There are plenty of methods that can be applied in working with children nowadays. Numerous therapeutic techniques and training classes are also readily available, just to name a few. Not to mention, how much effort, time and money parents are ready to give for their children! All this is so that their child can lead a better and happier life. Early Childhood Development Centers, children’s clubs, sessions with qualified professionals such as speech and language therapists and psychologists and so on.
As there is nothing we wouldn’t do for our own son (or daughter). Infinite parental love looks for the ways to give everything needed for happiness.
Mothers and fathers pay significant sums of money to a psychologist for harmonization of their child’s inner state, behaviour modification and healing from emotional traumas. Meanwhile, they often forget about themselves. They tend to neglect the fact that it is important to work on themselves, their own relationships with a partner (a child’s mother/father). They consider it to be less important than their child’s development.
But, the secret to the harmonious development of children is extremely easy in most cases! Children are happy and content when their parents feel this way, and the relationship between their parents are harmonious. When a child grows up seeing and feeling their parents love each other, he is raised in the environment of love which he immerses himself into. He is developing happily, smoothly and in complete harmony. For a child’s harmonious development his parents’ mutual love to each other is not any less important than their love to the child himself.
Therefore, parents should understand that in order to solve most of their child’s problems, they need, first of all, to deal with all the hardships in the relationship with each other, as well as each address their own inner problems. It is essential to remember, that a child simply reflects, like a mirror, everything that is going on in the family.
Why is parental work on themselves and their relationships important for a child’s well-being
- A child is the part of his mother and father. If parents love each other, a child perceives this love as addressed to him as well. He feels that he is raised in the environment of love, kindness and harmony. He is happy. However, if, for example, a mother treats a father badly, then a child feels that his mother treats him badly as well. As there is a part of father – whom his mother doesn’t like – inside of the child himself. Certainly, a child doesn’t come to realize it through analytical process, but he feels it intuitively. This has major negative impact on the child and his life later on. If it so happened that there is no love between the parents anymore, it is crucial that they express at least respect towards each other.
- Children are very sensitive to the mood, the atmosphere set in the family. It seems as if they soak up this atmosphere from the world around them and then project it back on the outside.
- Observing the behaviour of parents and other influential adults, children imitate them. What is more, they pick up the shades of behaviour so subtle that parents themselves might not even notice or be aware of.
You can arrange countless appointments with a psychologist for your child, but if the child’s main source of influence remains the same, there won’t be much of a change in the child either.
Dear parents, realizing the fact that a child is a mirror projecting your reflection is ambivalent. On the one hand, it can be painful and unpleasant. But on the other hand, it is a chance for you to significantly improve the life (yours, your family’s and your child’s). What you should do is take on the responsibility and figure out what is it that I am doing wrong in this situation? You can be sure, the moment you change, the relationships with your partner will change, and so will your child. It happens naturally as if a fading flower came to life and unfolded in all its beauty after you had started to water the soil where it grows. As, no matter how much you clean the leaves and petals of the flower, it will die, unless its roots and soil are watered properly.
Extremes: parents are only obsessed with themselves or each other
There are families in which parents experience and exhibit warm feelings for each other. They are attracted to each other, in love and feel happy together! And even… without a child. We are not talking here about the parents’ state of self-sufficiency but rather about those cases where parents seem to not care about their child whatsoever. They feel so good together that they don’t want to let anyone in their world including their own child. This kind of self-obsession is definitely unhelpful to the child. As for him both the expression of love between his parents and toward himself are equally important.
And for sure, a child doesn’t become happier if his father or mother (or even both parents) are self-centered and focused exclusively on their own pleasures, desires or self-development to such an extent that there is no time or energy left for their child.
If parents don’t pay attention to their child, he feels lonely, abandoned, unloved and unneeded. A child (and not only!) needs on a daily basis at least 8 hugs along with sweet words, and various heartwarming expressions of love.
Is it necessary to pretend that everything is fine, when it is not actually?
You won’t achieve happiness under false pretences. Children have a well-developed intuition and they can always spot a lie. The younger the child is, the stronger is this ability to feel the actual atmosphere in the family, the attitude to him, the real nature of relationships between the parents and their relations with others.
Certainly, this doesn’t mean that you should openly demonstrate your resentment, anger or settle disputes in front of the child. It is important to safeguard children’s mental state. But you shouldn’t think that by pretending and acting you can make a child believe that there is a candy in the empty wrapping.
Until which age does a child reflect parents?
In some sense – over the entire life. It is so, if we look deeply. But this is the most evident until the age of 14 years. The younger the child, the more he mirrors the closest surrounding (relatives living with him).
The trap of thinking «all the best must be for children»
To give a child all the best in the world is a wonderful intention. But sometimes this intention is distorted and it turns into the following: the best is for the child, which means we can do without some things or with something of low quality.
This approach, unintentionally taken by parents, does more harm than good.
Here we can highlight two the most evident consequences of such behaviour:
- A child grows up being selfish, as he sees that the parents love him more than themselves, and eventually he ends up thinking that this is how the things are supposed to be. He also starts to value himself more than his parents or any other people.
- A child starts to expect the same attitude towards himself from others. He is used that the world around him (parents, relatives) satisfies every his whim. But, as soon as his surrounding extends (kindergarten, school and so on) he expects this to continue. And soon enough a child faces kind of shock: nobody is going to satisfy all his desires! This discovery serves as a tough lesson which not every child is capable of learning successfully.
Dear parents, keep in mind, that by catering to your child’s every single whim you are doing harm to him. As it is essential to teach a child to respect and appreciate not only himself but also the others; not only to receive love, but also to give it. In other words, a child should be taught the laws of justice, the laws of harmonious relationships.
And the best way to do this is through your own example!
Translator Daria Samusenko
Author Svetlana Nimak
Original text Счастливые родители – счастливый ребенок