In the name of the independence of the child, a lot of dubious actions are performed: one family donates one and a half years to the garden so that he will finally gain autonomy, another dad will rather eat his hat than help his five year old son to collect toys (children’s room!), Finally, there is a mom which offers a preschool daughter to independently wash her soiled tights on the pretext that she should be able to do it herself. “Be independent, son!” – we are encouraging from the living room a child who asks to help him make the trunk of an elephant from the designer. Although now, to be honest, we just were too lazy to break away from the sofa.
There are suspicions that children’s independence has long become an excuse, turned into an annoying stamp, with which we justify a convenient order. Independence in general is a vague concept.
Even those parents who, by their way of action, are preparing the baby for a self-sufficient life in a taiga expedition, do not want complete independence of the child’s opinions. Imagine you are calling for breakfast the youngest member of the family, and you are answered that, well, excuse me, but – alas! – other plans.
Or you report that it would be nice to do the lessons, and the child expresses an alternative opinion: “I do not agree and I consider learning a waste of time!”.
The global goal of parenting is to raise a child with a self-sufficient, self-confident person, with his own opinion, with the ability to defend him. In general, release a mature person into the world. Therefore, we tend to push the child in the back, if the possibility of independent action lies ahead.
In addition, in our culture is not particularly welcomed when the child clings to the mother. He is immediately discouraged from such an occupation: “Well, why are you stuck!
Go in the sandbox, there other guys are already digging a channel. Lead the construction. ”
The two-year-old, who does not give his mother a hand and, in the courtyard, is sent to the side opposite from her parents, causes affection: “Oh, what an adult baby. She decides everything herself! ”We want the children to do everything themselves quickly in the everyday sense: they dress, wash, wash the dishes and many parents are ready to make trouble if the child who knows how to hold the cutlery asks him to feed him with a spoon.
Perhaps, the excitement is sewn into the behavior of people historically: suddenly, tomorrow, hunger, war, repression, and he himself cannot wear a sock.
Many psychologists recommend “soft pushing out of the comfort zone”, that is, not when you are standing with arms crossed over your chest and laugh ominously while the baby tries to fasten your skis, but on the contrary: you encourage, report that he can gladly assisted him, but your hands are occupied with loot from the store. That is, first we create a situation, and then we fully support the child in it.
At the playgrounds, a different situation is common, a hard nudge, when the little child has shaken to his father, the little one has been dressed, and the father says: “Understand yourself! Take your ball from him!
Tell me, this is mine! ”It is clear that I want the child to be king of the mountain as early as three years and solve all the problems on his own – this is his future success. However, psychology, such popes can object: “apart from the feeling of confusion and defenselessness,“ kind ”advice -“ figure it out for yourself ”- will bring nothing.
What is hidden behind independent behavior
Due to the nature of the brain, an independent child is nonsense. Children are born to be addicted: they are very suggestible, immature, tend to be close to an adult, replicate his behavior and show defenselessness in all their forms.
In this pledge and development, the more useful the baby copies from the interested adult, the more successfully it will be able to withstand the hardships of life. That is, from the very beginning the child is looking for: whose is he, with whom is he, who will lead him.
Canadian developmental psychologist G. Newfeld has the notion of “safe attachment”, which serves as a kind of cocoon in which a personality matures.
From this point of view, a sharp push into the world acts with the opposite effect – the child loses faith in safety, in the reliability of his protection. Perhaps he will be able to increase the protective shell, but he will do it at the cost of costly efforts, which in another situation could serve as an inquisitive knowledge of the world, the development of unique abilities.
A child who does not need the help of his parents, who does not want to be with them and be like them – firstly, it is very difficult to be educated by the father and the mother, and secondly, it demonstrates only a showy independence. On whom to depend, the child finds in any case: if he is independent of you, then he chose another object for love: a teacher, a nanny, or even yard children.
Now he wants to be like them, behaves in the same way as they and their opinion, sadly, means a lot to him. According to attachment theory, a paradox is obtained: the sooner we want to bring up a truly independent person, the more we should encourage dependence: help where the child does not cope, or even copes, but is tired. “Let me help you with the clasp!” – and be there until we hear: “Well, maaam, well, that’s enough, I myself!”
Control or responsiveness
Scientists from University College London (UCL) last year completed a large-scale study: psychologists monitored the lives of more than 5 thousand people, many of whom were born in the 40s. Researchers tried to find out the relationship between the child’s upbringing style and the level of happiness in adulthood. How much the respondent is radiant with happiness was found out through a survey, but also included data on the welfare of the participants.
It turned out that the saddest thing (and from the point of view of well-being, too) is people who their parents too much controlled. That is, parents were not allowed to make their own decisions and were tough and adamant in matters of upbringing.
Those who were lucky, and life turned out well, the parents were caring, responsive to the needs of children. Science obviously stands on the side of those who are not hard once again to help a child to collect toys and tie a string. However, together with our warmth, it would be nice to offer growing children to make independent decisions.
This is how we will help children get useful baggage: independence along with the confidence that they love and accept you.