Five-year-old Masha shows a nurse: she herself is next to her father, she has a veil on her head, a bouquet in her hand, and a limousine on the right. And on the left – the mother in a horizontal position. “When mom dies, I will marry dad,” Masha explains.
Vasya is four years old. He agrees to go to bed only after his mother “warms” him under her blanket and reads a fairy tale. The boy actively protests against the presence of the Pope during this ritual.
And four-year-old twins Lisa and Anya, on the contrary, demand that only dad bathe them in a bath … At the age of three to five years, almost all children suddenly begin to give a clear preference to one of their parents. As a rule, it is the parent of the opposite sex.
Why is this happening? Up to three years, children are almost not aware of gender differences.
One of the most important discoveries that a child makes in early childhood is the discovery of sex. A man can be either a woman or a man.
The boy, when he grows up, will not be able to become a mother for his child. And the girl will not grow up a penis, and she will not become a dad.
Psychoanalysts believe that a child’s evidence of his incompleteness, imperfections is alarming and an unconscious desire for symbiosis with an adult of the opposite sex (as a rule, this is the parent or the person who cares for the child: nanny, grandmother, caregiver). In parallel, at the age of 4–5 years, the baby usually makes another discovery: in order to be born, the child must have a father and mother. He is told that he can have children when he grows up and gets married or married.
During this period, most boys make decisions about the appearance and qualities of their future spouse (it is easy to see that the choice of many men resembles his own mother, both externally and as a warehouse of personality). An inner monologue of a boy of 4–5 years old psychoanalysts imagine: “Since you must marry, you must, of course, marry a mother.
She loves me and knows how to take care of me, and she is the best. But the place of my mother’s husband is already taken by dad. Dad bothers me, I have to defeat him.
I will prove to my mother that I am more suitable for her. ” For some time, the child competes with his father and shows his disposition to his mother in every way: endlessly hugs and kisses, confesses of love verbally and in writing a hundred times a day, comes up with wonderful compliments … Good times come for mom, but dad sometimes cannot achieve contact with the son, despite all the efforts. He is actively trying to eliminate.
The kid protests against the privacy of the parents, interferes with their conversations, distracts attention in any way: by chatter, by requests, by whining, by pranks – or simply using the “driller method”, wedged between the adored mother and father. Love for the father does not disappear, but the feeling becomes much more complicated: it contains jealousy, fear, admiration, envy, a desire to imitate and at the same time prove its superiority … In essence, in this ambivalent feeling for the father, there are the beginnings of all emotions which over time will develop the character of the child, his attitude towards life, towards other people, towards himself. And how the parents will react to the strange behavior of the baby depends on how “counted” the child will lose the match with the father.
As a result, the boy, finally giving his father a place next to his mother, unconsciously seeks precisely to preserve human dignity. A son learns to behave like a man under his father, imitates him and identifies himself with him.
And love in the mother is transformed into a gentle knightly attitude, if the father teaches the boy to show nobility and delicacy in relation to the mother and in general to the woman.
The female version of the Oedipus complex (also called the Electra complex) since the emergence of Freud’s theory has caused a great deal of controversy. Many pupils and students of the master have already criticized the envy of the girl to penis and disappointment in maternal omnipotence because the mother is not able to “give” to the daughter what all children of the other sex have.
Nevertheless, in the classical theory, the girl’s attraction to the father is explained by the desire to get a replacement for the penis – in psychoanalysis this child is considered to be this equivalent. Since the girl does not feel the fear of castration, the experiences associated with the oedipal complex, she can persist for a long time.
Attacks of irritability, anger, sudden tears, mood changes are considered a symptom of “oedipal”, but may have another origin.
But if the child
- persistently strives for physical contact with the parent of the opposite sex (whenever possible and not paying attention to the prohibitions, he tries to climb up on his hands, to clasp, lean on, to perch, etc.);
- shows aggression towards the parent of his gender;
- seeks to seize the place of the parent of the same sex with him at the table, on the sofa, in the car and especially in the parent’s bed;
- makes attempts to prevent any contact of parents –
then, most likely, we are dealing precisely with the phenomenon that each individual has to face and which since the times of Sigmund Freud is called the Oedipal complex (named after the hero of the tragedies Sophocles).
The Theban king Oedipus was taken away from his mother immediately after birth, because he was foretold that he would kill his own father and become the husband of his mother. Becoming a young man, Oedipus once killed an old man who refused to give way to him, and then married Queen Jocaste after rescuing her city from the sphinx.
Subsequently, having learned that the dead passerby was his father Lai, and Jocasta his mother, Oedipus in despair blinded himself and left the city along with his daughter, Antigone.
According to Freud’s interpretation, the essence of the Oedipus complex is that every human being at an early age falls in love with a parent of the opposite sex. Such physical and psychological inclination is considered normal and comes from the desire of a person for completeness and completeness, the merging of the feminine and masculine.
However, the child does not know about this norm, therefore sexual fantasies and forbidden desires associated with this inclination are forced out into the unconscious part of his psyche (are forgotten by reason). According to Freud, these repressed experiences of early childhood constitute the main core of the unconscious.
A person sometimes spends a huge amount of psychic energy to ensure that memories of traumatic events of the past or unacceptable desires do not break into the consciousness that sometimes there is almost no power left for development and creativity. Nevertheless, the unconscious actively seeks to escape “out” in the form of dreams, reservations, various types of neurotic behavior and psychosomatic diseases.
Our reaction to the child’s behavior during this period primarily depends on how we ourselves experienced the Oedipal complex in childhood. Helping a child to overcome growing pains, we come into contact with our own childhood experiences, and emotional energy changes our mood, physical well-being and affects relationships with others.
Often, parents unwittingly begin to identify with the child, for example, ascribing to him their own experiences and feelings. Another typical situation is the repetition of the mistakes of one’s own parents, contrary to a given word, to avoid it at all costs.
And those of us who continue to idealize one or both parents, or, conversely, blame them for all our troubles, will first have to work with our own problem – with psychological trauma experienced in childhood, guilt or abandoned child syndrome.
It helps to keep a diary (try to write the history of your early childhood, pay special attention to relationships with parents), drawing, dancing, as well as taking care of yourself and meditation. From soothing baths and yoga, too, should not be abandoned. After all, you have to control yourself when you hear something like: “When you die, I will marry dad!” Or “Let dad sleep in his car, and I will sleep with you!” You may have to spend a few sleepless nights, protecting the door to the matrimonial bedroom.
Your beautician can be ruined if your daughter suddenly decides to overshadow you with her beauty in the eyes of her father. Despite all the difficulties, remind yourself several times a day: the child is not to blame. He is controlled by instincts; he can neither control them nor control them.
He was not going to hate your husband and seduce you. He is not aware of what is happening to him.
Therefore, it is useless to be angry with him, and to punish means to create additional difficulties and only aggravate the problem. Your strategy should be based on three “T”: patience, hardness, tact.
It is not easy to explain to a child why it is impossible to marry a mom or give birth to a child from your own dad. It will help the story of your own experience.
Tell your daughter how you yourself were attached to your father, how beautiful, strong, wonderful he seemed to you. And yet you did not marry him, but met another man when you grew up. A father can hold the same conversation with a boy, but if their contact is difficult, talk to your son yourself.
It is important to prepare for the conversation, he must pass in a relaxed atmosphere. And, most likely, this topic will have to return more than once.
Psychologists strongly advise not to translate everything into a joke – the child may not understand your humor and decides that you approve of his behavior. Do not enter into “alliances” such as dad and daughter against mother and son. Do not pout if the husband and daughter did not accept you to the company, but discuss the problem with him in private.
Do not ignore rude words. Say “I don’t like it when you talk rudely with your dad!” Or “They don’t talk to women like that in our family!” No matter how funny children’s fantasies may seem to you, no matter how touching you may sound, “Mom, you are the most beautiful in the world! I’ll marry you! ”, Gently but consistently bring the child back to reality.
Explain that people do not marry their close relatives – mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters, do not marry sons, fathers and brothers. The ban on incest should be unconditional. But difficulties may not end even after the child realizes the impossibility of such a union.
The cause of the problems is often not the child’s love for the parent, but the feeling of guilt associated with “bad” thoughts. A child may secretly consider himself a terrible criminal deserving punishment for having dreamed of the death of his father or mother in order to take their place. We need tact so that, without humiliating and not frightening the child, to explain to him that such thoughts come to mind not only to him, but to most children.
A wonderful way to talk about the problem of “evil thoughts” is to write together a fairy tale. Here is the story that the mother wrote for her daughter from the famous book by Doris Brett “Once upon a time there was a girl like you”.
The girl Annie reveals her secret to the fairy godmother and waits that she “is about to turn and fly out the window, saying on the fly:“ I don’t want to stay a minute more with such a nasty girl who has such evil and vile thoughts in her head “. But instead, the godmother said: “As for evil and harmful thoughts, your thoughts were thoughts of average mischief.” Annie was surprised. “So my thoughts weren’t the most evil and harmful in the world?” She asked. “Of course not,” answered the godmother. – I have already told you that all children think that their thoughts are the most evil, the most harmful and the nastiest in the world.
And I’ll tell you what: when I studied at a fairy school, we had a witch-training college next door. And believe me, its inhabitants sometimes had such thoughts that their hair could turn green. And with them, with these witches, they really turned green. ”
This scene can be played with dolls, draw or fashion. Redirecting sexual energy to the creative stream (sublimation) is the most constructive method of overcoming anxiety, the healthiest of “defense mechanisms”.
Sports, games, collective cleaning are also suitable for stress relief, especially if you also express yourself in them as a family!
Although the followers of Freud believe that a child involuntarily gives an erotic character to any close relationship with an adult, his delicate relationship to the opposite parent (the more complex version of the situation – the same sex) is not always expressed in the form of kisses, hugs, touches, caress. Much depends on the temperament adopted in the family of “distance” from the general way of life of the family. In one family it is not customary to embrace and kiss children often, and in the other way around.
Some parents and even child development specialists see nothing dangerous in sharing sleep or bathing with a child. And yet you can not ignore the natural feeling of bashfulness of the child.
From the age of three, one can explain to him that the intimate life of a person should be hidden from prying eyes, teach him to show respect for the personal space of family members.