anxiety and behaviour problems
where do they come from ? can they be prevented ?
which mistakes must be avoided ?
From birth, babies react intensively to relatives, their behaviour, surroundings. The period during which urges to feed are so overwhelming that no delay is possible, feeding on demand being the only option, does not exceed about two months.
From this age on, it is wise to initiate negotiations (anticipate or delay feedings, at least a little) for convenience, but primarily to stabilize the spontaneous schedule starting to emerge and obtain a fairly stable timetable for feedings, but also sleep.
Time structuring is essential for the safety feeling which must be built and supported. When daily events occur regularly, they become predictable. And an event occurring at the expected time is basically reassuring.
The longing for regularity helps explain why older children are so fond of bedtime rituals. They want to hear the same story again and again, protesting and correcting the adult who deviates from the original version.
This brings about two fundamental acquisitions :
Many childhood behaviour problems and anxieties result from errors made at this level. Young children need rules, which must be simple, easy to understand. They also need parents able to enforce the rules and resist successfully in conflicts.
When conflicts become unusually intense, they reflect the effort by the child to test the rule, but also, and perhaps even more the parents strength and sturdiness.
Yielding to the child's insistence - or challenge - under those circumstances is failing to understand the hidden meaning of provocative attitudes, sometimes bordering on deliquency, which aim at disclosing the limit and at forcing parents to show their strength.
If they commit the mistake of giving up, this surrender tends to send a devastating anxiety-provoking message, of a hazy, destructured, unpredictable world, and of weak adults, unable to provide needed protection. And this may end up in escalation of less and less acceptable behaviours.
This Web Page Created with PageBreeze Free Website Builder