Parenting can be tough, tiring and frustrating. It is often wonderful and will always force us to look at ourselves from time to time.
Parents can sometimes feel that their child is manipulating them. However, young children have limited understanding of many concepts such as:
– Being able to make others do things or
– The goal to change others.
Their behaviour is directly related to whether others are meeting their emotional and physical needs.
There are some important things to know about children’s development.
Brain growth and thinking abilities are a result of a child’s age and stage of maturity.
Young children tend to:
- Be self-focused — they view everything from their own perspective. This can mean they believe things happen because of them — such as parents getting angry (even when it is unrelated to them)
- Have trouble seeing another person’s point of view
- Have difficulty consistently understanding the concept of sharing
- Often believe what others tell them, for example, they are bad/shy/silly/ naughty
- Have trouble understanding that some things are permanent — such as death or parents separating
- Often misinterpret words due to their limited knowledge and language skills
- Have difficulty with the concept of time — they might not be able to monitor what five minutes or an hour mean, and concepts such as next week or next year are often meaningless to them
- Deteriorate in their behaviour when they are tired, sick or hungry
- Have an increase in their desire to negotiate friendships.
Children at this stage of development require:
- Consistency – especially between different parents/carers
- Clear boundaries and family rules – such as no hitting, no hurting, no name calling
- Routines — so they can predict what happens at different times
If you are struggling to cope as a parent our evidence based parenting skills service is now available in our parenting workshop Tuning in to Kids.
Call now to register 1300 884 522
(Adapted from Tuning in to Kids 2012)