Children: Tantrums, Sensitivity, Growing up!

Building a child’s character is a hard job. Especially if you are in the middle of a move or just relocating. Managing tantrums, sensitivity in kids and tiding over teenage need not be all so bad. Tatiana Mironova, Child Psychologist, spoke to us about this and gave us her tried and tested opinion. Just read on below. If you want to know her experience with relocating to Prague from Russia, read the first part of her interview.

How do you build or determine a child’s character?
Well, it is not very easy to put in words. Every child has a personality at birth. And then there is an environment where he is growing up. We cannot change their personality. But how we behave around them, shapes their mind. For instance, when a family has partners from different cultures, or when an opinion needs to be given to the child on any issue, it is important that both partners say the same thing or put forward the same proposition to a child. If daddy says no and mummy says yes to late bedtime, then the child will try to use his head to manipulate the parents to his benefit or play his own game. And the young mind which should be busy thinking and learning better things will be using his energy in a wrong space. So the agreement between partners is of utmost importance while bringing up a child.

How should parents handle tantrums in kids?
Well, tantrums are usually in kids in the age group 0-3 ish. So it is an age when they are learning to communicate. So it is important to try to make it verbal. You should not give in to their demands, but stay calm instead. Treat them like an adult and they will pull themselves together. If you get paranoid, or upset, they will continue the tantrum as they know you are reacting to it. Also, no spanking. It does not help and makes them lose confidence. The main task is to observe the child and also observe yourself.

How do you spot and handle a sensitive child?
Well, this is not very hard, they are observant and their reaction to a situation will be different. Also, a sensitive child will prefer to be informed about something they are getting into – even something simple like where they are going or what they are doing. Children are also largely sensitive to a routine. A routine makes them feel confident and clear.

How does the age of a child affect his or her sensitivity?
The sensitivity of a child from the 0-1 year is dependant on the mother’s mood. And this changes when the motor skills kick in. Then it takes the mood of the environment. Usually, the tantrums and mood swings in kids happen between the ages of 1 to 3 years. Then it is quite stable till teenage. At teenage, they are children and trying to get used to their physical changes. They want to be adults but feel incomplete. So, at this stage, they need a lot of reassurance. Criticism is not going to help them in the middle of a transformation. It is important at this stage to try to connect a lot with them and build a strong family bond. A bond that is a container for adulthood that will be there from then on for the rest of their lives. They need to feel that they can come back to you and this will give them the reassurance.

What advice do you strongly believe in for bringing up kids?
I think children right from a very young age should have homely duties. It is important that they are involved in the house and its responsibilities. Things like laying the table, putting out dishes, clearing away are all easy tasks and it makes them feel that they are contributing. And this makes them stable in their mind and more responsible.