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Do not yank the cat by the tail: how children learn to communicate with the living world

Do not yank the cat by the tail: how children learn to communicate with the living world

As soon as the child learned to crawl, and then walk, he has more and more acquaintances. These are ducks with pigeons, which he feeds with a bun, butterflies, caterpillars and ladybirds found in the grass, and, of course, pets that you can play with.

The whole surrounding animal world, which the child comes into contact with, turns for parents into assistants who bring up the ability to show love, kindness and responsibility. However, all these important qualities come to the child with time.

And, paraphrasing a well-known expression, it is important that during the period of growing up, during the shooting of this film, not a single living being, including the child itself, would suffer.

Getting acquainted with the world, the child first of all tries it in the literal sense of the word for a tooth – tests for strength and possibility of a response. Pinning a bug or driving around a scared cat’s room is all for him gaining new experience. Very young children are not fully capable of showing empathy to the affected creature, because they are not able to realize that the animal can be just as painful as it is to them.

In addition, children confuse the living with the inanimate – that is, often up to five years, they have the so-called children’s animism. “Children consider that pain and death are simply not there and everything around is endowed with life,” says psychotherapist Tatyana Mizinova. – They speak freely with inanimate objects. As they grow older, any physical movement means life to them – so the children think that water and fire are also alive. And only at the age of five to seven years does the division into the living and the nonliving appear and the realization that the living is mortal. ”

And the understanding that trying to squeeze a cat with a door is not a fun game of “who to whom” and can have serious consequences for an animal, comes only as the child grows up.

How to be, seeing that the child goes too far? Some parents, for example, choose the “tooth for tooth” method for real clarity.

I hurt the dog – and we will immediately slap you back. Along the way, explaining that the dog just hurt and insulting. “However, a two- and three-year-old child is not ready to link both these events,” says Tatyana Mizinova. “He is upset, crying, and as a result, only one thing can be fixed in the baby’s subconscious: touching the animal will be punished.” Of course, it is important to monitor the way guys and animals communicate, trying to avoid conflicts between them.

However, if it happened that the animal was hurt or involuntarily offended, it is necessary to clearly and strictly say about the inadmissibility of such treatment, but without injuring the child and not causing negative associations with the animal. “It is important to patiently explain again and again what is happening or can happen with an animal,” reminds Tatiana Mizinova. – It is quite possible to draw a parallel with the fact that the child survived by himself: “Do you remember how it hurt you when you squeezed your finger against the door?” Kisa feels the same when you pull her by the ear.

She will be offended at us and leave. ” By applying the so-called “symmetrical punch”, that is, forcing ourselves to immediately experience what the animal feels, we will not cultivate love and sympathy in the child.

Do not yank the cat by the tail: how children learn to communicate with the living world

Sometimes parents react very painfully to the fact that the child, as it seems to them, is growing so unkind. Some cannot even get rid of the internal question – are they, frankly speaking, raising a little sadist?

Thereby they fall into their own trap, because the child begins to feel mistrust and constant discontent. “There is a fundamental difference between the conditionally“ bad child ”and bad actions, says Tatyana Mizinova. “If a child, according to parents, does something terrible, then the worst thing they can do is put it on the“ black sheet ”and refuse to see and maintain the best features in it after that. Meanwhile, even the kindest and most obedient children commit evil deeds.

The main role is always played by education. And even if the child is naturally hot-tempered and incontinent, it is important to help him cope with attacks of aggression and translate it into a constructive channel. This means, first of all, learning to express one’s insult in words and to get empathy from close ones.

It is also important to teach your kid to dump energy in outdoor games, which at the same time do not harm anyone. “Whether a child, as an adult, kicks a punching bag and rivals in the ring, receives respect and rewards for it, or sends this energy to a neighbor’s dog or a bird’s nest, depends largely on what kind of attitude he will receive in his family,” recalls Tatyana Mizinova.

A child cannot stand up to an adult who is angry with him and occasionally punishes him. And here is a four-legged extreme, which the baby in the family hierarchy perceives below himself in rank. “By offending an animal, a child in this way can take out the irritation and anger that he experiences in relation to his parents,” Tatyana Mizinova warns. – Often children literally repeat the words and actions of adults. The child painted the wallpaper – as a punishment he was scolded and put in a corner.

In the same way, a cat will be received on the paws of a child, to whom mother’s message is transmitted: “What have you done, hands you to tear off!” Moreover, a small child has a magical mindset: he believes in a fairy tale where Red Riding Hood was eaten and then pulled out of his stomach wolf, so in the threat of tearing his hands, he does not see anything irreparable. If mom wanted to do this with him, then why not repeat the same thing with the cat’s paws? ”

Any conflict with the child must be resolved to the end, not leaving the little man alone with a painful resentment, and after a quarrel will certainly put up. Sometimes it is worth apologizing for your excessive vehemence.

The kid should have the right to show any feelings, including negative ones, but it is important to explain that if he wants to punish someone the next time, he can play it with any toy. And most importantly – the baby should not leave confidence: whatever happens, he always loves you.

All parents, without exception, are faced with this phrase, and during age-related crises, this is how a child meets requests, appeals and prohibitions. In such periods, literally goes to all family members, including living creatures. “The kid knows perfectly well that a cat cannot be driven around the room, but by its behavior it tests the environment on the strength of the boundaries of what is permitted,” reminds Tatiana Mizinova. – This is a completely natural stage of growing up and knowing oneself in the world.

All that parents need is to have patience and defend these boundaries. If something is forbidden to a child, then all family members must observe it. ” In the period of the so-called crisis of three years, children begin to form independence and independence.

Therefore, the list of what is really impossible should be reduced to a reasonable minimum and allow something to show initiative and their will. However, in all that concerns the safety of the baby and his environment, in particular pets, it is important for the whole family to take a united and uncompromising position.

Do not yank the cat by the tail: how children learn to communicate with the living world

We all remember this offended phrase, abandoned in the hearts of Carlson. Sometimes a child feels the same way, openly jealous of you to an animal claiming your attention.

Thus, the child makes it clear that right now he lacks love and affection. “Quite unexpectedly, the son began to drive our dog Jack away from me, with whom they had been playing together since birth,” says Irina, Petit’s mom (2 years 8 months). – He does not allow him to comb, wash his paws, and if I try to pet the dog, he cries, asks for my hands, and sometimes tries to hit Jack. But before he loved him so much! ”

Even if it seems to you that you devote all your free time to a child, at certain moments of his life his need for your attention can be literally limitless. All mothers are well aware of these unexpected periods of fear of parting literally for a minute, when the baby wants to continuously keep you in the field of attention. And even better – to have incessant physical contact: sit on the handles, hug, sleep only together.

And at this time, he, of course, is particularly keenly perceived by the fact that his mother is distracted from him by a cat or a dog.

There is only one way out: it is important for the child to feel that he is in the first place. And a dog or a cat is your mutual friend, a family member whom everyone, including a baby, should take care of. Tell the animal in front of the child what wonderful son or daughter you have, what they already know and how proud you are of them.

You can also loudly “remind” the pet that “Sasha also loves you very much, because you are his true friend.”

From three to six years, an unfriendly attitude towards pets can be exacerbated by a period of the so-called Oedipal complex. This is the time when a child wishes to possess the love of a parent of the opposite sex and is trying to push aside all competitors, be it another parent, brothers with sisters, or even a pet. And if papa, coming home from work, first of all pats a dog who has rushed to his ear, then at the little daughter it instantly causes anger.

And at the first opportunity she will try to get revenge on the dog, which “takes away” the beloved parent.

To reduce the sharpness of children’s experiences, it is important to care for animals together: put food in a bowl, clean the cage, comb or help put on a collar before walking. It is important to praise the child for help, to emphasize that the animal likes it, that it is so well looked after. If the baby is trying to help you, never forbid.

If he does something wrong, just gently correct him.

If you have a pet, you should always remember that even the most peaceful in response to attempts to turn yourself into a toy can not help but give up. The child does not regard it as self-defense and, no matter how we later tried to smooth the situation, in the dog that bit him or the cat that is painfully scratched will constantly see a potential threat.

And this negative experience can carry into adulthood.

Of course, the pet always requires extra effort. “However, if you have such an opportunity, it is very useful to start it,” says Tatyana Mizinova. – It creates a sense of responsibility for your favorite creatures: all of them need to be fed, with a dog to walk, to guinea pigs to clean trays. So children naturally develop the need to care for their neighbor. ” In addition, more than 60% of information between people is transmitted in a non-verbal way.

And communication with animals gives an invaluable opportunity to learn and understand close people without words. And this is one of the most important qualities that those whom we have tamed can bring up in children.

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