Sensitivity In Kindergarten Age
The behavior of kindergarten children often seems confusing to us adults: If the offspring was just clingy and cuddly convertible car seats that fit in small cars, minutes later they loudly demand that they put on their jacket or ride their bike without any help. What is behind it and how do you best deal with it? We have put together helpful tips.
Children’s Needs Change With Development
The first and most important step in order to be able to react appropriately to the behavior of your child, which can often seem contradictory at first, is: Try to understand it. It is helpful to know that every child goes through different development phases in the first few years of life. Up to around the age of three, children are still very fixated on their closest attachment figures and need a lot of physical contact with them in order to feel safe. That changes between the ages of three and six: This development phase is characterized by a constant fluctuation between the desire for closeness and support and the ever-growing desire to tackle, discover and solve things yourself. These two basic needs are existential for a child’s development.
Bonding And Freedom – Kindergarten Children Need Both
The basic genetic makeup of the child includes an inner urge to explore the environment – the so-called exploratory behavior. This behavior, in turn, is closely related to attachment behavior: only when the child feels safe does it dare to actually follow its curiosity. “Bonding always fulfills a double function, namely on the one hand to comfort when overburdened and on the other hand to support the urge to explore,” explains graduate psychologist Dr. Julia Berkic from the State Institute for Early Education. As parents, you should therefore give your child the certainty that you offer them a safe haven at all times during their explorations, to which they can return in the event of fear and uncertainty in order to experience protection and security.
Learning To Deal With Feelings
One of the most important tasks parents have to do is encourage their offspring to speak freely about their feelings – this helps children understand and classify their feelings. At the same time, they experience that they can share their feelings with others. They recognize that thoughts and feelings can be changed and that even intense feelings can be managed. In this way they learn to endure feelings better and not to let them rush into actions without reflection. Kindergarten age is a particularly important developmental phase for learning these skills.
See The World Through The Child’s Eyes
For parents, the feelings and behavior of their children often become much more understandable and therefore more acceptable when they try to put themselves in their children’s shoes and see the world through their eyes. At the same time, this change of perspective has the consequence that the child feels that his emotional experience is being perceived and thus learns better to deal with his own feelings. Children who have this experience behave much more cooperatively than children whose feelings are misunderstood or even ignored.
More Serenity Instead Of Pressure To Perform
There is no magic formula for “correct behavior in every situation” – you have to take the individuality of each child into account. Dr. Julia Berkic emphasizes: “Every child is right as it is!” So if your child feels most comfortable in the company of other children, you should not blame them for never being able to do their own thing. And if they are shy, don’t keep pushing them to take part in other children’s games. Because: Through such – often well-intentioned – attempts, boys and girls of this age can easily get the feeling that they are not in the way they are. This makes them feel ashamed of their feelings, desires, and needs, which can seriously affect the development of a stable sense of self and identity.