When it comes to conflict situations with children, one of the basic rules is – do not shift the responsibility for the event to an immature child. However, many have the question: “What to do when the child is to blame? For example, they warned that if he still plays the extra 30 minutes, then we will not have time to read a book for the night. He chose to play himself, and then cries that they did not read anything. But the child is responsible for the choice. ”
Each parent can cite many cases when “we agreed” end with tears and resentment. When my younger one grew up, situations with a stroller often happened. For example, she wants to go play on the playground, the path to which lies through a narrow dirt path. A stroller with small wheels will not ride on it. Go comparatively far. I understand very well that the child will be tired and will want to ride me back. But such a prospect didn’t smile at me very much in view of the correlation of the weight of my three-year-old and the distance that it would have to be dragged by myself. One could agree that she walks back. And my daughter would gladly agree. But I perfectly understood that this contract would work only the first ten meters of the path. Then the tears would begin, requests to pick up, my psychos and ruined relationships. Therefore, anticipating this whole situation, I refused immediately and led to futility about this.
There are many situations in our life when we agree with small children like this, warn them about the consequences, give them the right to choose. Children choose. And then, for some reason, they refuse to accept responsibility for this choice. Development theory suggests that responsibility in such moments lies with the adult. Why on earth, you ask?
Remember that the prefrontal cortex of a person’s brain begins to develop its ability to mixed feelings, logical thinking, the ability to predict the situation, and therefore adequately perceive the consequences, only after 5 years. And this is just the beginning! The ability to mix feelings does not turn on automatically, as soon as the child is 5 years old. This is a process that takes time and training.
It would never occur to anyone to give a baby soup and blame him for not being able to digest it. We are aware that the baby’s stomach is not yet ready for such food. However, we do not always think about psychological immaturity. Children up to 5, 7, and sensitive ones later, are unable to digest the consequences of situations. Despite the fact that the ability to mix opposite impulses begins to develop after 5 years, in terms of maturity, age is of relative importance. Sometimes children aged 10-15 cannot adequately assess the consequences of their actions. What is the reason for this: the natural course of growing up or getting stuck in psychological development is another question. In any case, we are responsible for the events.
What to do in situations with reading books and wanting to play? We are adults and we know how this will end, that’s why we make decisions. If it’s already very, very late, then just put the child before the fact that you can’t play anymore and it’s time to sleep. And again we look at the child. Someone will perceive such a categorical situation normally and will go to make an evening exercise. Other children need to be approached through captivity, play, through the warmth of relationships. It works best for us when I start talking with my daughter, we discuss something, dream, remember funny cases and at the same time move towards the bathroom and bedroom. If time still allows you to play, again, we make the decision. It suits my children: play not requested 30-40 minutes, and another 20 minutes and then read a small book. That is a compromise, authored by mom.
Well, do not show children the consequences of their decisions? After all, there are situations when an adult really went along with a child, did not think for himself, was not in a resource, there was not enough time, and so on. As a result, we have a high level of disorder and deadly resentment. In such situations, in the incident we do as little as possible. We console, we are nearby, we support, we leave the incident as early as possible so as not to inflame the passions. When emotions calm down, our contact will be restored, we can talk about what happened. Calmly explain, show by example, share your experience, lose a moment in the game. That is, to take with the child a sober look at the situation from the side and show where there were pitfalls and how to get around them next time.
In situations where we see that the choice of the child will not work, there can actually be a lot of solutions. We choose the one that will work specifically for this child in this particular situation. The main thing for us is to remain the host and leading adult, who takes responsibility for the situation and gently accompanies the child in it.