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The first six years of life and their importance for the formation of a balanced adult

The first six years of life and their importance for the formation of a balanced adult

From conception to 6 years, the child goes through a crucial period of development. Physical growth, emotional attachment, attitudes and behaviors, language and motor skills develop during this period. Many factors can influence the child's first years of life and can have an impact on him, the rest of his life.

Child development in the first year of life

In the first year of life the child cries when he is hungry or when it hurts and he smiles in response to a pleasant thing. So the joy, the surprise, the anger, the fear, the displeasure, the interest in something is a form of emotional manifestation of the baby at this age.

One of the first emotions known to the child is fear. The baby was born with a very loud noise or people approaching him scared him, causing him to cry.

At 6 months the child fears strangers and at this age the attachment to the caregiver, mother or a surrogate is formed. Then, around the age of 8 - 9 months, the fear of losing the person with whom he or she has formed the attachment (separation anxiety) is formed. Some parents, to stop a child from crying, shake him but this is a form of violence and not a discipline, causing fear of the child and in serious situations, physical injury.

Conflicting relationships between parents, the way in which socio-cultural influences place their mark on them determines a certain type of relationship with the child. Thus, lack of family harmony, poor information about the needs of the child can negatively affect it.

The child of 1-3 years - behavioral modeling

In the period 1-3 years, the educational methods are the ones that have to structure and model the behavior of the child in order to ensure an emotional balance. Play is the main way the child learns during this time.

As you get older, the child's affective behaviors become more and more complex. Around the age of 18 months the affective resonance increases, the child being more impressionable. Now jealousy can be expressed in relation to another child to whom attention is paid or towards a person who interposes between himself and his mother. Other attitudes that emerge during this period are shyness towards foreign people and sympathy or dislike towards those known.

There are also hostile attitudes towards adults called primary negativism: the child is opposed by crying, screaming by performing real shows. These tendencies disappear at the end of the period because the child gains more security and independence, but especially they will disappear if the parents use appropriate educational methods.

Separation anxiety is now becoming even more evident, with the child reacting more strongly to the separation from the person to whom he or she attaches. During this period the attachment is expressed especially towards the mother, and at 21-24 months she can take dramatic forms when the child, accustomed to her presence, finds her absence. This becomes a problem especially if the person who replaces the mother does not have appropriate behavior for the child's problems at this age.

The child moves from one state to another, can have violent, noisy manifestations, with little resources to control these states. Under the influence of the adult, of his relational experiences, of the models that are offered to him, these behaviors disappear, and the emotional development becomes more stable and more controlled.

From 3 to 6 years old the emotions of the children become deeper

At 3 years of age, the behavioral manifestations are undifferentiated and involve confusing affective states - the child laughs and cries at the same time or laughs with tears on his cheek. Between 4 and 6 years the emotions become deeper, the children begin to control their emotions, try not to cry, for example, when they hit. Even now, the child can appreciate through beautiful or ugly certain features of objects, phenomena, people, etc. The word also conditions the development of this psychic process - by word, in the verbal communication, the child can express his joy, sadness, anger.

Stressed, frustrated, emotionally abused children may experience speech flow disorders, disorders known as stuttering (logonevrosis).

The interaction between parents and children is complex at this age. Loving parents who manage to provide warmth, positive models for children, parents who are used in the educational process of children's qualities and not their flaws, those who do not use excessive authority have happy children, confident in their own strengths. Through this attitude they manage to have optimal communication with the child, which is essential in education.

Inappropriate methods based on excessive authority, the use of physical punishment, ignoring the child's personality determines the appearance of aggressive behaviors and a self-deficient image.

Instead of conclusions

Positive relationships between children and parents lead to the positive structuring of the child's personality while the bad relationships between parents and children have negative effects on the child, which will manifest later in the adult's life through aggression, hyperemotivity, instability, anxiety.

The child understands and feels everything that happens in the family, conflicts, quarrels, separations. Children should be protected from abuse and neglect in all aspects of their lives. Those children who are exposed to violence or educated by violent methods, both verbally and physically, can develop emotional and behavioral problems that prevent them from developing healthy relationships with others and that will affect their relationship life as adults.

When parents provide positive experiences for young children, they care for and enrich the brain's development. It is advisable to laugh with the child, praise him, talk to him and play with him.

To choose the correct, appropriate educational methods, parents need to know their child very well - to know what each age implies, and what its characteristics are, to take into account the opinions of others, the educator, the psychologist or the doctor.

Both parents and educators need to be supported and encouraged to be actively involved in children's lives. The Parents Counseling Center of the Save the Children organization evaluates and provides assistance in the case of witnesses or victims of violence. It also helps parents and educators cope with stress and solve problems properly.

Andreea Biji

Psychologist, Save the Children Organization

The material is informative and is part of the education and awareness campaign to combat violence against children "Listen to her soul", carried out by the organization Save the Children, between September 2011 - April 2012.

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