I’m delighted to share with you the introduction to my new book ‘Beginnings: A Guide to child psychology and development for parents of 0-5 yr olds’.
From an evolutionary perspective, fears and anxieties surrounding being left alone at night are entirely normal and actually important. This innate fear would have kept our offspring safe, at a time when they would have been most at risk if left alone. While life has changed immeasurably as our species has evolved, this natural fear has not moved with the times. We know our children are safe from predators, warm, dry and comfortable tucked up in their beds at night and so do our children, when you hold a rational conversation with them that is. Their instincts and psyche often says otherwise though.
So, what can you do if you have a shy child, or suspect that you are raising an introvert – to help them to embrace, not feel embarrassed about, who they are? Here are my top ten tips:
What should you call your child’s genitals? The simplest, and most positive, answer is simply – their real names.
Our society is obsessed with children respecting adults. As children get older, our focus on this respect for elders increases. We tolerate what we deem as ‘disrespectful behaviour’ from toddlers and preschoolers, but once children are of school age our tolerance wanes. We take their backchat, rudeness and refusal to listen or do what we tell them to do as an indication that they are lacking in respect for us and we meet it with punishments, chastisements and consequences. We are wrong.
Hands up if you struggle to be a playful parent? For some, being playful comes naturally, for others it can feel a little awkward and stilted. If you’re in the latter category, give these tips a try:
I have had so many questions recently from parents with babies and toddlers who were either born during, or shortly before, lockdown who are worried about their child’s developing socialisation skills and whether separation from friends, wider family and other babies and toddlers of the same age will have a lasting negative impact on their child’s ability to socialise when lockdowns lift.
Children (whatever age!) are never just “naughty”. There is ALWAYS a reason for their behaviour. Naughty is the tip of the iceberg, it is a wholly inadequate word to describe what the child is experiencing and it sets us on the wrong path of discipline.
Covid and the current restrictions has had a big impact on all of us. Lockdown is likely to have had an influence on how you feel and behave as an adult, it can affect babies and children similarly. If babies and children are feeling anxious, confused, frustrated, bored, scared or disconnected from us (as often happens when we’re so busy trying to work from home and keep everything together) there are five distinct tricky behaviours that can surface:
Too many people believe that tantrums are a sign of bad parenting, but the truth is that young children tantrum because the area of their brain responsible for emotion regulation is very immature.