddenly the toddler is faced with a multitude of new ideas to comprehend and tasks to master. He is urged not to soil his diaper at all, but to recognize the purpose of the potty chair and anticipate his need to use it. Play no longer means grabbing a toy from another’s hands to use or fling away at will; he must learn to share his toys and to consider the feelings of others. And parental praise, in the past so forthcoming, is now lavished or with held on the basis of the child’s actions.
            The fast paced lessons of early childhood, like any process of maturation and change, bring with them predictable bouts of bewilderment and insecurity. A child’s stressful feelings may take many odd forms: stubborn battles at bath time or bedtime, thumb sucking, toileting accidents after months of being trained. All thought you may not immediately link such episodes to your youngster’s development; these behaviors too are a normal- and often necessary- part of growing up.
Happily they are also transitory, usually lasting only as long as it takes for your child to become comfortable at her new level of accomplishment.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Child’s Journey to Emotional Maturity Part.XII

The child’s first ideas about emotions were undistilled collections of everything she knew about a particular feeling. Her own experiences with feeling sad were mixed with everything that she could observe when she sensed that her mother was feeling unhappy. It is only with time and experience that the child learns to distinguish between its own feelings and those of someone else. The same sense of “me” and “you” that helps the child accept limits enables her for the first time, at the age of three or four, to feel empathy or compassionate love. Now, when the child sees her mother sad, she may try to help with a special hug or a handful of flowers.
The preschooler’s awareness of other people’s feelings is part of a growing ability to categorize her experiences. Increasingly she can perceive grown up distinctions between self and other animate and inanimate, right and wrong real and make believe yesterday and today. Once she has grasped the distinction between yesterday and today her first understanding of the concept of time patience will follow, for she now can appreciate the promise of future rewards.
The result of these developments is a set of skills that will be central to the child’s social and emotional adjustment throughout the coming years. These are the skills that will enable her to focus her attention and follow rules in school to distinguish between reality and fantasy in play, to plan a course of action and work toward a future goal in a job, and to consider the feelings and needs of those who share her life. Although her emotional abilities will continue to grow and change well into adulthood, the foundations are firmly laid by kinder garden age.
As you observe your child’s progress, remember that the path will not be entirely linear. There are bound to be some slips, some fits and start. Particularly when your child is learning something new, he may regress in other areas that he has long since mastered. By the age of five, your child will be standing on his own emotionally equipped to march off to school and take his place in world of other people. Like many accomplishments in life, the end of this journey is only a good beginning.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Child’s Journey to Emotional Maturity Part.XI

     Sometime between three and four years old, the child reaches a fifth stage, making dramatic leap in her ability to use ideas.  She begins to experiment with her concepts about emotions and tries to mimic reality in pretend play. Now the bear might receive undivided attention throughout an elaborate reenactment of the child’s own evening routine. There is dinner, a bath, then sympathy and help when the bear has trouble putting on his night clothes. The game might continue with a bedtime story and tender words of love as the bear is tucked into bed. The child has begun to use pretend play as a testing ground for emotional expression, manipulating ideas in search of a cause and effect understanding. In essence, she is connecting emotional ideas in the same easy that grownups do. She has begun to think about feelings in an organized way.

            Now at three or four, the child not only understands that certain actions are wrong, but also experiences feelings of shame arising from her own misbehavior. Even if she only imagines a jealous assault upon a sibling, she may find herself suddenly stricken with pangs of guilt. As she learns the difference between “me” and “you.” She sees that the limits one imposes by her parents are now coming from with. In pretend play she may practice her newfound acceptance of limits by finding cause to discipline one of her dolls. As your child gains experience socially and practices this new skill of self imposed limits, he begins to appreciate shades and nuances of emotion. He discovers that sometimes he has to let the context be his guide in deciding how to express his feelings. Shouting angrily at a playmate is different from shouting at the teacher in nursery school. He also learns that every expression of emotion will produce an emotional reaction in response. If he tells you that the lasagna tastes terrible, your face may look exasperated or hurt. But if he screams out “Mama, I hate you,” your face will very likely look either devastated or mad. When your child was just six months ole he learned that his action could produce a response. Now he sees that his ideas can have the same effect.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Child’s Journey to Emotional Maturity Part.X

To recognize the other stages of this learning process, it helps to focus on your child’s pretend play. A second stage commences at about two years. In play, your child may have her teddy bear ask for a hug, then let a doll embrace the bear in response. In this simple exchange, the child moves beyond using ideas merely to state a demand. Now there is the idea of the teddy bear’s demand plus the idea that the doll fulfills a role in responding to that need. At this stage the child might say ‘daddy, apple juice’ rather than just blurting our “juice, juice.’

At two and half, the child’s play is characterized by a random stream of ideas without concern for the kinds of constraints that adults take for granted. Logic, sequential time, cause and effect- all of these are missing. In the course of 10 minutes, the teddy bear might get in a fight, fall asleep on a lumpy bed of building blocks, fly on a plane one tenth his sixe and try to play a harmonica. Whatever occurs to the child is what happens next. Whatever props are nearby becomes part of the game. In this third level, the child is using a lot of ideas, but the ideas have little apparent connection.

In the fourth level, around the age of three, the child starts to fill in the first of those missing connections. Now the teddy bear may be seated in company at a rather elaborate tea party. The child’s play begins to follow a somewhat more organized theme. Moment to moment details are still decided spontaneously, but there is an underlying plan and a unifying emotional thread that keeps the part on track. The child’s feelings about taking care of her imaginary guest keep the game organized.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Child’s Journey to Emotional Maturity Part.IX

      Some children communicate ideas quite well with gestures before their language skills bloom. At two and half, a child night tug at Mothers blouse and point to the baby, thereby telling her that it is time for baby brother to nurse. Working only with gestures, the child shows concern for the baby.
Another way that your child might first use ideas is through the spatial patterns that he devises when playing with his toys. A child who organizes a long, straight line of toy cars clearly has a preconceived mental picture that gives structure to his game. When the child opens a gate in a wall of blocks and drives car through, she is demonstrating yet another idea.

      As a parent, it is important for you to recognize your child’s ability to deal with abstract concepts, no matter what form of expression that ability takes. Whether he first uses language, gestures, spatial relationships or pretend play to express his ideas, you will want to encourage this development: using ideas to manage feelings is an important milestone on the road to emotional maturity. It is a skill your child must master in order to bring the raw, self centered impulses of his early childhood under control and to learn to live harmoniously with other.

      The capacity to use ideas does not emerge full blown overnight. It develops in stages that you can observe.  In the first stage which typically begins at about 18 months the child will employ ideas simply to communicate something she wants. She may use words to ask for apple juice, gesture for her favorite blanket or tug at your leg for a hug.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Child’s Journey to Emotional Maturity Part.VIII

      Using the new words she is learning, she labels her ideas with names. This allows her to plan more complex actions, combining two or more related ideas. At two and a half, for example, the child spies a favorite toy that is up too high to reach. She Calles out to mother, then points and says” want it” when mother arrives. The child has identifies a need, formed an idea of the solution to that need, combined the idea with her concept of mother, then put her ideas into words. She was, in short, used her mind to solve a problem. When the child tells you she is scared, happy or mad, she is summarizing all that she has felt and observed about those emotion. With experience, her understanding will be greatly refined, but by the simple act of applying the correct label to her feelings, she has acquired a powerful tool for organizing her emotional life.
      The use of language is the most obvious way that a child reveals newfound conceptual abilities. But different children arrive at this stage with different tools as their disposal. Some children first show their use of ideas through fantasies and pretend play. Earlier, the child learned that you draw with a crayon and drink from the cup. Not she makes these objects part of her make believe games. Her toy bear sits with her in front of the coloring book and is allotted a share of the crayons. Later the child offers the bear a sip from her empty cup. She is showing the ability to use ideas. When the child lavishes care or affection on the toy animal, she has evidently abstracted her own need for care and formed an idea about love.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Child’s Journey to Emotional Maturity Part.VII

 This new found ability to create abstract ideas has its roots in the child’s earlier discovery that objects have specific functions and perform certain tasks. The child saw that this lesson held true for people as well. Mother gives her food, puts on her clothes and can be counted on to hand her a toy; father reads books and drives her in the car. Mother and father also play a major role within the child’s world of feelings. They laugh with her, and respond to her love, and comfort her when she is upset and by now the child is thoroughly familiar with the physical characteristics of her parents; after all, she first began to study their faces when she was about a month old.

 Gradually the child brings all these separate impressions together. She links observations about the way her parents look and behave to the feelings and expectations they stir in her. In doing so, she creates a single mental image of her mother and of her father. The toddler has formed an idea that she can use.
 This valuable emotional tool increases her self sufficiency. Until this point, the child responded to emotions strictly on a behavioral level. As a very young infant she calmed herself by focusing on familiar sensations; later, when she was upset, she flailed out at what disturbed her, or she started to cry. But at this toddler stage, the child is starting to approach the world conceptually as well. She can comfort herself conjuring a mental picture of a person she trusts and loves, or of pleasurable objects and experiences. Her feelings are translated into a mental image that tempers and guides her emotional expression. The child is beginning to understand how feelings and actions should mix and work together.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Child’s Journey to Emotional Maturity Part.VI

As your child approaches a year and a half, you will notice him behaving in patterns that make emotional sense and are socially acceptable. If he gets caught in the middle when you scold his older brother, he may try to defend the older child with a hug or try to restore your good humor by laughing and flashing an unusually bright face. More and more, in this age of growing independence, he is striking out on his own, emerging as a unique individual with his own quirks and personality traits. You begin to get a reliable sense of the kind of person your youngster will be.
In the midst of all these changes, your child has started to speak a few words and seems to understand when Mommy has to say “no”.  His capacity for social and emotional growth seems to unfold a little faster with each new day.
At some point shortly after the child reaches 18 months of age, she makes a revolutionary mental leap: $he begins to form ideas in the abstract. This ability, coupled with a growth in language, makes possible a leap to the next higher emotional level. Now she can use her mind, rather than raw behavioral patterns, to satisfy her physical and psychological needs.
The child who has reached this conceptual milestone can search for toy or stuffed animal that has been hidden from her sight in playful game, because she is able to form a mental image of the hidden object. On a social or emotional level, the child can envision a person not present in the room or can recall an interaction with that person.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Child’s Journey to Emotional Maturity Part.V

When your child is somewhere between ten to eighteen months, you may notice the following: A one year old may race on all fours to greet his father at the door. He may pull himself to his feet by clutching at daddy pant legs and chortle when he is lifted for a hug. He is acting upon his understanding of cause and effect, learning to form patterns of behavior and to inter mix actions with bits and pieces of emotion these are the first signs of ability to organize.
In the previous age when your child got angry it was fleeting reaction that leads nowhere. Now he may crawl over and bite the playmate- who inspired his anger. He also shows his love more demonstrably, making a big show of bestowing hugs and kisses. When the toddler learns to pout, he has found a way to act out his disappointment and uses it to play for his parent’s sympathy. A little later on, he shows the beginnings of pride. He wants you to notice when he stacks three blocks or pulls off his socks all by himself. All these developments are tokens of your child’s first real sense of who he is.

This emerging sense of self is shaped as the child experiments with patterns of behavior. She is constantly watching, always trying to learn how things work. She is constantly watching always trying to learn how things work. She leafs a dozen times through a magazine, empties the cupboard of all the pots and pans. She discovers that everything has a specific function: A rake scrapes up leaves, the telephone carries voices, and the high chair holds her up where she can see her parent’s eyes. All the while, the child is studying her parent’s actions and finds that they have their functions as well. She begins to imitate adult behavior as a way of trying out the actions and emotions she observes, and in some cases, what starts as imitation becomes the real thing. With this new tool at her disposal, the child can initiate actions to get her needs met- tugging on the refrigerator door for example, to show that she is thirst and wants a drink of juice or milk.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Child’s Journey to Emotional Maturity Part.IV

The importance of this first deep emotions relationship cannot be overstated, for it is from this primary human attachment that all subsequent social relationships flow. The infant has sampled the benefits of having an emotional partner and at some point between two and ten months, he will be ready for the next step of his journey; He will take the initiative in communicating with others.
 During the middle months of her first year, the baby begins physically reaching out a hand or flagging her arms to show that there is something she wants. In company, she smiles, makes inexpert gestures and utters small sounds in an effort to elicit a response from those around here. When these overtures are answered when someone smiles back or mimics her movements and haphazard noises- the child learns that she has the power to make something happen.
She discovered a reason to communicate – a major leap forward on the path to emotional maturity. Exploring this exciting new reflex cause and effect, the child sees that by stretching out her arm, she can sometimes get a toy in her hand. In the same manner, the child learns that by smiling and making a show of her joy, she has the ability to create happiness in her parents. The child discovers that her actions and her feelings can make a difference.
In her first nine months, a child developed a taste for the world: almost immediately, she sensed her need for people and formed a deep emotional bond with the person central to her care; the child’s affection for her mother then broadened into a will to communicate, and –even though her tools of self expression were minimal- she found she could provoke an emotional response. Now the child wants to communicate in many different ways. She is poised for an explosive burst of growth, both in her motor skills, which so far have been limited and in her emotional repertoire.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Child’s Journey to Emotional Maturity Part.III

Each of these seemingly tiny steps forward is fundamental to future emotional growth. Certainly the child’s capacity to control her feelings and her readiness to regard the world with interest will be essential will be essential to any meaningful social or social or emotional exchange. In the short term, this mastery of the senses is a stepping stone to the child’s next important stage- forming a first strong emotional bond. Any random discovery can attract attention during the first weeks of life. But soon the indiscriminate interest in the world beings to become more focused. During the second third and fourth months, the child zeroes in on Mother. There is a growing sense that human contact is the most essential experience the part of the landscape that can be counted upon to provide food and other comforts. Sometime between the fourth and eight weeks of his life, your child finds a way to indicate his budding fascination.
One day while he ponders your face, your child quiet unexpectedly lights up in a smile. This first real sing recognition can be mightily affection; many parents remember these enraptured first smiles as vividly as their child’s first steps. And in terms of the baby’s emotions development, fascination with the unman face and voice is truly a giant step forward.
 The seeds of a new emotion shave been planted and it is up to you to help your child bring it to fruition. By responding to his smiles and showing him quiet love and affection, by talking to him and being his steady companion, you show your child that there is rewarding side to life beyond the mere satisfaction of physical needs. You are, essentially wooing your baby into human society. Over time, his fascination turns to love.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Child’s Emotional Maturity Part.II

The behaviors discussed here have been noted by leading scholars in the field of child study, among them no one can say for sure what takes place within the mind of a baby or very young child, most experts believe that the child’s emotional learning begins with a general interest in the world, an interest that first finds focus in attachment to a parent, then broadens into a need for ever wider social interaction.
Expanding upon these principles through years of research and observation psychiatrists theorized that a child’s emotional maturity is built around certain key turning points, each one setting the stage for those that follow. Perhaps most important ways that parents can help nature their child’s unfolding emotional life. In the normal course of infant development after the baby recovers from the tumult of birth and settles into her new home, she spends her first few weeks finding ways to calm herself amid the rush of sensations that confronts her. This she seems to accomplish by focusing on sensations that she likes –perhaps the dependable sound of a ticking clock, the coolness of bedding pressed against her cheek, or simply the shifting patterns of light from the window by her crib. At the same time, the child is developing an interest in her strange new world. The taste of mother’s milk the warmth of the bath, the scent of a visitor’s perfume- gradually she learns that such sensations explain the things around her. These two small skills work together for the child. She uses her senses to gain self control in the face of a sometimes over whelming environment; and by taking an interest in the world of sensations she learns new ways to be calm.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Child’s Journey to Emotional Maturity Part.I


   Of all nature’s transformations, none is as dramatic as the blossoming of a human child in the first years of life. The newborn infant, expert only at suckling, sleeping and crying, evolves by kindergarten age into a loving scheming, probing, teasing, feeling social being.
This journey toward emotional competence begins at the very moment of birth, when the baby emerges from the cushioned haven of the womb into a world of sudden, harsh sensation. There is blinding glare, a startling new temperature, the urgent pressure of hands giving care and oxygen abruptly pouring into untried lungs. The senses, for the moment, are the newborn’s greatest torment   - but they are also her only tools. Forever after, the world will thrust at her a torrent of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and tactile sensations. Tiny and helpless as she is, the infant faces the first great task of her life she must learn to deal with the ceaseless stimulation of her senses, to use every sensory message as a lesson about her surroundings.
  As you watch your child’s progress over the years, you will see milestones of physical, verbal and intellectual growth glide by like exist on a well marked highway. Signs of emotional progress are more difficult to detect. You may not even notice when your child first makes the connection between smiling and receiving affection in return, first mimics adult anger or uses a word to label some inner feeling. But these are critical steps in passage to emotional understanding. Each new achievement paves the way to further progress.  And, in large measure, the course of this emotional journey determines the kind of person the child will someday become.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The gift of true listening Part.II


What has the baby done now?’ Though the child’s feelings may disturb you at times, it is important that she feel free to express them without fear of admonishment or punishment. Otherwise, she will learn to feel guilty about her emotions and will probably stop sharing them with you.
 If children are great talkers, they are also great listeners, and you should be careful not to make offhand comments that convey negative messages to your youngster about herself. A child who overhears her mother tell a neighbor that she is shy with strangers or a fussy eater can interpret such negative descriptions as permanent conditions that she is powerless to overcome. And a particularly sensitive child may even take joking nickname such as “klutz” or “fatty’ to heart and start playing the part in earnest.
 To encourage positive, self confident behavior on the part of your child you must, first of all, let her know you feel positive and confident that she is capable of succeeding. In the beginning, as new challenges present themselves, she will want to do well to please you. But in time as your love nurtures her love and self esteem, your child will be flying free- striving to please her. This momentum, established through your thousands of every words and deeds during the early years, will carry her forward all the days of her life.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The gift of true listening Part.I


As her language skills flower, your toddler will also try out her competence as a talker. Not all of what she has to say will be interesting, and often she will want to talk when you are terribly busy. Nevertheless, it is vitally important to her feelings of self worth that you set aside your duties and distractions and devotes some period of time every day simply listening to what she has to say. The same sorts of connections that were important when you played with her in her first months of life apply here. Show her that she has your full attention with eye contact, touching, and a hug when the spirit moves you. Treat her questions and opinions with respect; if you think wrong information could get her into difficulties, and be tolerant of a large measure of joyous fantasy and exaggeration.
When your child reveals her feelings about herself or others, let her talk freely as you listen carefully, showing that you truly understand by the things that you say in response. If your three year old tells you she feels like throwing the bay in the garbage can you can acknowledge her feelings, her right to express them and your understanding by saying,’ wow- you must really be angry.   


(Cont)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Teaching self control

Your child’s need to feel competent in practical matters is matched by his need to feel a growing sense of self control in his behavior. Firm, consistent parental discipline is crucial: neither rigid authoritarianism nor wishy - washy permissiveness prepares the child for the world he will function in. The first system gives all responsibility for behavior to the parents and leaves little or no room for the child to choose and experiment; the second turns all control over to the child without rehearsing him in the kinds of behavior the world will expect of him.  What is needed is a style of discipline that falls somewhere between these two approaches. You will need to make clear to your child what you consider acceptable behavior. Explain that you think him capable of living up to these expectations and that you will correct him when he is off the mark. Be consistent in your expectations, so the child will understand the value you place on certain standards of behavior.
 Transgressions should not be overlooked, but let your method of discipline be appropriate to the child’s level of understanding. Never forget that making your child feel loved is the most important rule of discipline, and that the ultimate objective is for him to learn to discipline himself. When he does break the rules and needs correcting, focus your complaint on the troublesome act rather than on the child. For blocks, tell the spoiler that ‘Knocking over the fortress makes your friend feel sand’ rather than ‘You were mean’. In this way you make your point forcefully without attaching a negative label to your child.
 At the same time, avoid too much descriptive praise. Statements such as ‘you are my perfect little angel’ may actually undermine self esteem by suggesting that you love the child for his good behavior rather than for himself. Children know, usually better than their parents, that they are not perfect angels; when a child hears this sort of praise he is likely to remember hidden misdeeds and fear his parents will love him less if these  secrets are ever revealed. It is better to direct praise toward the child’s accomplishments and to avoid characterizing his nature.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The freedom to fail

Youngsters need to learn early that every new effort carriers some risk of failure. Help your child to understand that disappointments and frustrations happen to everyone, children and grownups alike, and are nothing to be ashamed of, let her know that making an honest effort to perform a task is in itself grounds for feeling proud, and express your confidence that she will succeed on the next try, or perhaps the time after that. Show her ways to approach a challenge if she is having trouble on her own. For example, if your daughter returns with her toothbrush when you have asked her to bring her brush and comb, you could say:”Thank you for going to look. Let’s go together, not and find that brush and comb.”  In this way you focus on the process and the correct result, rather than on her performance and the mistake.
Decision making is another critical skill your youngster needs guidance in. To a young child, making choices can seem to be a life or death matter. Help demystify the process by giving your youngster opportunities to make simple choices in inconsequential matters. For example, you can invite your four year old to choose between two sweaters when you are shopping, or let her decide where to put the balloons for her sister’s birthday party. Encourage her to think out loud about her reasons, so that she sees herself as a person who uses her head.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Child's Chance to Succeed

Two of the activities your toddler will want to try his hand at are feeding and dressing himself. When he shows an inclination to take over on either, set standards for him that are within his reach, and then give him plenty of support and praise as he works towards improving his skills. For example, set him up, for self feeding in a situation where a bit of messiness will not matter, give him utensils that he can handle easily, and tactfully cut his food into bite size pieces in advance.
Select clothes that are easy for him to put on and fasten. As he continues to grow and becomes more able to distinguish his belongings from those of others, foster his sense of ownership and responsibility by putting his name on his favorite things. Give him a special box or shelf where he alone can park his toys, and set aside a couple of low hooks on the closet door where he can keep his jackets and mittens. Don’t expect perfect compliance at this age. Your youngster is sure to falter from time to time, but lots of positive reinforcement when he succeeds and a minimum of fuss when he fails will give him the opportunity he needs to master these and many other tasks.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A toddler’s sense of self

Your unconditional love, the intellectual and physical stimulation you provide, your focused attention and your responsiveness continue to be very important when your baby moves on to the toddler stage. But now the child becomes an even more active participant in the relationship, projecting his own needs for self expression and independence.
The two year old celebrated testing behavior, for example, is a tool for building self confidence. It is his way of saying that he now rejects infantile helplessness and wants to do some things on his own rejects infantile helplessness and wants to do some things on his own. He is looking for areas where you are willing to give little ground. Even though he cannot negotiate these issues well in words and he is not entirely sure what he is equipped to do, he stands ready to challenge all limits, old and new. Rather than battle over trivial issues just to show who is in charge, let him test himself on tasks or activities that he has a reasonable chance of mastering with a minimum of supervision

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Talking and Touching

Oral communication is an essential ingredient in a stimulation environment. From your child’s earliest days, make it a practice to talk to her while feeding, bathing and dressing her, for the sheer pleasure of it. Such interactions foster early language development, which in turn gives the child a powerful means of affecting her environment. The impersonal voices of television and radio do not create the same effect as your own; it is the direct, loving contact that encourages your youngster’s early play with words. You can also read to her. At first she will simply enjoy the sound of your voice. Later you can look at picture books with her, naming the objects shown, helping her points her finger at them and praising her when she makes the right connections.
Touch is another powerful form of communication. Hugging, holding and playing  pat a cake all express your loving acceptance while helping your child become familiar with the notion of her separate identity. But remember that whether you are talking to your bay eye to eye, showing her how something works or engaging in a family session or rough house play on the carpet, it is vital to have frequent encounters in which your attention is undivided, focused on her alone. However brief such episodes may be, your total concentration during this time underscores your for her, and tells her in a way she can understand how important and worthy a person she is.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Surrounding that stimulate

The physical environment you create for your infant is another tool in building his sense of self esteem. Expose your child early to a variety of sights and sounds, including him as an observer in family events even though he is too young to participate. Provide him with age appropriate play things, either homemade or store bought, that he can investigate through touch, taste smell and sound. Choose toys that challenge him but that he can master with a little persistence.
 When the baby is ready to crawl, give him a reasonable amount of freedom to explore physical space. If necessary, child proof one or more rooms where he can express his natural curiosity without your having  to rein him in constantly. For those occasions when you must be out of sight for a few minutes, the indoor playpen and the back yard corral may be necessary. They are, however, no substitute for the rich experiences of footloose exploration.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A sense of mastery

If bonds of unconditional love are essential to emotional security, so too is a responsive environment- one that will allow the child to explore and learn, to try and succeed, and, in the process, to develop a sense of personal competence. Once again, the evidence suggests that experiences even in the early months of life can play a critical role in determining which youngsters will grow into expressive, self assured, curious preschoolers and which ones will become timid, overcautious, and easily discouraged.
 Experiencing the world favorably, as a place where one can express a need and get action in return, begins with something as basic as what happens when a baby feels hungry and begins to cry. The infant whose parent responds readily not only finds herself comforted with satisfying nourishment, but she also  learns an important lesson; She has feelings that matter to others and can exercise some control over her circumstances. At the other extreme, the child who is left to cry and cry- perhaps because his parents fears that feeding him outside his normal un important and that he cannot change his situation. Such a lesson can become a self fulfilling prophecy, inclining the child as he grows older to passivity and reluctance to take responsibility for his behavior.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Baby’s first impressions


Child psychologists are convinced that baby stars forming attitudes about herself while still in the cradle, in the process of forging bonds of love and trust with the person who cares for her. One mother, for example, may consistently convey positive estimates of her daughter’s value- even in so mundane a situation as changing a diaper. As she makes the diaper switch, the mother gazes into her baby’s eyes, smiling and chatting steadily, though she knows the child is still months away from understanding what the words mean. At the end of baby’s legs in the air and touching her toes together until she giggles. During this brief but potent exchange, the mother is saying to her child,” I love you unconditionally, you make me feel happy. Everything about you is fine with me.”

Another mother, who cares no less about her child, goes about the same task in a more hurried, detached manner, viewing it as just an onerous job. There is tightness in her muscles that the baby can feel as she washes and changes him, keeping her eye on a television show all the while. No sooner has she made the bay dry again than she sets him in an infant seat and turns away to clean up – with wrinkled nose and pursed lips that he will someday recognize as an expression of disapproval. Though this mother would not consciously send negative messages to her son, her actions translate something like this;”Changing you is a demeaning, smelly job. I love you, but only conditionally. There are things about you and your body that I resent. “Her attitude inevitably colors the bay’s developing feelings about himself.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Building self Esteem

Most experts agree that a person’s self esteem – the measure of how he feels about himself- is the cornerstone of personal adjustment throughout life. A child begins early to seek answers to the fundamental questions “Am I lovable?” and “Am I worthwhile?” If the responses he receives from the people around him suggest that he is loved, wanted and capable, the chances are good that he will develop the same positive attitudes toward himself.
  This sense of his own worth will find quiet expression in all aspects of his behavior. A child armed with high self esteem will approach other people with trust, and view the world as a safe place where, most of the time his emotional and physical needs will be satisfied.  Like the “Little Engine that Could.” He will face challenges with optimism, propelled by self confidence to succeed as a winner in school, among his peers, and eventually in the countless contests of adult life. His opposite ,on the other hand- the youngster who has been told in a thousand subtle ways that he is not always loved, not entirely wanted, not clever enough to succeed on his own- will likelihood to be driven to take the low , slow road, risking little and gaining still less.
Not surprisingly, the child receives his first notions about his self worth from his parents: They are his chief link to the external world throughout his early years, the mirrors in which he sees himself and his efforts reflected. A caring mother and father should examine the ways they handle their child and make sure their manner communicates positive messages and images- reflections that will enhance rather than undermine the child’s sense of possibilities. It also important for parents to broadcast positive messages about their own self worth; a child learns best by example, and is far more likely to develop high self esteem if he has grown up models to follow.