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From love to hate and back: the stages of development of feelings in a child

The task of the parents is not sculpting a sculpture, but diamond cutting: the development of a child of the best qualities that nature has in it, and the smoothing of deficiencies. To accomplish this difficult mission, it is important to feel your baby, to understand the motives of his actions and desires.

And for this – to know exactly how the psycho-emotional sphere of the child develops. After all, as well as physical skills, it obeys a common scenario for all children, within which individual variations manifest themselves.

From love to hate and back: the stages of development of feelings in a child

The baby knows only the simplest of feelings: hunger, fear, pain, pleasure. The world of his emotions is contrasted so far: the crumbs are either very good (and then he sleeps), or very bad (and then he screams). And if you understand why the baby is good, the mother is not difficult, then finding out the cause of crying is not an easy task.

One thing is clear: the inner state of the infant is entirely connected with physical sensations, and this continues throughout the first month of life.

The newborn is not yet aware of where certain feelings arise (for example, that his “good” is connected with his mother), but simply feels pleasure when she drinks her mother’s milk, lies on her hands, hears her voice and the sound of her heart. Sometimes on the face of a baby, a smile may appear (especially after eating or in a dream), but this grimace is no more than an involuntary reduction of facial muscles, like other chaotic movements that a newborn makes.

From birth, the baby shows one of the most important spiritual human needs – in communication. For an infant, it is almost 100% made up of physical contact with an adult, primarily with a mother. This is one of the simplest, but also the most important forms of interaction of the little man with other people.

Mother’s proximity and warmth are especially necessary for a child in the first 12 hours after birth (this is one of the arguments in favor of maternity hospitals) – during the period that is considered decisive not only in the process of adaptation of the organism to the new environment, but also in the formation of psycho-emotional health . Conversely, if a child is not picked up and caressed, it leads to underdevelopment or damage to the brain systems that regulate emotions.

Infants are sensitive to the mood of loved ones, especially mothers. If the mother is angry, the baby quietly calms down, and if she is nervous, she starts to worry and cry in response.

After a year, empathy becomes active: a child may regret and stroke his mom if she hurts, or even try to console her with her favorite toy.

From love to hate and back: the stages of development of feelings in a child

In the second month, the little one begins to understand that other people give him pleasant sensations. This understanding causes a conscious response – joy. “Social smile”, “revitalization complex” – no matter how bright this feeling is called by psychologists, it is this that becomes the first acquisition of a child in the field of emotions. A 2-month-old baby is happy for anyone who comes to his crib and appeals to him affectionately, but especially highlights his mother.

The little one demonstrates joy with his whole body: he does not just smile, but pimples with his hands and legs, makes different melodious sounds, makes funny faces.

For about 4 months, laughter is added to the smile, and also in response to physical stimulation (this feature will continue for the next 2–2.5 years): the baby giggles when it is tickled, and just pours in if it is thrown up. Laugh in response to psychological stimulation, for example, funny papa’s grimace, the baby will be able to after 1 year, and in response to a funny phrase – after 2 years.

It is interesting that the baby perceives adults not entirely, but only in parts. For example, a mother in the mind of a child is not a whole image, but a separate face, arms, chest, smell, voice, and all this is in no way connected with each other. The whole world of the baby consists of the following fragments: warm water in the bath, loud voice of the Pope, bright spots of rattles.

Closer to 6 months, the sounds, smells and image in the child’s mind begin to merge into a single, holistic and permanent image. When this happens, the crumb can finally distinguish its from others.

Now the child happily smiles at his parents, and when a stranger comes up to him, he becomes alarmed or frightened.

Fright is one of the first negative emotions, which appears in the “piggy bank” of the baby. Following her, at about 4 months, the child begins to show anger. His child is even more active than joy.

Parents know well what kind of cry can rise when the baby is interested in their mobile phone or they stop trying to reach the computer keyboard.

As the child grows, he learns to separate the physical and emotional components of his personality. In a baby, these two sides are inseparable, and he shows joy only when he is in physical comfort: if a baby has something to hurt, it is not easy to stop crying.

But a 2–3-year-old child may rejoice at a new toy, even when he is sick. And as they grow older, both physical sensations and emotions are taken over by the mind and learned to control them.

From love to hate and back: the stages of development of feelings in a child

By the end of the first half of the year, a surprise is added to the kid’s emotions palette, and with it the main stimulus for development is interest. It is possible to entice the kid with some novelty; the crumb is not able to keep attention on something longer than a minute or two, and he constantly needs a new “food for the mind”. Now, in addition to numerous physical desires, the child also has psychological ones, the main of which at this age are to communicate and learn.

Because of this, the baby becomes restless and curious, and sometimes it “wants” and mother’s “can” do not match. Small whims do not turn into a problem yet – at this age a child can be easily distracted and turned his attention to something else.

Gradually, the desires and interests of the baby are becoming more permanent; preferences and tastes grow from them – in food, toys, entertainment, books, songs. Parents notice that they especially like their children, and that they meet with decisive resistance.

After 8 months, when the child becomes more and more active, begins to crawl and stand on its feet, the first stage of its psychological separation from the mother takes place. On the one hand, the baby painlessly endures short-term separation from his mother, because he begins to realize that she continues to exist, even if he does not see her.

Now kids love to play “ku-ku” very much: to find a mother who covered her face with her hands or a handkerchief. At the same time, the feeling of one’s own “separation” often leads to another phenomenon: the so-called “eight-month anxiety”. The kid raises a cry at the sight of strangers (for example, doctors in the clinic, who he was not afraid of before), often wakes up at night, becomes restless.

In these few months of increased sensitivity and anxiety of the child, try to avoid global changes in his life: now you should not go to work or change a nanny – the kid needs a feeling of constancy as never before.

In contrast to the positive emotions, the manifestations of the negative feelings of the baby are tried by parents to nip in the bud. Remember: a child is often praised for not crying (but not for laughing) – that is, in fact, for not showing negative emotions.

Here are just quiet, flexible children suffer from stress no less than others. At any age, the baby has the full right to experience fear, resentment, irritation, and to demonstrate them is necessary for psychoemotional health, and the task of the parents is to teach their child to do it without causing a negative response from others.

From love to hate and back: the stages of development of feelings in a child

The main reference point of the child at this age is his own desires. He expresses them more clearly and more persistently tries to implement them. Now he makes decisions on his own, and if he plans to do something, it will be much more difficult to distract him than a couple of months ago.

If the child really wants to know what is in his dad’s wallet, be sure, despite all the restrictions, he will take a minute, sneak it out and will definitely review the entire contents.

For a one-year-old baby, the main value is personal desires. Have patience for a year or two: over time, the kid will learn to control his aspirations and understand that, apart from the words “I want” and “I don’t want”, there are words “not allowed” and “necessary.”

The feelings and actions of the baby are now connected together. If he doesn’t like something, he gets angry and violently paws mom, when he is scared, he cries, and if he is having fun, he laughs and claps his hands with pleasure. The kid has already learned to clearly express his attitude to what is happening, now we can gradually teach him another important skill – to share emotions and actions.

This means that the crumb can get angry, but the mother will no longer allow him to beat or bite. Of course, it will take more than one year to fully master this science, but it is worth starting now.

An important emotional achievement of this period is the formation of a child’s self-image. A crumb gradually begins to identify itself with its name (“Petya is me”), with the body (the bread did not fall, he was thrown by Petya), reflection in the mirror (“Who is there?” – “Petya”). At the sight of his image in the mirror, the child feels great pleasure, he can look at himself for a long time, and now he also clearly understands who is in front of him.

Want to see this? Make a small smear of lipstick on your baby’s cheek. If he rubs his face, looking at his reflection, then he understands everything correctly.

Recognizing its own image, the small receives a visual confirmation of its existence, – that which creates a solid frame of its “me”.

From love to hate and back: the stages of development of feelings in a child

The crumb feels, thinks, acts – but so far is not aware of either his emotions or his actions. It is difficult for him to explain why he is crying or why he does not want to go swimming. The child grows and gradually becomes more independent; There are more and more desires, but for some reason adults are not in a hurry to fulfill them.

A natural reaction becomes a protest. In order to establish itself as an individual, the child proves to you that he can have his own opinion, and since he cannot bring any arguments, he simply says: “No.”

This “crisis of contradiction” is an important sign of a baby’s growth.

Closer to 2 years old, the crumb begins to recognize the names of his feelings: that trembling in the stomach is called fear, and the desire to hide is embarrassment. To teach your child to understand his own emotions, say what he feels and why these sensations arise.

Sometimes stubbornness and refusals bring parents to white heat, but it is also very difficult for the kid. He is frightened by his own outbursts of anger, he is afraid of losing his mother’s love, and during this period violent expressions of love come to replace hysterics and disobedience. To soften this difficult period, more often give your child a choice.

If the situation is not related to fundamental issues (for example, security), let the toddler act as he sees fit. Considering the opinion of the child, you acknowledge that it has value for you.

Insist only on what matters to you; always articulate and regularly repeat your requirements. The more stable your rules are, the easier it will be for your child to accept them.

After 1.5 years, the child begins to show a lively interest in peers. If earlier he had enough of your society for a walk, now he is persistently pulling you to the playground. And although at this age children still play not together, but nearby, the beginnings of friendship are already outlined.

The ability of the child to establish contact with peers will largely depend on these first experiences of communicating with children.

From love to hate and back: the stages of development of feelings in a child

A two-year-old child’s parents are controlled not only by action, but also by words, and can communicate with him at some distance. The child’s personal space is increasing, but so far he does not feel “separate”, independent of adults, and feels a constant connection with them. Scarce alone can go somewhere for a walk, not worrying at all whether his mom follows him.

After all, he is confident that parents are always there, and is not afraid of losing them.

At the same time, sometimes the feeling of one’s “separateness” turns into fear for a child. The child begins to fear that parents will leave him, and therefore she cries under the door of the bathroom where her mother has disappeared, and clings to her skirt if she is going somewhere.

But within a few months this situation changes, and the fear of loss ceases to frighten the baby as soon as he understands: even if the mother leaves, she always returns.

Between 2 and 3 years, the child only does what the word “I” repeats. So he continues to defend his right to independent existence, but in a more positive way compared to the “crisis of contradiction”.

Two-year-old children are extremely egocentric and still do not realize that others also have their own desires. The kid wants to get everything first, before others; he can’t wait his turn. At this age, children categorically refuse to lend their things, and it is absolutely natural.

For a child, his toys are part of him. Arguments like “Vanya in 5 minutes will return” mean nothing, because the kid has no time sense, and, giving the toy, he loses it forever.

Do not scold your child and do not force to show generosity. Offer to change, and if the “owner” categorically refuses, do not insist – respect this period of egocentrism, without which an image of oneself cannot form.

Later you teach the child both altruism and generosity.

  • See themselves as the center of the universe, think that the world revolves around them.
  • Do not have a sense of danger.
  • They control their behavior and emotions a little, they can feel very strong feelings – hence the tendency to hysterics, readiness to beat and bite.
  • They cannot understand that their actions hurt others.
  • They have no sense of time: they do not understand what a minute is different from an hour and what it means to “wait a bit.”

From love to hate and back: the stages of development of feelings in a child

Closer to 3 years old, a small, solid, integrated self-image is formed. The world of the child is divided into “I” and “others”, and he can designate his attitude to himself and others. If earlier the cups themselves fell out of the hands of the baby and he did not understand how this happens, now he knows that he dropped the cup.

Little by little he begins to like that he can do something himself and play alone; baby is proud of his abilities. It is necessary for a child to consider himself very strong and important, waiting for him to be able to truly express himself and establish himself in society — for example, by starting to attend kindergarten.

If the parents managed with dignity to leave the numerous battles with the child defending their “I”, then by the age of 3 years “peace” replaces the “war”. By this time, the crumb already feels calmer – he understands that he will be considered.

And parents know that you can agree with the baby without raising your voice.

By 2 years old, the baby discovers himself, and by 3 years – also others. Strengthened in their independence, the child begins to see other people, with their interests and desires.

Now the baby knows: you need not just want a new toy and grab it from the shelf in the store, but ask your mother for permission. He has a sense of respect for elders.

He is ready to hear others if they hear him.

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