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Guide to understanding your child’s psychology and behavior

When it comes to raising children, most of us simply tend to learn from the experiences of others around us who have raised children in the past. However, while doing this we often forget one thing, the individuality of our child. Although many children tend to behave in a similar way, but the reason behind their behavior is generally different. Unless you make an effort to know how your child really is, you would never find out what drives their world. You can rest assured of one thing that their world is completely different from yours and to be able to better raise them you must step up and try to understand your child’s psychology and behavior.

Why child psychology?

child psychology

Child psychology is a vast field and thankfully you don’t have to go into the depths of it to be a better parent as a natural understanding of our children comes instinctively to us. All you have to do try to simplify your relationship with your child and they would automatically tell you all you need to know. For this, you need to let go of an authoritarian approach and be flexible and fair in your dealing with them. Here areseven simple tips that you can follow to become a better at knowing your little ones.

6 – Things to do to understand your child’s psychology and behavior

1. Spend time

Spending time with child

Spending time with you children isn’t just necessary to getting to know them, in addition, it also has a very positive effect on them. It reinforces their self-worth and makes them feel better about themselves. Furthermore, it also strengthens your family bond.

How to do that?

With parents that are working this could prove to be a little difficult. So, if you are unable to spend too much time with your kids, make sure that the time you spend with them of such quality that it compensates for your absence. In this, playing their favorite game with them would be better than watching a movie with them. Apart from that, you can also do many little things like leaving a note for them in the lunch box, reading them a book before they go to sleep, etc.

2. Show interest

father busy on smartphone

It doesn’t matter whether it is with your relationship with your spouse or with your kids, smartphones very often ruin relationships. You might try to fool your kid that you are listening to them while working on your phone, but that won’t work with them. Even when you are actually listening, they would feel that something is lacking. Our kids are very sensitive when it comes to our attention. They interpret any lack of attention as signals of our lack of affection towards them.

How to do that?

You shouldn’t just show interest, you should show positive interest. Make proper eye contact and smile whenever you are looking at them. Acknowledge their achievements, encourage them, complement them, and make them aware of their qualities. Showing appreciation for any good thing that they do would motivate them to do it again and again.

3. See beyond words

see-beyond-your-kid’s-words

There are mainly two reasons why you should see beyond your kid’s words. First, they might be too young to have the ability to express everything verbally. Second, prefrontal cortex, the part of our brain that helps in regulating our emotions isn’t completely developed until we are in our mid 20’s. Therefore, kids usually tend to be high on emotions, and we all know that emotions can’t be fully expressed verbally.The way kids express through their body language vary from kid to kid. Nevertheless, there are certain signs of trouble that you shouldn’t ignore.

How to do that?

Ifthey are clinging too tightly to you, then that could mean that they are very anxious or stressed by something. Being unable to talk and to express themselves could also be a sign of the same. Moreover, if they seem more restless than usual in their behavior, that could mean that there is something that is troubling them deep inside.

4. Understand their preferences

Understand their preferences

All of us tend to have our own preferences. Children are no different. The most difficult problem with them is that they neither know what their preferences are nor how to express them. So, rather than just shutting them up while they are throwing tantrums, try to discover the root of the problem. Not only this could lead you to new discoveries about your child, in addition, it could also be great help in the process of self-discoveryof your child.

How to do that?

One of the best things you can do in order to understand your child’s preferences is asking them questions out of the blue. Something like ‘What they would like to be when they grow up?’, or ‘What would they do if they have all the money in the world?’, etc. Don’t hinder them while they are answering the question and don’t take them too literally. Just try to find out what it is that usually fascinates them, and what they don’t like.

5. Know their surroundings

Know their surroundings

You might not be around your child all the time, especially when you are a working parent. In addition to that, if you don’t even know what type of people and environment your child lives in when you aren’t there, then you are seriously missing on something. Children too want to share their feelings and lives with their parents. However, in case you don’t give them an opportunity to do so, they would start bottling things and then you’d no longer know what is it that’s troubling them.

How to do that?

Talk to your child’s peers, babysitters, teachers, or anyone who spends time with them. Find out what they said, how they behaved, etc. Along with that, talk to your child everyday or at least make sure that your spouse talks to them. Ask them about how was their day. Don’t be too inquisitive, just let them open up on their own.

6. Always stay within reach

abandoned kid

It’s important to have time when you are away from your child, and to let them grow on their own, however, that doesn’t mean that you should leave them on their own. It’s too early for that. At times they might feel strong longing to see you or to tell you something. If something like that happens and you aren’t around, they might experience bouts of hopelessness. So, don’t let that happen, as it might make them feel that they are abandoned and could have traumatic after effects.

How to do that?

We are 21st Century now. You can easily avoid any such occurrences. Give your cell number to your child’s teacher, caretaker or whosoever spends time with them.Enrolling your child in a daycare with CCTV cameras and parental access to them is also a good option. Most of the times, when your child is feeling alone, even listening to your voice is good enough for them to believe that they aren’t abandoned.

4 – Things you should avoid to better understand your child’s psychology and behavior

1. Repeating yourself

mother and child

Be brief and precise in whatever you want to tell them. Don’t tell them same thing in different sentences, as just like adults, children too tend to phase out when you tell them same thing over and over again. Repeating your habit of repeating would lead them taking what you say too lightly or not listening to you at all, which might have bad consequences in the long run.

How to avoid that?

Pay attention to your child whenever you are telling them something. Look at their face. Are they listening? If not, don’t rebuke them for not listening, just stop. Find out what appeals to the taste of your children. For example, there are children who can better remember things when you tell them in the form of a story. If that’s the case, read them something from a story book and tell what you want to tell them as the moral of the story. Apart from being more memorable, such type of wisdomalso helps the child in learning how to apply an idea to real life.

2. One-sided communication

family communication

No matter whether the communication is happening only from your end or your child’s end, both are bad. They are signs of ineffective parenting. If your child is doing all the talking, that means you are a cold parent, and you don’t feel comfortable in sharing with your child. On the other hand, if you are doing all the talking it might mean that you appear too authoritarian to your child and they feel afraid while talking to you. All this might ultimately end up making your child feel isolated or might even make them fall into bad company.

How to prevent that?

Emotional detachment is usually the reason behind all these sorts of one-sided communications.So, you need to get closer to your child. Hold them and touch them. Stay near them and constantly make them feel that you aren’t someone too distant, but someone very near to them. Hug them on a daily basis and tell them that you love them.

3. Criticizing too much

Criticizing too much

No matter whether it is your spouse or child, constant criticism rarely works. Although the intention behind the criticism are rarely bad. We are concerned about our child’s future, and we want them to give up on their bad habits. Nevertheless, if you’d ask the children about it, they rarely take it positively. Because of your criticism, they might develop either of two tendencies. Either they become so afraid of criticism that they become diffident and stop doing things by themselves, or they simply stop listening to you altogether.Both of these tendencies are bad.

How to prevent that?

There are a lot of alternatives that work much better in comparison to the worst (which is something you shouldn’t even save for the worst situation). The best thing that you can do is describe the situation to your child and thus make them aware of their mistake. Rewarding is another thing that works i.e. you can reward your child for doing things they should do. This would ultimately promote positive behavior.

4. Taking out personal frustration on your children

mother Taking out personal frustration on child

A lot of us suffer from too many frustrations. These could be frustrations from work or personal life or both. But the thing that we don’t realize is, if we don’t give an outlet to this frustration, it finds an outlet for itself. It could manifest itself into anything from depression and anxiety to substance abuse. However, more than anything, it results in a rash behavior, especially with those that are closest to us, i.e. our children. Without any intention behind it, we might end up harming our children in ways that might scare their personalities forever.

How to prevent that?

First of all, find out if you are suffering from any such frustrations or not. In case you think that you are, then you should look for a better outlet to these frustrations. Include some physical activity in your daily routine. Swimming, working out and dancing might work wonders. Even doing something simple like karaoke or bathing after work might help a lot. But these are just a few simple solutions, if the problem persists, we suggest that you go see a counselor.

Final Words

Everyone that we see around us was a child once. By just looking at the people around you, you can say that your child too has limitless possibilities, and you have a big role in helping them achieve what’s good for them. When you understand your child and know what’s actually good for them, it narrows down their choices. So, rather than putting too many restrictions, you can simply help them focus on what’s most conducive to their personality. If your children find their purpose early on in life (or even start thinking that they one) then that might work wonders in simplifying their lives.

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Dr Prem Jagyasi (c)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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