In detail

The personality of the child

The personality of the child

Often we hear expressions such as: "he has a strong personality", "although he is small, he has personality", "a girl because he has personality", "he is having personality crises" etc. Many of them are spoken in a proud tone, others on an accuser.

It is clear that adults who say this have something important to say, to be transmitted, but what? So we propose to clarify a little about the personality and to propose some hypotheses related to what they want to say when talking about personality.

Of course, every man has his personality. Some see these personal characteristics from a very young child, others consider that they appear later, in childhood or during adolescence.

This is because some people refer to characteristics related to the temperament of the person, to the more energetic or calmer way of being, to play, to ask, to respond, to react to impulsivity or sociability, those that are I see from very early ages, while others relate to character, to skills that either appear or are formed later.

In fact, we can, from a psychological point of view, relate to the personality of the child from birth. The very different way babies react to us shows that everyone has their own way of being. Some sleep alone, others need a lot of help from the entourage to calm down and fall asleep.

Some react in one way to loneliness, others in another. What for some is trivial, for others it is a tragedy, some are easier to adapt to change, for others any change requires effort and produces many problems. All these characteristics are preserved when the child grows up, they were not related to a certain age and continue to manifest, naturally in relation to the activities specific to the different stages through which the child goes.

What is ignored, however, is that these characteristics of the child or adolescent are not in themselves "good" or "bad". Many times when the "personality of the child" is invoked, it is actually spoken about something else. Stubbornness, the parent's inability to communicate with the child, violence, impatience, lower tolerance to frustration, different adaptive reactions, behavioral patterns, etc. They are not qualities or defects, but parents refer to them as if they were. Then they begin to "struggle" with some of the characteristics of the child, to try to modify them and to be disappointed that they cannot.

Why is this happening? On the one hand because every parent has a "model" of a child and if it does not match the real child, it is very difficult to get in touch with the real child, to accept him as he is, with his appearance, with his personality. and they always tend to "make him ...". On the other hand, because they fail to relate to certain characteristics that they themselves did not have. For example, calm, depressive, slightly active parents who have a very energetic, very active child, who is out of place and always come up with other ideas! Of course, in a short time they will feel exhausted, overwhelmed by the energy of the child and will have a tendency to "comfort" him, "calm" them to be in accordance with their way of being.

This causes frustration for the child who can no longer find a way that is accepted by his parents to discharge his energy and becomes angry, aggressive, aggressive. From this point, communication breaks down more and more because adults and children already "speak" different languages ​​and start from a state of frustration. "The other" is not like me or cannot understand me, cannot be put in my place, does not know what I feel, "I cannot be like this".

So we come to the conclusion that we need to find out "what is" our child, to know him from the point of view of his personality and to make the effort to find a way of communication even if his personality is very different from ours.

Anca Munteanu
Psychologist - Child psychology

Center of Action Psychology and Psychotherapy