Child Psychology – The Key To Understanding Your Child Better.
Child Psychology – The Key To Understanding Your Child Better.
What is child psychology?
Becoming a parent is one of the most joyful experiences of one’s life, but responsible parenting can be tough and requires a lot of effort. Many parents fail to support their children because they do not feel that parenting requires conscious efforts. The early years of a child’s life are crucial because the experiences of early childhood have a deep impact on an individual’s personality as an adult.
Child psychology helps parents, teachers, and caregivers understand children’s physical and emotional needs while growing up. It is the study of the conscious and subconscious development of children. It is relatively a new subject and falls into the category of developmental psychology. Some traditional ways of parenting can be detrimental to a child’s mental health, and the research in this field has helped to introduce parenting styles necessary for ensuring children’s physical and psychological well-being. It provides us with ways in which we can support children to have healthy cognitive, intellectual, emotional, and physical growth. Child psychology provides an insight into the nature of children, and childhood in general, as well as the distinct nature of an individual child. It enables not only to understand children better but also to find appropriate ways to deal with a child.
Why is child psychology important?
As much as parenting is delightful, it can also be a scary, confusing, and overwhelming experience. Many factors affect children’s psychological development, such as the kind of relationship they share with their parents, the kind of relationship parents share with each other, their relationship with their siblings and peers, the environment at home and school, economic conditions, trauma, exposure, and some other experiences.
Every child is unique. Even when a couple has more than one child, they will need to deal with each of their children differently. While the principles of child psychology are general, the way they need to be applied to each child is unique. Despite the children being brought up together, a striking contrast can often be seen between siblings. This is because even while having the same parents and living in the same environment, each child has a distinct personality. Child psychology is important because it helps unlock ways to understand your child’s needs. When you do not understand your child’s behavior, instead of jumping to conclusions, consider giving it a thought and try to understand them. If you fail to understand the reasons behind their behavior, just being considerate, curious, and flexible makes a significant difference.
Understanding child psychology helps you improve your relationship with your child. Early childhood years deeply influence shaping one’s personality, and having a healthy relationship with parents enables the child to strive and thrive in life. Children who do not share a happy relationship with their parents and do not get the support they need often develop psychological issues as they move towards adolescence.
Key features of child psychology:
Child psychology covers five basic areas :
Development, Milestones, Emotions, Behaviour, and Socialization.
Development: This refers to a child’s physical, emotional, and intellectual development. It includes the physical changes that take place and acquiring certain skills. Using imagination, perception, and language to gain knowledge. Learning to socialize and develop relationships. It also includes the development of feelings and personality traits like confidence, fear, shame, and trust.
Milestones: Milestones give a framework for what is considered normal childhood development. Children can perform certain functions at specific ages. The milestones are physical, cognitive, emotional, social, verbal, and non-verbal. For example : learning to crawl, learning to sit, or developing the ability to speak and communicate. If a child cannot perform these functions past a certain age, child psychologists will help determine abnormalities and their reasons. They can then find appropriate ways to aid the child in development.
Emotions: Emotions are complex not only for adults but also for children. Emotional development includes developing emotions, identifying, expressing, and managing them. Like adults, some children struggle to regulate their emotions, and there can be different reasons for that. Though emotions like joy, sadness, anxiety, fear, shame, pride, guilt, and aggression are all present in children but as they move towards adolescence, the way they feel, express, and manage these emotions changes.
Behaviour: Parents of all children struggle to understand and deal with their behaviour, which is a normal part of growing up. As they grow older, they begin to develop their identity and assert their independence. Learning to understand their behavioural patterns and being patient through their process of growing up is a skill that all parents need to master. However, some children exhibit behaviours that are not normal or appropriate for their age. A child psychologist can help identify the reasons behind these abnormal behaviour’s and propose ways to overcome these abnormalities.
Socialization: One of the earliest relationships children form is with their parents. They continue to form relationships with siblings, grandparents, teachers, and other caregivers. They develop friendships and learn to interact. They learn social skills like empathy, communication, compromise, and understanding. How these relationships are formed in the early years of childhood development plays a significant role in determining their relationships in adulthood.
Some tips to understand child psychology:
Observe: Make a conscious effort to understand the way your child behaves and deals with different situations. Observe what triggers your child, what makes them anxious, the things they care and worry about, and the things that make them happy. Simply observing will help you greatly in understanding your child.
Spend quality time: Even if you spend the whole day with your child, it will not be much useful if you fail to spend quality time with them. Spending even a little quality time together every day will help you develop a strong bond with your child.
Listen: Learn to listen to your child patiently and attentively. Show them that you are interested. Active listening will let you know about your child’s desires, fears, and problems and give them a safe space to open up.
Take their opinion: Asking for your child’s opinion helps them feel important, validated, and a part of the family. It also encourages them to think more critically and responsibly. Make sure to respect their opinion as it will boost their confidence and help them develop a sense of self-worth.
Freedom and trust: It is necessary to protect your children and draw boundaries for them. But it is also important to give them the freedom to experience life on their own and trust in their decisions. Let them follow their likes and dislikes even when it might be uncomfortable for you. Sometimes you have to let children learn from their own mistakes. This will allow you to know your child’s personality, capability, and interests.
You don’t need to be a professional to understand your child. Every parent should make an effort to learn about child psychology, to develop a strong bond and let their child experience a sense of security. However, it is important to consult a psychologist and get professional help when you observe any abnormalities in your child. Child psychology is the key to understanding your child better and helping them become their best self.