When considering how to foster your child’s capacity to cope better with life’s challenges, to be happy, and to conform to society’s expectations about behaviour, it is useful to consider the conditions under which you grow a happy, healthy, well-adjusted baby.
Happy, healthy, well-adjusted babies develop in association with having a caregiver (or caregivers) who is with them, that is accessible to baby, who understands their cries and responds accurately to their needs, and who keeps them safe from harm and educates them about how to behave.
Children who are brought to see a psychologist are typically emotional, often exhibit problematic behaviour and are sometimes very controlling or demanding. Usually, they are this way because the perceive themselves to be bad and they think others don’t understand, don’t care and don’t respond.
So, keeping this in mind, caregiving that improves your child’s capacity to cope with life’s challenges, to be happy, and to conform to society’s expectations about behaviour, involves re-educating them about:
- Caregiver accessibility
- Caregiver understanding
- Caregiver protection and direction
Caregiving practices that achieve this incorporate:
- Engaging in Emotional Refuelling
- Verbalising understanding of thoughts, feelings, needs and wishes
- Increasing parental influence and awesomeness
Emotional refuelling involves checking in on your child when they are otherwise occupied so they have the experience that your are aware of them and thinking of them, even when they are not seeking or demanding your attention in some way. Verbalising understanding involves observing children’s behaviour, the context in which it occurs and saying what you think the child is thinking or feeling. Increasing parental influence involves directing, rather than asking, and avoiding engaging battles with your child.
Further information about these ideas are found in the following titles: