Experts believe that it is never too early to start talking with a child about things that are close to him. “A child is a full-fledged person and being who is able to perceive words from birth,” emphasizes French psychoanalyst Gerard Severet. – His parents should tell him everything that may be important to him, which is part of his life. His personal “story” belongs to him. “
If the child could speak immediately after birth, the first thing he would ask was: “Where did I come from?” Therefore, it is important to tell him about how he was born. Not in the form of a medical report, of course.
It is interesting for the baby to know how nine months of pregnancy had passed, whether he immediately cried out what his mother felt when he left her body, whether her father was present at birth or was waiting in the corridor. What did he feel?
Children really want to know why they were born. Many parents can simply say: “You were born because father and mother loved each other and wanted to have a child.”
But if he was born contrary to the wishes of the parents, then the case becomes more complicated. Alla, Katya’s mother, was able to find successful words: “I didn’t imagine how to tell my daughter that we didn’t want to have a child, but she was born anyway.
But I could not lie to her either. And she said: “Your dad and I did not expect that we will have a child so soon.
You gave us a surprise. But when you were born, we were very happy. ” Jeanne, Timothy’s mother, hesitated for a long time before admitting to her son that she was upset on his birthday because she wanted to have a daughter: “I felt guilty and decided to reveal the whole truth to him: yes, I really wanted a girl.
But you were so irresistible that when I saw you, I immediately fell in love. And now truly happy that you were born. “
According to Gerard Severen, “you have the opportunity to tell a child that he still chose to be born even against the wishes of his parents. If you let him know that he acted on his own will, then from the very birth you will begin to instill in him a sense of independence, instead of making him suffer all his life because of the disappointment of his mother and father.
The child already “knows” in the womb, the parents or the girl are waiting for the boy, and he feels if they do not want him at all! ”
“If a child is adopted, it is better for him to find out about it early, even if he still doesn’t know how to talk about it,” adds psychologist Anna Vershinina. So, the parents of Fedya, adopted at the age of three months, could not tell him about it.
But they came up with a fairy tale that they told their son before bedtime: “Once upon a time, there were father and mother, who really wanted to have a child. And there was a child who really wanted to have a father and mother.
It was you, Fedya. So you appeared in the house, and we became one family. ”
As soon as Fedor began to speak, he often asked him to tell him this story.
And if the father who brings up the baby is not a biological father? In this case, it is also necessary to tell the whole truth.
There is nothing wrong with explaining to a child (even a small one) that he has a father and a father who raises him. As Gerard Severen emphasizes, “one should distinguish between the person who gave the child life and the father-breadwinner.
The parent sows his seed, the father takes the baby to the family, is engaged in his upbringing and is the husband of his mother. ”
It is important to inform the child about all the changes that affect him. The birth of a brother or sister, relocation, new work, the disappearance of a person whom they used to see often.
Clarification requires everything that somehow changes the daily life of the baby. You can not put the child in front of a fait accompli or warn about it at the last moment.
So that he does not worry about the unexpected change, he needs to personally and in advance inform about what awaits him in the future. Suppose parents decide to leave.
It is advisable that immediately after making a decision, the father and mother together notify the child about him – calmly, without dramatizing the situation. “If you don’t directly contact your son or daughter, he may misinterpret the information gathered from the conversations of adults, and he becomes anxious,” emphasizes Gerard Severen. In the case of divorce, you must first assure the child that this is not his fault. The baby always feels its responsibility for what happens between the parents.
He feels like a center of the family, so he needs to hear that divorce is an adult affair that has nothing to do with it. “The second thing to say to my son or daughter is that parents will continue to take care of them and, no matter what happens, they will continue to see their father and mother.
Children need to declare a divorce, if the decision is made and it is firm, but it is dangerous to inform them about all the frictions that occurred in the family. In the case of a quarrel, it is better to recognize the reality so that the child does not worry, but do not enter it into all the details of the conflict.
Anna Vershinina explains: “You can say: yes, you see, we are now quarreling, dad and I, we are angry – like you, when arguing with friends. It’s hard to explain, but you don’t have to worry, it will pass.
Mother should not tell the child: I cry, because your father likes to spend time with friends more than go back home, because he does not love me, because he tells me words that I do not deserve. The privacy of parents does not apply to children. “
Another topic that should not be covered – this is the trouble at work. Our anxieties and disappointments, our dissatisfaction, and middle age crises should not spill over into the family.
The father of three-year-old Vlad understood this well: “When I am preoccupied with professional concerns, I warn the child not to worry about it, as if he had done something wrong. I explain to him that I am annoyed only because of the work.
It would be foolish to say that things are fine when I have everything written on my face. When I was out of work for a while, I told him about it, but I never became disheartened in his presence.
On the contrary, I reassured him that I had options and prospects, and that everything would be settled soon. ”
Indeed, when dealing with children, even small ones, it is necessary to find the right words about the surrounding reality, no matter how dramatic it is. First of all, it is not necessary to hush up the illness or death of loved ones. As Gerard Severen explains, “parents think they are sparing the children, hiding the truth from them, and they say that Dad left for a long trip, or that he was still in the hospital when he was already dead.
The child feels a lie, but cannot express his grief and feels anxious. ” Questions about death arise from about two and a half years, and it is important to answer them with all clarity. The main thing is to let the children understand that the disappearance of those you love is inevitable.
You see flowers – they bloom, then they dry up. They will no longer bloom, but other flowers will grow instead.
This is death. And if the child asks if he will die, you need to answer that yes, like all people, but very, very soon, when he will be very, very old.
This is usually enough to calm him down.
If the questions about death can sometimes be confusing, then the sexual question is less and less causing the former feeling of awkwardness. Explaining where children come from, parents rather briskly tell the story of the “little seed” that my father sowed in mom’s tummy … Thanks to the general liberation of morals, it became easier to communicate on these topics and find the curiosity of the children.
Of course, provided that sex in a family is not considered taboo. Christophe, for example, was very embarrassed when he had to explain to his young son what masturbation is. “My wife asked me to talk to him like a man with a man – the boy had a habit of touching his sexual organ for all.
I said then: “There is nothing wrong with what you do, mother and I are not angry. I would like to explain better, but I don’t know how.
My father never spoke to me about this, but I hope that when you grow up you will be able to talk about it with your children. ” According to Gerard Severen, “it is useless to try to answer the” uncomfortable “questions, because the child will feel the embarrassment of the parents and may be ashamed of putting them in a difficult position.
It’s better to just say: “Listen, I don’t know what to answer you now, but I will think about it and we will discuss it later.”
It should not be on the pretext of being truthful, giving the child answers to unasked questions. For example, some children whose families have financial difficulties do not notice this fact or, more precisely, do not want to know about it.
Need to respect their desire. In the same way, a mother who is expecting a baby does not need to talk about this to her son or daughter, if she herself learned about the pregnancy only two weeks ago.
Respecting a child means answering questions that he asks, or doubts that he does not decide to formulate, but it also means not imposing the truth to him, to which he has no business. But how to understand that the child does not want to know what he is going to talk about? Just listening to him, Irina, Masha’s mother, rightly thinks: “The daughter always knew that her father left us when I was pregnant because I was not ready for the birth of a child.
Every time I wanted to tell her about my father, show his photos, she said: “I know, I know, you already told!” I did not insist, and now that she is 8 years old, she herself asks me questions on this topic. ” There is no doubt that even very young children can understand a lot.
It is difficult to say exactly how this understanding takes place, but one thing is for sure: the voice of the parents, conversations with them soothe the infant, and moderate his anxiety.
Finally, even simple common sense dictates that you should not tell the child all without exception. It seems to non-modern parents that it is enough to voice what is happening so that everything will be settled and the child will not experience feelings and heartache, ”says psychologist Anna Vershinina. It can be explained to a six-month-old child that he will spend a week with his grandparents, but this will not prevent him from missing his parents.
You can tell a two-year-old boy that dad will not take him to the park for amusement rides, as he was promised, because dad has a lot of work, but this will not prevent the child from getting upset. To believe that truthful explanations will help to avoid tears, anger or conflict is to deceive yourself.
Words are really necessary, but they are not capable of creating a miracle. The main thing for a child is that dad and mom are ready to listen and help him when he is sad and wants to talk heart to heart.