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Psychological labels: how parents hang them on children

Psychological labels: how parents hang them on children

Three-year-old Polina has recently enthusiastically explored the different facets of her female charms: she looks at herself in the mirror for a long time, twists hair strands on her finger to make curls, and builds sweet eyes on everyone who is ready to admire her. “Coquette, fashionista!” – grandmothers and aunts repeat with emotion. What makes Polinina mom in despair: “Why should she keep saying that all the time?

It seems to me that now the daughter simply understood that she is a girl! Who said that coquetry will always remain a trait of her character?

But when she hears that she is called a woman of fashion, she begins to flirt and ape even more … ”Fidget, meek, stubborn, mumble, dreamer, bully. Our kids begin to know themselves, and often at a very early age, through a variety of epithets, pronounced in their address by adults, including us, their parents! The foundation of the future “reputation” is sometimes laid before birth: a few dashing pirouettes in my mother’s stomach – and the matter is ready, the baby has already been christened fidget or fighter.

And a few days after his birth, the “updated diagnosis” sounds: “What a screamer is he. Well poured out dad! ”So what if he just cried because his tummy was sick or the temperature started to rise? “We often perceive a person not as he really is, but as we imagine him to be,” explains French psychotherapist Nicole Prieur. – And if we are talking about our child, then we unwittingly “complement” his portrait and touches from our own biography, and our desires or fears. “

Alas, but this is true: we easily make judgments about our children, but at the same time, we rather listen to ourselves than try to see their real merits. This is understandable: after all, before us is the child of whom we dreamed, mentally imagined him in all details long before he saw the light for the first time.

And, drawing his portrait, they probably “put” all our most cherished wishes into it. Further, all the family members without exception are included in the popular game “Who does he look like?”: The baby receives the title of a sweet tooth (“Well, sure Aunt Sveta!”), A stubborn (“All in father’s kin!”) Or a laughter (“Mother’s breed!” ).

Such psychological labels sometimes serve parents in order to distribute roles between siblings. “One day I discovered that I treat my boys completely differently,” admits Karina, the mother of 6-year-old Sasha and 4-year-old Matvey. – I perceive the elder as a pure intellectual, and the younger – as a prank, for whom the most important thing in life is to run and jump. Of course, they are different, but my attitude so far has only emphasized and reinforced this difference.

For example, in the zoo, telling about the edges of this or that animal, I turned mainly to Sasha – and after all, Matthew could perfectly understand this story and benefit from it! ”And finally, like“ labeling ”sometimes caused simply by the desire of parents to calm themselves: we know our child well and understand, because we were able to give his character such a clear definition. To decide once and for all that a daredevil kid, quietly or fussy, is a way to isolate oneself from the riddle he presents and the need to solve it.

Psychological labels: how parents hang them on children

The desire of parents to understand and define with some words the nature of their child is completely natural. And what do these words mean for the baby himself? Let’s start with the positive moments.

The child realizes exactly how his parents see him, and builds his character on the basis of this “picture”. From this point of view, the parental assessment can emphasize the merits of the child (“You are a brave man!”), Help to feel like a person.

But at the same time it is necessary to ensure that, at first glance, words that are positive at first glance do not turn into a heavy burden for the child, into that very insidious and sticky label. First of all, the child wants to please his parents, to win their love.

And for this, he will try to meet their expectations as precisely as possible, even if they are not at all like what he is!

The baby has practically no other criteria for self-esteem, except those offered by his parents. The father and mother in his eyes are all-powerful gods who created this world!

If the assessment of his personality (even the most innocent) comes from them, it can affect the child to the depths of his soul and remain in his mind for the rest of his life.

“He’s so shy, not at all like his brother,” the grandmother lamented. “Your child is too slow,” – the teacher imposes a sentence. Every day, surrounding adults give marks to our children without asking our consent at all.

How to help kids calmly relive these judgments, often hasty but capable of injuring them for long?

We continually judge each other – it is in human nature. Encourage your child to develop his own, independent of others judgment about different things. Ideally, one day he should become a completely independent person.

But it is a big job that goes on for many years.

Take someone else’s point of view

Even if someone’s opinion about your child does not coincide with your own, take note of it, without feeling personally hurt. Be open and attentive to other people’s opinions.

Maybe there is some truth in them.

Talk to him about what they say about him.

Try for the child to express his emotions about what is being said about him. Ask: “Don’t you like being called too indecisive?

And how do you yourself think? Would you like to be different? ”Help him to discover and develop in himself other, non-indecisive dignity.

Turn disadvantage into virtue

A shy person has such qualities as restraint and modesty. The downside of slowness can be diligence, methodicalness.

It is important to help the child accept some part of his character as it is and benefit from it.

Psychological labels: how parents hang them on children

The main defect of any, even positive, psychological labels is that, figuratively speaking, they lock a child in the cage of the definition that we gave him once. Very often this happens because parents simply want to keep the child in his infant past.

They do not take into account that it is constantly changing and something always happens to it!

Another important point: a certain type of child’s behavior can conceal the causes of which the parents do not even guess. For the small Subject the glory of the scattered boy was fixed, get lost. “On the way from kindergarten, he could not“ sow ”something,” recalls his mother. – And at home he had to repeat everything ten times!

We turned to a psychologist, and it turned out that in fact many things in the garden simply frightened him and this fear absorbed all his energy and attention. We underwent a course of therapy, the child became more calm. and much less scattered! “

Of course, derogatory labels bring the most harm to children. Sharply negative judgments about him draw the child into a vicious circle, automatically causing aggression in it.

All this negative will either turn outward and turn into a riot, or in the worst case, go inside and turn against the child himself. If a child is called out often enough, for example, to be stupid, he risks very quickly to believe that this is indeed the case, and nothing will remain of his self-esteem.

By the way, flattering labels can also harm a child in the same way. From an early age Vika was inspired that she is incredibly capable, and she is at the same time. literally dying of fear! “I knew that I was being overvalued, I felt like a pretender, which sooner or later they would expose,” she admits. “I was afraid to allow the slightest mistake, which, it seemed to me, would inevitably cause a terrible disappointment to the parents.” So how do you find a middle ground?

This, of course, is not about not allowing yourself a single remark about your child. This behavior is simply unnatural for parents.

You may, for example, notice that the baby is really not very agile. But only under the condition that it will be said to help him get rid of this shortcoming.

The most important thing is not to perceive the personality of the child as a certain unchanging reality. It is necessary to be more careful and with insulting words, which in anger themselves come to us on the tongue: “Muddler!”, “Damn it!”, “Dirty girl!” Naturally, sometimes we get angry with our children. But we must try to defuse irritation differently, in no case without resorting to derogatory remarks.

Do not blame the child for being such or such; better explain to him: “I’m angry because you did this and that.” Do not stick a child with offensive words, even if he repeats some nonsense a dozen times in a row: nothing will strengthen him in his shortcomings.

Over the course of a lifetime, a small person will grow, move forward, choosing sometimes completely unexpected roads for you. Instead of continually looking for confirmation of the imperfections of his character in his behavior, it is better to tune in to the wave of searching for those qualities that you haven’t noticed before. “Try to forget everything you know about your child or think you know. Look at him as if you are seeing for the first time in your life! ”Give your child a little freedom from harsh judgments – so you will allow him to gradually form his true personality.

And you can be sure that her features will pleasantly surprise you!

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