“Everything is played before 6 years”. Behind this sentence perceived as ultra stressful for parents and enclosing for children hides a very simple theory: the first five years of their lives, children all go through the same stages of development and the emotional relationships developed in this period left an indelible imprint that will influence their relationship patterns as adults.
So even if everything is not frozen, and if our life remains a process in perpetual transformation, it is interesting to know how to position ourselves as parents to best support the development of our children.
Empathy and Kindness Education to Toddlers
The latest studies in the field of neuroscience confirm the importance of creating empathetic and caring relationships to allow the child’s brain to evolve optimally. Becoming aware of the mirror effect that exists between a parent and their child allows us to adapt our behavior. Affection, tenderness, empathy, confidence are transmitted by example. The child imitates us, we transmit to him in priority what we do and what we are.
For example, when a small child is overwhelmed by an emotion, if the adult starts to shout and punish/enters into a balance of power / makes a great moral speech, the child will, on the one hand, be unable to listen to it and on the other hand remember that when there is a disagreement the only way to resolve the conflict is to crush or crush the other. On the contrary, if the adult helps him to regain his calm, reassures him, reassures him, this will allow him thereafter to calm down alone.
But beware, recognizing and accompanying the emotional states of our children does not mean allowing everything. It is quite possible to help a child to calm down without going beyond the framework that one has set for oneself: “I understand that you are angry but we do not do this / that”. The parent should see himself as a guide, who gives benchmarks, who sets the limits, states them calmly and conforms to them.
The mirror effect will also have an impact on the child’s vision of the world. Indeed, the confidence he will have in life will depend on the worldview of the adults around him.
To promote this, as parents we can try to:
Transmit a positive but realistic vision of life,
Spend special moments with our child, and do not slow down his creativity and his childhood energy (as far as possible)
Show our affection with words, tender gestures
The confidence that a child will develop will be linked to the unconditional love given by the parents. On a daily basis, this is expressed by:
The acceptance of the child’s shadows and light,
Freedom, space, autonomy (adapted to each age)
Small phrases like “I trust you” / “I trust who you are” / “you are capable”.
The confidence given to the child builds his image of himself and his self-esteem.
So that the child can understand and express himself, he must first give him the keys. Just as we call him the objects “chair”, “table”, it is important to put words into his emotions by asking him to confirm if this is what he is feeling. It is a perilous exercise because we are used to denying the emotions and feelings of children “but no, you are not cold”, “it can not scare you”, “calm down, it is the comedy ”…
However, helping the child to know himself by bringing him to feel, understand, express what animates him, what he wishes, what he is, to be aware of his tastes, his qualities and weaknesses, l helps you to express yourself authentically, to simply be yourself. And this ability will allow him subsequently to know himself, to feel what suits him, and thus to take care of him. What better gift to give to your child?