An anecdote happened to me with my 4 year old son that I wanted to share with a wider audience and that made me realize once again, the importance of communication and especially, the reception of our children’s emotions.
It is the arrival of autumn and the return to daycare or school for children of all ages. The famous routine that naturally resumes with the beginning of extracurricular and sports classes. For our boy Tristan, there is a new addition to his program: skating lessons.
For the past week, he has been unable to go skating and has been counting his sleeps, so excited is he to attend his first class. At last, the long-awaited Saturday morning arrives. The whole family leaves the house ready for a new experience with Tristan, who, all happy, holds his skates in his hands like real trophies.
Of course, the arrival at the ice rink is scheduled a good few minutes in advance. It’s all about learning how it works, asking questions, but most of all it’s about preparing your son. Then he asks me:
“Mommy, am I going to get my pole to stand on the ice? »
You know, the bar that serves as a support that looks like a hockey goal without a net.
“Probably my boy. You’re here to learn. Like other friends your age… you probably won’t always get it since the goal is for you to learn to skate on your own. But don’t worry, you’ll be well guided” that I hasten to answer him to reassure him. Which seems to satisfy him perfectly.
That’s it! It’s time to go! my boy embarks on the ice looking a little tense, but how proud. We give him his famous bar. Just like we do to our other friends. Although some of them seem older and really too experienced to be part of this group of kids… On the ice, it’s a bit of a rush. Lots of instructors. Lots of kids. And they all turn in different directions. Anyway, it’s not really clear who’s with whom… but that’s okay. It’s the first day. We’re probably going to form groups. And anyway my boy seems nice. He’s moving on. He doesn’t know where he has to go, we can guess, but the feat of standing on his ice skates and coordinating with all these people coming and going in all directions is already remarkable, isn’t it? my boylikes it. He’s nice… so is Mom and Dad.
Then it looks like we’re finally getting our house in order. The bruises here. The red ones here. And so on and so forth. Which raises a question for us: We haven’t been told what colour it is. It doesn’t matter. He’ll be fine, we think, if we look at the kids who join their group. Except that our wolf is not joining any of them. But he’s cute as hell. He’s happy to be able to walk around as best he can, as he pleases.
An instructor comes to see him. Talks to him. You can guess that she asks him his name and points out what should represent his group. We are reassured: everything is going to be organized. Our child is working so hard to try to join this group. The problem is that her group is always on the move. Moves faster than our little skating apprentice, leaving him again isolated and disoriented. Until finally, another instructor approaches him, talks to him and redirects him back to his group. A scenario that repeats itself a few times.
As model parents, proud of his offspring, my husband and I, with big smiles on our faces, sit comfortably in the stands with the brother, while throwing out larger than life bravos and applause. I say to my husband:
“Wow… he seems lost, but he’s so much fun… he’s really grown in his confidence in the face of the new and the unknown”. I am referring to other demanding situations that my boy has experienced before.
Good minutes go by. An instructor then goes directly to my boy and removes his “bar”, telling him who knows what and quickly moves away …
Yeah … a little drastic as my husband and I look at each other. Anyway, she’s coming back to get him to go with her…But no. She’s not. She’s getting further away with the pole. Until she goes to carry it outside the rink. Worse. She gives up, son, to go back completely off the ice and leave our wolf without a bar or support from her. Just like that. That’s it.
Of course our little child falls. Rises again. Falls back. Then starts crying. But no one comes to him. Anxiety now mingles with tears, leaving mom and dad stunned. Mostly because of the instructor’s actions. Mummy hen wakes up. Maybe mummy lion to be fair.
“Calm, calm,” I say to myself. Surely there must be some explanation for this. On the other hand, I know very well that in the state my son is in, nothing can be done. He is no longer there. Anxiety has won out. I approach the gang and ask, a little incredulous, that they give him his bar back. Which we are willing to do. But too little, too late. my boy has completely stalled. No matter how many people come up to him and invite him to go back to his band, whose colour we shouldn’t even know, he cries.
His daddy and I decide it’s enough. Especially since the goal is for him to have fun, not to become an Olympic skater. We wave him over and we get to talk to him through the glass. my boy’s choked voice asks us for pain and misery if he can come out. We try to persuade him to stay. But nothing we can do. No reception.
Suddenly a whirlwind of questions pops into my head. Shall we continue our encouragement? Shall we go get him? How will we look? What would the “good” parent do? The uneasiness becomes strong. Our parent’s hearts take precedence over reason. We wave him back across the rink so we can go get him.
Arriving near the meeting point with my son, I sense the mixed reception of the two group organizers. The first one seems to agree with my action, while the other one hastens to tell me to withdraw so that my child doesn’t see me. She kindly asks me to go back to the bleachers so that she can gain confidence in him.
“Quickly, he sees you… look, he goes here and there… go… go back to the stands.
We’re sending a new person to wolfie. Small talk. Then he seems calmer. Grab a pole and go for a walk. His eyes and cheeks are still wet, but he seems to have regained control. Phew! Mom and Dad feel relieved. Although suddenly overwhelmed with this strange guilt that they weren’t up to the task as parents. Too proactive by intervening too quickly? Not being able to trust?
My boy still has a few tears left, so mom forgets about her tugging and cheers and applauds her even harder?
Finally the course ends with son who has finally joined his group. The incident could well have ended like that, but it was far from over, believe me … Because my boy approaching bursts out again and tells us that he doesn’t want to skate anymore.
“Never, never, NEVER!” he says.
My husband and I, by mutual agreement, choose to let our little resigner express himself, telling us that the restaurant with his family will slowly bring the dust down and that my boy will perhaps forget and end up changing his mind.
A few hours later, back home, I see him wanting to tear off the pictograms on the calendar indicating the days of his skating lessons. That’s when I understand that nothing was over and that it was time to listen to my son…
“What didn’t you like, big guy?” I asked him.
“Everything. All of it. EVERYTHING. I don’t want to go anymore! “he replies in one stroke.
It’s my turn to skate… I’m trying to defuse the situation, but above all I’m trying to target the element that triggered his statement. He then says to me:
“I didn’t like the lady taking off my bar! »
“You’re right, Wolf. I didn’t like it either. It’s normal that you didn’t feel well. I probably would have felt the same way. The lady made a bad decision by not coming back to support you. »
Suddenly he looks at me a little puzzled…as if he’s thinking that adults should always be right…
At the same time, I try not to let my own dismay at all this show. It’s a question of keeping my “look” as a good parent who will be able to play down the subject.
He then confides in me:
“Mom, the other lady told me that if I don’t stop whining over nothing… she’s going to take away my bar again…”
Whew! What a clever warning! For my boy to relate these words to me, it’s certain that he had had this speech… My claimant side, encouraged by a certain indignation, suddenly wakes up. What can I do? A thousand and one things come to mind. I try to filter what can be done or said, while trying to find THE answer that can correct or explain the situation. In short… all these avenues overlap. Seeing and extrapolating the possible after-effects over the next 15 years… panic wants to settle into my role of the perfect parent-with-the-perfect sentence-on-the-perfect child-in-his-glass bubble…perfect!
And then, all of a sudden, I just thought to myself:
“Whoa, that’s just the beginning of the kind of things that I can’t control, what my son can and will be told by others… We’re not gonna have a family panic attack with a sense of failure for not being able to exempt him from all of that, every time an adversity or a situation that’s hard to control comes along. »
It was therefore better to recognize this event as an opportunity to teach her some notions of life and to let go of all those questions we ask ourselves as parents.
I then chose to get even closer to him by simply whispering to him…
“my boy, mommy has to explain something to you. You know, I was telling you earlier that the first lady didn’t make a good decision to take your bar off like that without offering you another solution. Well, she didn’t. Whatever explanation we can come up with, you and I both know it wasn’t the best thing she did. You’re here to learn. Normally, the person has to come with you, be with you, show you new things. Imagine if we put your little brother (age one and a half) on your bike, without any help, and went…”
“No, Mom, he wouldn’t be able to and he’s going to cry! »
“You’re right, buddy, and it’s normal for him to do that, just like you… so your reaction was normal…”
He looks at me with an expression of relief. So I continue:
“Now there’s something else I have to explain to you. You know, grown-ups aren’t always right. Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you’re right! The second lady had no reason at all to tell you that you were crying for nothing, let alone tell you that she was going to take your bar off if… “
I see him more and more relieved, but at the same time, amazed at what seems like great news I was telling him. As a result, the two of us relax and I also feel that an important step has just been taken, that of breaking the illusion of the magical and perfect world that young children have of us adults. Although I confess that I wish I didn’t have to. Or to do it until much later…
It is never easy to have this kind of honesty with our child, but how effective are the results on our evolution.
So my son says to me:
“Mommy, there’s something else I didn’t like about it. I don’t like it when you applaud my pain! »
Surprised, but with a smile on my face, I explain the concept of encouragement. He replies immediately, giving me his point of view.
“It’s not the same “fun” to be applauded for our sorrow. »
Calmly and detachedly, I say to him:
“Last thing I need to explain to you, big guy… You know, Mommy is learning to be a mommy with you and your brother. I can be wrong too. The fact that you’re telling me the way you’re telling me now, I’ll know what to do next. Thank you for teaching me and helping me be a better mom to you and your brother. I’m learning a lot from you. »
He then bursts out laughing… such a natural laugh of relief and… I can’t describe it. But a laughter that confirms to me that he has completely released the tension and responsibility that he had been carrying on his shoulders since the morning. To tell the truth, we both feel incomparable relief and well-being.
And that’s not the end, he adds:
“You know, Mom, that’s because you weren’t a real mom before I helped you. Now you are. Next time, just smile or wink, it’s going to be okay. »
I don’t know if our wolf will learn to skate this year, but one thing’s for sure, he will have had the opportunity to learn a lot… and so will mom and dad! Like discovering or rediscovering what it takes to be flexible when faced with other people’s mistakes. Whether you are an adult or a child.
The purpose of this story is not to denounce anyone or anything, but simply to convey the importance of taking the time to communicate with our children.
We must put ourselves at their level, share their language and above all not be afraid to be sincere and honest. It is by remaining open and welcoming that my son was able to confide in us about his dissatisfaction and was able to completely release the tension he was experiencing.
I know it, I often say it… but here, I simply experienced it… Going back to basics gives the child back power over the situation and that is our real power as parents!
BY A LEARNING MOM
How to Teach Children Problem-Solving Skills
Children face problems every day, either with their toys, with peers, or with a math exercise. But what is a problem?
A problem is the perceived difference between a situation in which an obstacle prevents us from progressing and a desired situation. It creates a state of dissatisfaction and imbalance.
Teachers are called upon to place students in problem situations that require them to connect new knowledge with familiar knowledge, so that they are active in the learning process.
Teaching through the problem-solving method will help students focus on the acquisition and processing of knowledge rather than memorization, and facilitate the integration and transfer of knowledge. In addition, it promotes the integration of learning into “life”.
Problem solving represents the higher level of learning activities: two or more acquired rules combine to produce a new ability that depends on a higher-order rule.
The more the teacher puts his or her students into real and complex problem situations, the more meaning they will find in what they learn.
How do you teach students problem solving?
Is there one method for all ages?
3 Strategies for Teaching Problem Solving at All Ages
A model is a representation (more or less simplified) of reality in order to be able to apply tools/techniques/theories to it. Modelling is the study and interpretation of a model.
Above all, you must realize that you are in a situation where you don’t know what to do. Describe the main problem by thinking aloud to help your child model the same problem-solving techniques on other concrete examples to put them into practice in his or her own life.
Ask children for advice
If you have a problem, ask your children for advice. They learn that mistakes and challenges are common. It also allows them to practice their problem-solving skills. In addition, when you show that their ideas are appreciated, children gain the confidence to try to solve problems on their own.
Don’t give “the answer.
Finding a solution is a difficult task, but allow your child to try, to try hard, to fail sometimes, and ultimately to suffer the consequences in order to gain confidence.
3 – 5 years old
Emotions are normal reactions, and are by no means a problem. Emotional coaching is concerned with the development of emotional intelligence, i.e. the ability to identify and respond appropriately to emotions.
To help your child to react correctly, it is best to follow the following process:
Step 1: Assist your child to ” label his emotions”
Children often have difficulty expressing their emotions because they do not always understand how they feel. We need to start by explaining to them that everyone has emotions and that being frustrated or angry does not make them “mean” or “bad. What matters is how they react to their emotions.
So it’s essential to help children put their feelings into words. By identifying their different emotions out loud, they will be better able to control their expression.
Step 2: Teach your child to react well
Your child needs to be taught to focus on reaction rather than emotion so that he or she understands that it is normal to feel emotions, but that he or she is responsible for how he or she reacts and the consequences of inappropriate behaviour.
Step 3: Problem solving
Think about solutions with your child, by listening more. This allows your child to practice problem-solving skills, and he or she will be better able to apply the solutions that he or she has come up with on his or her own.
Problem solving with creative play
Play is considered a natural activity for children and an essential stage in their development.
Before we can see how play is present at school, it is necessary to define it.
The Petit Larousse defines play as “an activity of a physical or mental nature, not imposed, not aiming at any utilitarian purpose, and which is undertaken for entertainment and pleasure.
Games are classified in three categories:
a -The playful game
It’s a free and spontaneous play of the child. He uses it without any goal or purpose, just for fun. He plays freely without any imposed rules, which allows him to explore and experiment without risk. It also evolves his creativity.
b -The educational game
The educational game has an educational value, but remains disinterested. They are games such as puzzles or construction games, for example. They help develop skills by reducing the effort of learning. It is used at school as an educational tool. The educational game would therefore be a balance between pure play and pure work.
c -The educational game
It’s an activity that keeps the richness of the game. The choice to play is imposed. The pedagogical game is close to an exercise because it is used to develop knowledge or skills. The goal of the game is clearly identified.
Examples of classroom games
The three games therefore allow students to learn how to build strategies, for example by teaching them not to always follow the same idea, but to explore all the possibilities.
Children often learn best through play. Playing with objects such as blocks, simple puzzles and dressed clothes can teach your child the process of problem solving.
Problem solving by reading stories .
Read age-appropriate stories with characters who have problems, for example :
Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy; The story of two friends who want to play together but cannot find a game to agree on.
Curious George; A curious little monkey enters and leaves dilemmas, teaching children to find solutions to their own problems.
Teach students the steps of problem solving.
Create a simple problem-solving process for your child that you can apply at any time. For example, you can try the following five steps:
Step 1: How do I feel?
Help your child understand what he is feeling in the present moment (frustration, anger, curiosity, disappointment, excitement, etc.) Noticing and naming emotions will lessen their charge and give him a chance to take a step back.
Step 2: What is the problem?
Guide your child to identify the specific problem. In most cases, help her take responsibility for what has happened rather than pointing fingers. For example, instead of “John got me in trouble at recess,” your child might say, “I got in trouble at recess because I argued with him.
Step 3: What are the solutions?
Encourage your child to find as many solutions as possible. At this stage, they don’t even have to be “good” solutions. They are just brainstorming and not yet evaluating the ideas they have generated.
Step 4: What would happen if…?
What would happen if your child tried each of these solutions? Is the solution safe and fair? How would others feel? You can also try role-playing at this stage. It is important that your child considers BOTH positive and negative consequences of his or her actions.
Step 5: Which one will I try?
Ask your child to choose one or more solutions to try. If the solution didn’t work, discuss WHY and move on to another solution. Keep encouraging your child to continue testing until the problem is solved.
Problem Solving with Craft Materials
Crafting is another form of play that can teach children to solve problems creatively.
Give your child markers, play dough, cardboard boxes, tape, paper, etc., to use in the game. They will find all sorts of interesting creations and inventive games with these simple materials.
Open-ended questions develop the child’s ability to think critically and creatively, helping him to solve problems better:
How can we get working together to resolve this problem?
How did you get through it? Or how do you know?
What was easy? What was hard?
What would you do differently next time?
Tell me about the things you built or made or created.
What do you think will happen next?
What would happen if…?
What did you learn?
Open-ended questions do not have good answers and cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”.
7-9 years old
Breaking down problems into pieces
This strategy is a more advanced version of “Show me the hardest one. »
As your child gets older, his problems get worse too. When your child faces a challenge that seems overwhelming or insurmountable, encourage them to break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces.
For example, let’s say your child has a bad grade in history. Why is the grade so low? What are the causes of this problem?
As usual, LISTEN to your child’s brainstorming by asking open-ended questions to help her if she gets stuck.
If the poor grade is the result of missed assignments, perhaps your child can make a list of these assignments and tackle them one at a time. Or, if exams are involved, what makes it hard for your child to pass the exams?
Show “The video of the broken escalator”.
Discuss the importance of meeting challenges and solving problems independently with the “video of the broken escalator”.
In the video, an escalator breaks unexpectedly. People on the escalator are “stuck” and call for help. At this age, your child will probably find the video amusing and will immediately find a solution: “Walk! Get off the escalator! »
Explain to your child that this is a very simple example of the way people behave sometimes in challenging situations.”Why do you imagine they are not getting off the escalator?”(they didn’t know how, they were waiting for help, etc.).
Sometimes your child can feel “stuck” when faced with problems. They may stop and ask for help before even trying to find a solution. Encourage your child to take on challenges and solve problems instead.
Troubleshooting with prompts
Give your child materials like straws, cotton balls, wool, clothes pegs, tape, paper clips, sticky notes, sticks, etc.
With this material, challenge your children to solve unusual problems such as :
Creating a jump ramp for cars
Make a leprechaun trap.
Create your own game with rules
Making a device enabling two people to communicate with each other
It’s a fun way to practice critical thinking and creative problem solving. Most likely, it will take several attempts to find a solution that works and can be applied to almost every aspect of life.
Give them the means to do so
When your child asks for a new toy, technology or clothing, have him or her make a plan to get the desired item himself or herself. Not only will your child need to brainstorm and evaluate solutions, but he or she will also gain confidence.
Ask your child HOW they can earn money for the item they want, and encourage them as they work towards their goal.
Play Chess together
Learning to play chess is a great way for children to learn how to solve problems. Players must have critical thinking skills, creativity, board analysis, recognize patterns and more.
Teach children about coding
Our teens and tweens are already familiar with technology and can use their problem-solving skills by learning how to code. Coding fosters creativity, logic, planning and perseverance. There are many tools and programs available online or in person that can enhance your child’s coding skills.
Encourage project initiation.
This project must make sense for your teenager, for example, launching a YouTube channel. Your teen will practice his or her problem-solving skills while learning how to broaden his or her audience, how to showcase his or her videos, and much more.
Apply the SODAS method
Are you looking for a program your teenager can use when faced with a problem? The SODAS method can be used for small or large problems. Simply remember this acronym and follow these ideas:
Encourage them to join problem-solving groups.
Does your teenager like to solve problems as a team? Invite them to join a group that will help them acquire skills in a variety of fields, from engineering science and automation to debate and business. Here are some examples of groups:
Odyssey of the Mind
Problem-solving skills are the foundation of all areas of knowledge, such as mathematics, science and the arts. Whether it’s a child trying to figure out what the wet spot on the carpet is doing, or a scientist groping for a cure for cancer, the processes of thinking and problem solving are the same. And “through problem-solving learning, children build their intellectual capacity in these areas. Teaching children to solve problems also enhances their emotional, physical, aesthetic and social morals.
8 Advices For New Moms
8 tips for young moms: Surviving the first few weeks
The first few weeks at home with a newborn can be a real roller coaster, physically, emotionally and mentally. Here are our tips for young moms, without cuts and filters, to help you survive those first few weeks with a newborn.
During my pregnancy, I received tons of advice. Enjoy sleeping while you can. Say goodbye to restaurants. Go out every day for a few minutes. Choose foods you can eat with one hand! Reading real stories, fiction and the exaggerated torments of motherhood, I had no idea what to expect.
I’m sure, and I know, we’re in the same boat. Keep our advice for new moms in your favourites and I promise you: you’ll have no trouble surviving those first few weeks with your baby.
1.Asking For Help
When I used to visit my friends who had newborns, before I had children myself, I wish they had told me to get off my butt and wash the dishes or let them take a shower! I didn’t know that this would have been the real purpose of my visit. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for help. They want to help you, but they don’t always know what you need.
Also, don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you want to take a breath, need breastfeeding or sleep advice! Therapists, baby nurses, nannies, lactation consultants and postpartum doulas can make your life easier, and using one of these people does not diminish your ability to be a mother.
2. Establish a routine
Babies develop their own habits very early on, so you need to pay attention to baby’s signals and cries to start establishing this routine. This way you’ll know what to expect, even if your baby doesn’t always follow the routine! Some moms like to adopt the “eat, sleep, play” routine, others “eat, play, sleep” routine.
You may want to create your own. A tip from a veteran for a new mom: Use an app! I recorded my son’s feeding and sleeping times on my phone and, as he got older, everything about his tummy and reading times. As soon as I saw patterns of repetition, it was like a revelation. Even if you only have a tiny bit of control over what may seem totally chaotic, it’s a huge victory.
Unlike celebrities, you won’t usually look like the person you were before the baby came, after you gave birth.
3. Take a Walk, Shower, Drink Coffee, Check Your Email…
Finding 40 minutes a day (10 for a walk, 10 for a shower, 10 for coffee and 10 for e-mail) will help you be yourself and not just a “mommy”. Of course, you can spend those minutes any way you want. Personally, I used to spend 10 minutes putting on makeup, even if I wasn’t going anywhere! If you’re alone, put baby on a pillow or in a jump seat, in plain sight, so you can shower.
4. Make Healthy Choices
You may feel a little depressed after returning home with your newborn baby. Your mood will be changeable and, unlike celebrities, you will not usually look like the person you were before your baby came after you gave birth. It’s tempting to eat whatever you feel like eating. I know, believe me! And it’s because you’re tired, because it’s faster to eat junk food, because you’re unhappy with your body. So why should I care what you eat at this point, am I right? In fact, you would feel much better if you ate healthy and nutritious food.
Try to eat things you can eat with one hand, as you’ll be holding, feeding, burping and rocking your baby for much of the day. For example, almonds, carrots, low-sugar granola or an energy bar and string cheese (that last weird combination was my favourite), with lots of water. Stock up a few weeks ahead of time so that these snacks are waiting for you when you get home.
I could run errands, sit down for lunch and eat with both hands, or my partner and I could go out to dinner.
5.Carrying a Baby
This advice for young mums is not for everyone, not all mums and not all babies, but carrying your newborn baby can be a great solution for you and your baby. I started carrying my son when he was just a few days old, and the skin-to-skin contact helped strengthen our bond and breastfeeding relationship.
It was also a guaranteed way to put him to sleep! Once he was snuggled up, I would go for a walk and stretch, and he was out in the fresh air. I could run errands, sit down for lunch and eat with both hands, or my partner and I could go out to dinner.
6.Take Care Of Your Breasts
You will probably try to breastfeed, even if it is only for the first few days or weeks at home. If your partner doesn’t believe you, tell him or her to put a clean finger in the baby’s mouth. If you have trouble getting a good hold, cracks, bleeding or even swelling of the nipples may result.
Be sure to wash them well after each meal and cover them with a cold washcloth. Then apply a balm to help them heal. Also massage your breasts and use warm compresses to unclog the ducts.
7. Focus on You And Your Family
My closest friend and I were pregnant at the same time and we constantly compared our observations. And, of course, we continued to do the same thing when our babies arrived. But sometimes comparing observations can make you feel like you’re failing. For example, if your baby doesn’t gain weight as quickly, or if your friend succeeds at breastfeeding and you don’t, or even if your friend’s husband changes more diapers than you do!
I guarantee you, whatever you do, you’ll be great. Every family’s journey is different, so focus on what’s best for your family.
8. Remember that Each Step is a Step and That it is Temporary.
Your newborn will not be a near-blind, wobbly-headed eating machine that needs to be fed every two hours forever. And you won’t be a moody woman who’s forbidden to exercise for the rest of her life. That’s the way I felt!
But a friend of mine gave me a good piece of advice for a new mom, which is valid everywhere: if I kept telling myself that every step would eventually pass, that there was a light at the end of the tunnel, it would help me get through each one of them. And it did.
Snowplow Parenting, or How to Ruin your Child’s Life Believing you’re Doing the Right Thing…
At a time when the Ex-Desperate Housewife is making headlines in the international press for having given bribes to prestigious universities, the phenomenon of the snowplow parent deserves more than ever a spotlight… Explanations.
The era of the helicopter parent has given way to another parental movement. That of the snowplow parent. This mother or father who anticipates the slightest obstacles in his child’s life so that he never falls, never fails, never fails.
Are You a “SnowPlow” Parent Who Doesn’t Know?
The “snowplow” starts with a behaviour that is, at first sight, normal: the parent takes an interest in his child’s life (nothing frightening so far), is over-involved in all aspects of his life, deals with his slightest problems, is in almost permanent contact with his teachers, keeps a close eye on his extracurricular activities? He constantly navigates between his child’s present and future. Anticipation is his main concern.
From primary to middle school, through high school and not forgetting higher education: he intercepts unpleasant surprises. No repetition, no mess, no litigation, the snowplow parent arranges everything. But once he’s embarked on this vicious circle, it’s impossible to let his child get back on track.
Between overprotection and the quest for a bright future, these parents are people whose good intentions, taken to the extreme, are destructive.
The Snow-Plower Parent, Pushed To The Extreme
In the United States, several celebrities – including Felicity Huffman (Lynette Scavo in Desperate Housewives) – find themselves at the centre of an admission fraud scandal. A dark story of huge bribes allegedly paid by Hollywood personalities to “facilitate” their children’s entry into prestigious universities.
This case illustrates – in its most serious form – how far a parent can go to build his or her child’s success from scratch. It is a case of wavering between ploy, omnipresence and even cheating so that he or she never experiences failure or frustration.
If, less exceptionally (and illegally), snowplow parents think they are doing their children a favour by removing every possible and imaginable obstacle, this is not the case. The gift is poisoned…
In an article in the New York Times, which analyses this phenomenon (far from being new) popularised via the American news, the journalists relayed a very telling sentence by the author Julie Lythcott-Haims: “The goal is to prepare the child for the road, instead of preparing the road for the child”.
And it is in this nuance that the error of the snowplough parent lies. Instead of preparing his child for life, he modulates life for him with all his strength. This exacerbated cover is harmful. As the Mirror reminds us, in 2014, teacher and author David McCullough pointed out that this parental behaviour made children anxious, dependent and narcissistic.
Adoptive Parents: Understanding Adoption, A Developmental Approach
As they grow up, children develop a positive image of their identity and psychosocial well-being. Gradually, they develop a self-concept (how they perceive themselves) and self-esteem (how much they like what they see). Eventually they learn to feel comfortable with themselves. Adoption can make the normal issues of attachment, loss and self-image even more complex. Adopted children must learn to accept and integrate into both their birth and adoptive families.
The child who is adopted while still an infant is affected by adoption throughout his or her life. The child who is adopted later learns to accept adoption at another stage of his or her development. Those who have experienced trauma or neglect may remember these experiences, which further complicate their self-image. Transracial and cross-cultural issues and special needs may also influence the child’s adoption experience. All adopted children, to some extent, grieve for their biological family, heritage and culture. Adoptive parents can facilitate and contribute to this natural grieving process by using the language of adoption (e.g., birth parents and birth family) and by discussing adoption issues without embarrassment.
This statement examines how children understand adoption throughout the transition from infancy to adolescence. Issues related to transracial adoptions are beyond the scope of this statement and will not be addressed.
EARLY CHILDHOOD AND INFANCY
During infancy and early childhood, a child becomes attached to and develops a relationship with the primary caregiver. Prenatal issues such as length of gestation, maternal drug or alcohol use and genetic vulnerabilities can affect a child’s ability to cope. The temperament of all those involved also comes into play.
As a child approaches preschool age, he or she develops magical thinking, using the world of fantasy to explain what he or she cannot understand. The child does not understand reproduction, and he must first realize that he has had a natural mother and that he was born the same way as other children. Even though a child can repeat the story of his or her adoption from the age of three, he or she does not understand it. He must first grasp the concept of time and space, which he usually acquires between the ages of four and five, in order to understand that certain events happened in the past, even if he does not remember them. Children need to understand that places and people exist outside their immediate environment.
By telling the child the story of his or her adoption at this young age, parents can learn to feel comfortable with the language of adoption and the story of their child’s birth. The child needs to know that he or she has been adopted. The openness and comfort of the parents creates a supportive environment for the child to ask questions about the adoption .
Operational thinking, causality and logical planning emerge in the school-age child. The child attempts to understand and master the world in which he or she lives. They are experts in problem solving. They realize that most other children live with at least one member of their biological family. For the first time, they see themselves as different from other children. He may seek to explain why he was adopted and experience feelings of loss and sadness. They begin to see the other side of their adoption story and may wonder what is wrong with them: Why did their birth mother put them up for adoption? The child may feel abandoned and angry. Aggression, anger, withdrawal or sadness and self-image problems are normal at this age. The child attempts to rephrase the parts of his or her story that are difficult to understand and to compensate for painful emotions. As a result, daydreaming is very common in the adopted child as he or she attempts to deal with complex identity issues.
Control can become an issue. A child may believe that he or she has no control over the loss of one family and the entry into another. He or she may feel the need for reassurance about daily activities or may demand repeated explanations for simple changes in the family routine. Transitions can be particularly difficult. The child may have a genuine fear of abandonment, have difficulty falling asleep, and even have nightmares of being kidnapped.
It is useful to explain that the birth mother made a loving choice in putting the child up for adoption, that she had plans for the child’s future. The child may need to be told this explanation over and over again. In addition, there are some similarities between grief symptoms and symptoms related to ADHD. Educators should be wary of labelling a child as such when, in fact, the child’s behaviour is part of the normal grieving process. Parental patience and understanding are essential at this stage of the adopted child’s life. Parents can be proactive in informing school staff of their child’s normal adoption-related grief.
The main developmental task of the adolescent is to forge an identity while actively seeking independence and separation from his or her family. The adopted adolescent needs to develop an understanding of both sets of parents, and this can lead to a sense of belonging conflict . In early adolescence, the very loss of childhood is an important issue. The adopted adolescent has already experienced a loss, which further complicates the transition to adolescence. This period of development can be difficult and overwhelming. Adolescents may experience shame and loss of self-esteem, especially since society’s image of natural parents is often negative.
The adopted adolescent will want to know the details of his or her genetic background and uniqueness. They will reflect on themselves and their adoptive family to identify similarities and differences. He or she will try to establish where he or she belongs and where he or she comes from. All teens may be naturally reluctant to talk with their parents, and adopted teens may avoid sharing questions about their origins with their parents. They can keep their thoughts to themselves. This information seeking by adopted teens is very normal, and parents should not perceive it as a threat. Rather, parents should accept their child’s biological and environmental heritage to help them adjust to this reality .
The child’s interest in adoption varies throughout the developmental stages of childhood and adolescence. As the child moves from one phase to the next, he or she acquires new cognitive abilities and psychosocial structures. They perceive adoption differently and often have new concerns and questions. These issues may diminish until they move into a new cognitive or psychosocial phase. Parents can facilitate this developmental process by being informed, supportive, and repeating the adoption story to their child. Their child’s grief is real and should not be denied or avoided. The support of informed caregivers is invaluable in helping adoptive parents and their child. While this statement has outlined common issues related to the child’s perception of his or her adoption, a consultation with a psychologist or psychiatrist is required if the child is suffering from depression or has symptoms that interfere with daily functioning. Paediatricians and other professionals who care for children should provide preventive advice to adoptive parents on relevant issues related to their child’s understanding of adoption.
There are good, common-sense resources for parents. Lois Melina’s Making Sense of Adoption: A Parent’s Guide is an excellent, practical source of adoption information for parents. Joyce Maguire Pavao’s book, The Family of Adoption addresses the whole family’s adoption experience throughout the family life cycle. Finally, Talking to children about their adoption: When to start, what to say, what to expect, is a short but informative article for parents that was published in the Adopted Child newsletter.
10 Reasons To Be A Stay-At-Home Parent
Not everyone is allowed to stay at home with the children, but if you have a choice and are afraid of being bored, here’s something to encourage you to stay “at home”.
Stop Running In The Morning
It’s one of the first benefits you notice when you stay at home. When you’re a stay-at-home parent, you don’t have to rush to get ready and yell at the kids to do the same thing. You don’t have to get up so early either and you’re less afraid to take the time to say hello to the other parents at school because you don’t have to worry about being late.
Seeing Everything, Knowing Everything
By seeing young children for longer, you will naturally witness more. When they walk for the first time, when they laugh heartily, when they sing at the top of their lungs, and when they learn to count, you will be there.
React Faster When Something Happens to Children
If there is an accident, a sudden illness, an emergency such as when your child has a fever at school or anything else happens, you are there, close by, ready to respond. It’s a safety feature that parents of chickens really appreciate when they’re at school.
With more time, you cook more and everything you cook is less salty and less fatty. Plus we have more time to try new recipes. The rest of the family will also be able to enjoy it, and if you get a taste for it, you can prepare good meals long in advance and still save a lot on food.
Eliminate Expensive Costs
The morning and evening commute is expensive and time consuming. By staying home, you can cut back on a whole range of expenses, from work clothes to gas, from the 10 a.m. coffee, lunch and restaurant to daycare, parking, etc. So you won’t have the same income, but you won’t have the same expenses either!
Participate in School Activities
When the Halloween or Christmas workshops take place, you can go into the classroom and help the teacher if they ask you to. It’s very nice for parents who can finally put faces to the children they hear about so often at home. It’s also nice for your child who is proud that you’re there and you’ll also have the opportunity to go back and get something you forgot instead of moping around all morning!
Doing Homework Earlier
When you’re at home, school ends about two hours early. These two hours can be used for homework, bathing or any other evening activities. That way, in the evenings, you can spend some time with your family relaxing.
In the end, it’s the whole concept of quality time that makes sense with a parent at home!
Take Advantage of The Benefits of Telecommuting
If you stay at home because you are teleworking, you may be afraid of losing work time because of the presence of children, but in reality, you will have no more meetings and no more distractions, and for many jobs, this is good news. If you’re not teleworking and you miss productivity, you may be able to put one of your hobbies to good use and finally move forward with a personal project that has been close to your heart for a long time.
Being a Master Of Education
Another benefit of caring for children full time is that it instills our own values and provides an education that is 100% our own, since no one else will come into the school. We really end up saying to ourselves that we did the right thing by taking this time as the children grow up.
Looking The Way You Want To Look!
Last but not least, when you’re at home, you’re less subject to the dictates of fashion. Without necessarily neglecting your appearance, you can still have the look that suits you best and makes you feel like yourself every day of the week. Total freedom is great!
Adoptive Father: 10 Tips for Being a Great Dad
Taking on the role of adoptive father is a new responsibility that can be stressful at times. To take care of your child as a leader, here are some tips.
Have you just become a father? You’re as happy as you are stressed. Are you going to live up to it? How can you be a good father? As Father’s Day approaches on June 18, here’s how to live proudly as a father, so that one day you can hear your child say that you are “the best dad in the world”!
Share Moments of Complicity.
Hugging, bottle-feeding, caressing, massaging, rocking, consoling, etc. help reassure and soothe your child while fostering your emotional ties. “These tender gestures also contribute to your child’s healthy development”.
Take advantage of this time to play with your baby. Catch his feet when he’s lying on his back, for example, by making pedalling movements. In addition to amusing your child, “these little games allow him to become aware of his body in movement”.
Get Involved From Birth.
Young dads are becoming more and more involved in the birth of their child. “Your objective: form a trio as quickly as possible,” advises the author. A good way to “find a healthy and lasting balance” and take your place as a father. For example, he recommends taking care of the baby as much as possible, especially if mother is breastfeeding. “Your turn to bathe, change or put him to bed!”
Look at Life at Child’s Height.
We tend to forget those little details of everyday life that make up the beauty of this world. “The fish spawning in the river, the clouds gliding in the sky, the flowers flying in the wind, the sea air you breathe in your lungs, or the familiar taste of hot chocolate”… Share these moments by observing and discovering together the universe that surrounds you.
Tell Him That he is Safe.
Children and adults alike constantly need reassurance! “Armed with your benevolence and love for him, don’t forget to tell him that he is important to you and that you are there for him. In this way, you will help to grow the wings that will allow him to fly away without fear when the time comes”.
Accept that You may be up Against Someone More Stubborn Than you Are.
Your child will say “No” to you very often and will always think they are right. Until now, your partner was the only one who stood up to you. But your baby could take her place! But, try to reassure the young father, “a child only feels he is the sole holder of the truth until he is 25.”
Give Him a Push.
Accompanying his child at every stage of life is essential, encouraging and reassuring him with kind words. “While our children love to try new experiences, they sometimes lack that little nudge that will help them take the plunge,” says the author of the book “Becoming a Superdad in 365 Tips and Tricks”. “You’ll see that they’ll end up knocking down mountains because of you,” he says. Children also need a sense of confidence as they grow up.
Live in the Moment.
“With children, the past doesn’t exist and the future doesn’t exist. That’s probably why they savour every moment to the full without asking themselves these questions that immobilize us adults,” says Olivier Barbin in his book. So enjoy every moment with your little one, without thinking too much.
Organize his First Birthday Party.
A first birthday party is something you can’t forget, and if he’s still too small, souvenir photos will remind him of those memorable moments when Daddy was in charge that day. “Prepare a nice snack to which you will invite one or two of his best friends from daycare, for example. A good training for the years to come, when you will have to referee sack races and other water games”…
Keep an Eye on His Movements.
As children grow up, they touch everything and run around. Keep an eye on him while letting him discover what’s around him. But you will still need to plan “a good dose of magic kisses and possibly some arnica granules”.
Set Limits in a Positive Way.
Would you like to teach him not to play near the stairs? Rather than forbid him to play near the stairs, “show him all the play space at the other end of the room”. A good trick that will avoid awakening his desire to transgress!
Art of Parenting: The 12 Good Parenting Tips
Are you a new parent or are you already a mom or dad and sometimes wonder how well you’re going to do as a parent? Parenting isn’t always easy, but rest assured, you’re wonderful and you’re already doing a great job with your kids. In this article you’ll find expert advice to help you be even better. This is not a competition for the best parent award. The ultimate goal is to make your child a confident, independent and caring person. So make sure you don’t forget this.
1-Express Your Love And Affection:
Love and affection are the best things you can give your child. Tell him/her often that you love him/her with kind words, a loving smile, a proud look… Kiss and cuddle your child more often…
2-Listen To Him:
Listen to your child carefully and pay attention to what he or she tells you. If your child is not very talkative, he or she probably won’t want to talk if you ask direct questions like “How was your day? They will talk spontaneously when they feel like it or when they remember something they want to talk about. He will also find it easier to answer indirect questions about what happened during his day at school.
3-Be Present In His Life:
Take an interest in what he is doing. Talk with him about his projects or what he has accomplished. You can talk to him before he goes to bed, during breakfast, on the way home from school… As often as possible, share activities together (reading, crafts, drawing, gardening, shopping, etc.). Teach him things that will be useful when he grows up. Take part in his school life as well. Take an interest in his school programme to discuss it with him, attend school meetings, follow your child’s progress… Never miss the first day of school or the end-of-year party. Following and participating in school activities shows your child that he is important to you!
4-Support Your Child:
Encourage your child in everything he does from an early age, it will help him to evolve.
5-Never Compare Your Child To Other Children:
Comparisons between brothers and sisters should also be avoided. If your child doesn’t succeed at something, don’t humiliate or ridicule him or her.
6-Value Your Child And Nurture His or Her Self-Esteem:
Emphasize his qualities and achievements. Value their initiatives and efforts so that they are proud of what they accomplish and that it makes them feel good and has a positive impact on their development. Involve them in daily tasks to show them that you believe in their abilities. Also follow these tips to help your child develop self-esteem.
7-Teach Your Child To Be Independent And Responsible:
Empower your child from an early age. Start with easy things: throwing his handkerchief in the garbage, watering plants, putting his shoes in the closet, putting away toys and books, learning to dress… Children can help with some household chores, they will easily learn how to do the shopping, politely address a saleswoman, pay the parking meter in the car…
8- Establish A Good Discipline While Remaining Calm :
A good discipline should be neither permissive nor repressive, and should not include violent acts. Be firm while remaining serene. Get used to controlling your anger and managing situations without shouting, hitting or insulting. Remember that you need to set a good example for your child.
10- Apologize When Necessary:
If you sometimes lose your temper, if you have said or done something you regret, you must apologize. This way, your child will learn to apologize when he or she makes a mistake.
11- Be a United Couple:
If you are both involved in your child’s education, your child should consider you as a united couple as long as you accept and refuse the same things, especially regarding discipline and rules to be respected. Don’t argue with your spouse in front of your child, this may frighten him or her, and the child tends to reproduce what he or she sees. If you are a separated couple, make sure that you are on the same wavelength regarding the rules you and the other parent must follow.
12- Be Fair:
If you have several children, spend as much time with each child. Treat them fairly and never compare them to each other.
To be a good parent, try to enjoy the time you spend with your children and to manage difficult moments, especially when you are tired and stressed and your child pushes you over the edge. Take a step back, breathe, observe those little people you’ve given life to and do your best to be the super parent they think will make them great kids.
WHY CAN A CHILD COMPLETELY REJECT ONE OF HIS PARENTS?
By Elodie Cingal, Our psychotherapist
Seeing a child reject a parent has a term: Parental Alienation Syndrome or Parental Alienation.
Parental Alienation Syndrome, is a controversial term, its existence and consequences are decried or even ignored.
What is this controversy? Why does this term – or pathology – has no place in the legal system and is not recognized by all medico-social stakeholders?
When should we determine whether the child’s arguments are relevant? Should the child’s request be answered in the affirmative?
What are the short- and long-term consequences for the child?
Not everyone has the same definition. Some argue that PAS is a combination of a smear campaign by a child against one parent and brainwashing by the other parent to reinforce the rejection. Others confine themselves to observing that a child may reject a parent entirely without arguments, reasons that are appropriate or proportionate to the intensity of the rejection… And so on !
Because the phenomenon is essentially found in the rejection of the father. And one of the explanations for this rejection would be that the mother participates in this process of annihilation of the father. Women then work actively to defend the maternal cause and, without denying the existence of the S.A.P., reduce its frequency and intensity.
How can it be justified for a child to reject a parent without justification? The rejected parent, the father, has necessarily been wrong (mistreatment, abuse, neglect…). And then, “the truth comes out of the children’s mouths”. Not to mention that abusers tend to deny and accuse the victim of fabrication and lies !
The S.A.P. does not belong to any official classification. It is not recognized by the DSM4 (the classification tool that allows for the most precise definition of mental disorders and therefore a diagnosis).
Is the P.A.D. a pathology of the individual or is it a factor that reveals a familial pathology?
Should it be observed as a syndrome or as a symptom? A syndrome is a set of clinical signs and symptoms that a patient is likely to present in certain diseases, or in clinical circumstances that deviate from the norm and are not necessarily pathological. Is the rejection of a relative an element in a pathology or is the pathology diagnosed by a set of symptoms?
Richard Gardner is the psychiatrist who discovered this syndrome and it is decried for several reasons. He was not a salaried employee at a university as he said he was, but a volunteer. He did not have his writings published by a publishing house but founded his own in order to publish his writings. He did not succeed in getting his discovery recognized during his lifetime.
He would have been a misogynistic man and would have explained sexual paraphilias (paedophilia, sadism, rape, necrophilia, zoophilia, coprophilia…) as a stimulant for reproduction.
These controversies paralyse the consideration of this disorder.
The point is to stress that a child can reject a parent without reasonable grounds, and that is enough for us to think about.
How do we Think about this Problem of Rejection of a Parent by a Child?
In the contexts of separation / divorce and only in these contexts, justice and shrinks have to deal more and more with children who reject one of their parents. Most of the time, neither judges and lawyers, nor psychiatrists and psychologists are aware of the phenomenon. They therefore tend to listen to the child’s request, and in the absence of understanding, they tend to endorse the right to break the bond with a parent.
Why is the father the one the child chooses to reject?
Is the father a worse parent? Is he an individual perceived as harmful by the child? And last but not least, is this perception well-founded?
It is by relying on statistics that we will understand why the father is the one who is most often rejected by the child. After separation, 80% of children are entrusted to the mother’s primary residence.
And it is precisely because 80% of the children are with the mother that they reject the father. Women are no worse than men, but children reject the absent parent – the one who is more powerless to defend himself. Moreover, the child, in the mother’s home, is at the heart of her suffering, in her daily life, and will identify with her more fully. Identification with the father is difficult given the short time spent with the child.
It is therefore much more a mode of custody that facilitates the emergence of a parent’s rejection than the sex of the parent. It is nevertheless possible, but much rarer, to see a custodial parent totally rejected by the child.
Why Does this Rejection Emerge in Separation/Divorce Contexts?
During the separation phase and the one that follows, the parents are no longer the parents known by the child.
Mom, normally so sweet and attentive (or other), has become an absent woman who cries, who screams, who withdraws, who imposes herself, who argues, who … In short, my mom, but she is no longer really my mom!
Dad, who used to play so much and who was worried about me (or other), forgets to play, to question, doesn’t have time to bathe anymore, brings me to school withdrawn. In short, my daddy, but not really my daddy anymore! And then, Dad has left, he lives elsewhere and I see him less.
So the child who doesn’t understand much about these grown-up stories is just as fragile as his parents.
What’s more, the child hasn’t finished building himself up (whatever his age, even at 18) and normally he refers to his parents to decide what is right or wrong. There, in this context, he is faced with a loss of values. Both parents contradict each other, bicker, the habits, i.e. the elements of family security, are broken… Which one is right? Which one is good? Which one will be the guarantor of his mental health?
The weakened child will have to turn to one of his parents. He’s gonna have to choose which parent is the least dangerous to his equilibrium. And the choice will not necessarily concern the one he prefers but the one he lives with because it is the one who will be the guarantor of his daily life.
Let us remember that we are in a context where no parent is abusive, negligent or abusive. We are faced with parents who are normally satisfying but temporarily lost in this context of separation.
The child chooses the custodial parent because he is the one who will provide for his greatest needs and he is the one who can make his life a haven of peace or a hell. The custodial parent therefore has an additional ascendancy over the child. The child therefore loses his freedom to prefer this or that element, this or that parent. He feels that he must take the custodial parent entirely.
The process of rejection often begins with simple things and with no desire to do harm. For example, when the child leaves for his father’s home, it is natural for the mother to question the quality of her child’s life with the other parent. The “in the other’s home” is mysterious, so we imagine and create anxiety. We are told to tell the child “when you are at …, you call me. You tell me if everything is okay. If you are afraid you call me … I can come and get you if there is a problem”. What does the child hear? At the other there is potential danger while here I am safe. The child then begins to observe what is wrong with the other person, which can cause anxiety and then reports it to the mother.
The mother, in her fear of losing her place with the child, will then, consciously or unconsciously, use it to ensure her child’s love. The child then sees a caring parent wanting to protect him from another potentially dangerous parent. The process is set in motion and depending on the quality of the relationship between the father and the child and on the story, the rejection will take place more or less quickly and more or less deeply.
But why Doesn’t Rejection Emerge in all Cases of Separation/Divorce?
If the custodial parent reminds the child that despite the separation situation and the war between the two adults, the other parent still has a place and must be respected, rejection cannot be established. I would say that for a child to decide not to see his or her father in a radical way, it is because the other parent has authorized it, either by letting it happen or by wanting to do harm.
Often the custodial parent insists that the child go to see the other parent, but does not force the child to do so. It would be enough to say to the child, “It’s your father, you’ll go and that’s that. He may not be the ideal father for you, but he is still your father. You are a child and it is not up to you to decide what is right for you. I’ll talk or email your dad and ask him to make an effort. Thus, the child hears:
the respect maintained for the father,
reminding him of his place in the family
reminder of the family value system
that the custodial parent has heard his or her complaint and feels concerned
that the dialogue between the parents is not totally broken, even if it has to be done by text messaging.
Previously, it was forbidden for a child to speak badly to a parent or to refuse an activity. Why suddenly give that power to the child.
What is important to understand here is that by wanting to do the right thing – letting go and agreeing to change the basic rules (politeness, respect for the parent, etc.) – the custodial parent reinforces the child’s sense of power and allows the creation of rejection. Justice by giving an exclusive residence to one of the parents makes itself an accomplice to this emergence, … but justice does not understand or ignores this problem !
The emergence of the phenomenon of rejection therefore depends on the mother’s management and maintenance of values and habits. Some mothers let it happen, not with the aim of harming the father, but in the naive belief that he is compensating for the loss related to the separation/divorce.
However, there are mothers who understand the power they have over the child and the time she has with him.
How can a Parent Instrumentalize the Divorce Situation to Ensure the Child’s Rejection of the other Parent?
It is indeed possible to see some parents manipulate children in order to ensure the “ownership” of the child.
For the custodial parent, it is very easy to pit the child against the other parent, especially if the mother is overprotective and intrusive.
All they have to do is :
openly disparage the other parent;
share with the child adult problems (especially those related to the separation), thus valuing the child and making the child feel that he or she benefits from a more special relationship with the mother;
positioning oneself as a victim of the other parent;
negatively interpreting every word and action of the other parent. For example, “Your father didn’t come, you see, he’s abandoning you” or “Your father came, you see, he doesn’t respect your wishes”. The other parent is disqualified no matter what he does;
Isolating the other parent: not maintaining telephone or physical contact, not respecting visiting and accommodation rights, not maintaining contact with the other parent’s extended family;
Not informing or misinforming the other parent about school or extracurricular activities, medical appointments, … ;
Federate an anti-father entourage that expresses itself openly in front of the child;
It happens that, without wanting to, each of the parents may apply some of these elements temporarily (a few months) while imposing respect for the other parent. There is a period when, unintentionally, the legal war makes the parents intractable and insensitive, but this does not make them alienating). It is the chronicity and duration of the association of several of these elements that will allow the emergence of the child’s sense of rejection.
The other parent, most often the father, finds himself powerless in the face of his child’s rejection. Having little time with his child, he does not know how to change his perception. He feels trapped and quickly feels that everything will be interpreted against him. He is more and more isolated and therefore more and more fragile and less inclined to set the record straight. The downward spiral is set in motion and everyone, father, mother and child, loses control over future events.
How do you Decide whether or not a Child should Continue to see the Non-Custodial Parent? Should the request be Granted?
Is it possible for a child to reject his or her parent when the parent has done nothing wrong? We all know that separation is the ideal place for grudges, anguish and reactivation of repressed problems.
Let us remember that a child, even at 18 years of age, is not capable of understanding the consequences of his or her actions and words. He does not have access to all the elements to make his decision and he does not have the competence to do so.
When a child rejects a parent, he or she is not aware of the downward spiral he or she is setting in motion. The child does not have the ability to have an overview of family issues, and even less so in a divorce situation. This argument alone should limit the child’s words to what they are: words that are meant here and now in the context of conflict between his or her two parents without the child really understanding what is at stake.
And what about a teenager? The same argument applies. He doesn’t yet know how to separate the issues. Everyone believes that a teenager says things that go beyond his or her thinking to provoke and test the limits. And as soon as it comes to rejecting the parent, one should consider that he or she has measured his or her request, that he or she understands the consequences. What kind of adults are we to say everything and its opposite about young people?
I would therefore tend to refute the child’s request. But how can we be sure that we are not handing the child over to a harmful parent?
Several elements need to be investigated:
Are there Real Objective and Proportional Elements that Justify the Rejection?
If a child, regardless of age, rejects a parent, it is above all a question of investigating the reasons for the rejection. Has the parent been abusive? Did he or she abuse? Did he or she neglect? Has he or she been sexually abusive? Has he or she developed an unhealthy relationship with the child? In short, are the child’s complaints admissible?
In order to decide whether or not to accept a child’s request for dismissal, the judge and the psychologist will have to determine whether the child persistently denigrates the parent when there is no justification for this attitude in the facts.
It should also be pointed out that an abused child tends to find defences for his abusive parent and even tends to shut himself up in a sacrificial silence so as not to risk losing the few positive elements in his relationship with his parent. When the child openly discloses the abuse and asks to live elsewhere, it is not uncommon for an abused child to ask to maintain the relationship with the abusive parent but in a safe space. An abused child loves his or her parent despite everything. Nevertheless, the arguments are real, concrete and above all proportional to the child’s request.
What to do when the child complains of psychological abuse? How to determine if it is real on the part of the parent? It is difficult to establish a psychological diagnosis, especially since it is linked to the child’s perception of the narrator and the parent’s denial. It will then be a question of obtaining objective elements that are repeated over time:
repeated verbal or non-verbal humiliations
attitude of marginalization
persecution through mockery and bullying
Isolation of the child in family and social life
Threats and emotional blackmail
Excessive educational requirements, unfeasible with failure
Abusive and aberrant punishments
In short, the question to be answered is this: Are the elements of complaint disproportionate to the demand?
For example, a child who expresses feelings of hatred, fear, rejection…in relation to his parent because the parent never came to his football games or because he was not allowed to bring friends home or because the child was afraid that his father would get angry when he came back with bad marks or detention…etc…
Has the child thought about the justification on his or her own?
Were the arguments raised found by himself or by an outside person? The aim here is to see whether the arguments correspond to the natural maturity of a child.
For example, a 4-year-old child accuses his father of shaking him when he was a baby. First of all, the child can’t have a memory of the event. Since when have we been able to remember babies? So we are entitled to ask ourselves, where did this accusation come from?
Or children who accuse one parent of not giving money to the custodial parent to feed them when the custodial parent is well-off, and the other parent is out on the street…and so on.
Does the Wording of the Arguments Correspond to That of a Child of His or Her Age?
Each age corresponds to a skill in language and communication. A nine-year-old child once told me that he had to run away from his mother’s house at the age of 3 and a half and that his mother had filed a complaint against his father because he had run away from home. Has a 9-year-old ever been seen to use such a vocabulary?
The absence of guilt at the idea of making the rejected parent suffer.
A child feels guilty when he confronts his parent in a negative way. Even in adolescence, when the child assaults his parents in different ways, he feels guilty. This is often what leads to spirals of conflict between the child and his or her parents. However, the child often ends up coming back to the parent and tries to make up for it … until the next crisis.
A child who openly criticizes his parent without any sign of guilt and persists in putting him to death with light-hearted arguments such as “he fell asleep at my shows” or “he wanted me to play tennis when I didn’t want to anymore”, is a child who has disconnected from the reality of the relationship with his parent.
Is the Child Able to Recognize Something Positive in his Rejected Parent?
Any child, even an abused child, is able to find positive elements in his or her parent. He cooks well. He helps me with my homework. He gave me a taste for drawing…etc. Whatever! A child who is asked to describe a positive element of the rejected parent often fails to do so. In fact, rejection is so irrational and total that the child has forgotten that last month he loved to play soccer with his father. He will say “my father forced me to play with him every Wednesday. Now I don’t want to play because of him”.
Rejection is generalised to the whole environment and family of the rejected parent.
While the child was close to a friend, a grandfather, an aunt, he is suddenly in rejection of these individuals as well. These individuals are identified with the rejected parent and are rejected with the same strength and absence of guilt.
The child presents himself as the guarantor of the welfare of the non-rejected parent.
While one parent is rejected, the other is described as fragile and in need of support. The child feels that the survival of the custodial parent depends on him or her. The child fully integrates the words of the non-rejected parent. For example, one parent tells the child that Daddy is an alcoholic (which is not true) and the child is happy to tell his mother that he saw him drinking (an innocent aperitif with friends).
How should the child’s words be interpreted? At what point should it be taken? How much decision-making power should be left to the child?
In my opinion, the first element, the relationship between argument and rejection, is the one to which the most attention should be paid. It is the simplest and most objective. A child who rejects his or her parent entirely on disproportionate grounds should not be heard. A child whose application has been granted by the courts or the medical profession is reinforced and reinforced by the rejection. If it does not help to maintain the bond between the child and the parent, the decision ends up breaking it. Hearing the child does not mean blindly accepting his or her request, but taking it into account. It means pointing out to the child that we understand his difficulty but that the decision is very serious and it has been decided to maintain the bond as it was before with his parent.
It is also to remind the child that the role of a parent is to ensure that the relationship between the child and the other parent is maintained. It is also to add that the parent who fails to maintain this relationship will be held accountable. This can be explained by simple things such as intra-family rules of politeness: While the couple was happily married, neither would have accepted that their child refuse to say hello, goodbye or good night to the other parent. The two would have stayed together to make the rules of respect heard by the parent… and more exhaustively of life. This respect for the other parent must continue despite the separation.
The biases to be avoided when making a decision about a child who refuses to see a parent:
To rely solely on the child’s opinion when he refuses to see his parent. “Many shrinks, judges and social workers feel justified in responding positively to the child’s request. But unfortunately, this leads to a distortion of the child’s values. The latter, unaware of what he or she is asking for and of its consequences (I remind you that, according to Piaget, a child has finished acquiring abstract thinking at the age of 16 and therefore the notion of projection into the future and of a global view), finds himself or herself master of his or her own destiny, but above all he or she thinks he or she has power over the adult world.
Hope that both parents can get along. If the child has come to the point where he no longer wants to see one of his parents, it is because the other, without even wanting to harm this parent, has not been able to impose his authority as a parent and has allowed this to happen. Whether by resignation or by wanting to do harm, the other parent necessarily participated.
Short-Term Risk To The child
On the surface, everything is fine, the child works well at school, socializes, sleeps well, eats well, is affectionate, … but the child has lost his ability to bounce back, his ability to adapt healthily to the environment, … but the child has lost his ability to bounce back, his ability to adapt healthily to the environment
The child spends between 4 and 8 days with his father and is at the centre of a campaign to denigrate and highlight all the shortcomings of a parent. At the same time, the child is rewarded by the custodial parent.
Normally, in a sensitive, painful context, the child uses resilience. Resilience is an ability to restore emotional balance when undergoing moments of stress or significant abuse.
Resiliency used by children in stressful situations is generally :
independence which is based on the ability to set boundaries between oneself and harmful individuals. It is a question for the child to intuitively distance themselves from individuals who are harmful to them.
Awareness, which is the ability to assess problems and find solutions. For example, in the context of conflicts between separated parents, the child will learn to say and not to say according to the expectations of each parent. He or she has understood the needs of each parent, identified the risks when affirming support for the other parent, and thus creates a lying and coping skill to be able to maintain a satisfying and non-harmful relationship with each of his or her parents.
The development of satisfying relationships with mentally healthy individuals. The child will intuitively know how to reach out to individuals who will help him or her find balance and a serene environment.
Unfortunately, with the campaign of denigration and the anguish of losing the custodial parent, the child will pervert his resilience in order to come and maintain his privileges with the custodial parent. So there is a distortion of the ability to assess reality and bounce back. The child therefore loses the skills to survive.
Independence is undermined because the child is surrounded by individuals who are all concerned about the rejection of the non-custodial parent. The custodial parent approves and reinforces this environment and invades (voluntarily or not) the freedom to judge the child. The custodial parent therefore loses his or her ability to assess what is positive or not and loses in the process this resilience, which is essential for its construction.
Awareness becomes non-existent because the child has been deprived of this capacity to judge the environment and therefore to adapt to it.
The development of satisfactory relationships with individuals in good mental health becomes impossible because any healthy person would come to question the irrational reasons for rejection. The child withdraws into himself and his anti-parental environment.
In fact, resilient skills still exist but are used to break up with one parent and survive with the custodial parent.
By excluding the father, he no longer chooses people who are benevolent to him and integrates individuals in criticism and anger as normal. The child, on the other hand, actively participates in this campaign of denigration and thus becomes trapped because he can no longer go back.
It is important to understand that the child, even at the age of 18, has no control over the situation. They build up a perverted resilience in order to survive. His daily life is at stake and the love of the only parent who remains the one and only pillar in his identity construction. Not to mention the fact that the child is deprived of identification with his father…
He has also lost his naivety and spontaneity, which are often replaced by a form of cynicism.
He gains in paranoia, apprehension, resentment, loss of sense of identity, loss of self-esteem …
All this will create a new, biased, truncated mode of operation that will be the hallmark of its future relations.
Long-Term Risk To The Child
The child may develop psychopathological, psychosomatic and relational disorders during the period when he or she is not seeing his or her father or mother, such as the inability to manage a relationship with several people, the inability to manage conflict, but also a considerable loss of self-confidence. The child loses his or her ability to judge and estimate events and individuals and must therefore rely on another person to make decisions. A risk of dependency arises and may lead to a long-term inclination towards alcohol, drugs and other forms of addiction.
In adulthood, a child who has rejected a parent because he or she has learned to rely only on one parent to the detriment of his or her own needs will tend to have relationships based on submission/domination. One will find anguishes of rapprochement and difficulties in tolerating psychological intimacy. These anxieties come to protect the adult from the risk of having his or her identity stolen, once again, in part or in whole.
Psychotherapy will even be difficult to define if the psychotherapist is not trained to deal with this problem. Indeed, the psychological and deeply narcissistic abuse of the child has been hidden behind a strong love relationship with the custodial parent. The adult will tend not to talk about the absent parent and to value only the custodial parent.
Top Trending Baby Bames Generator 2020
Why use a Baby Bames Generator?
Choosing your baby’s bame is an important decision you need to make as a parent. It can be fun, but the responsibility of naming another human being can make it a little intimidating. After all, your child will have that name for the rest of his or her life.
You may already have a good idea of what you’re looking for in a name. But your partner, family and friends may have their own opinions.
It can certainly be difficult to get everyone on the same page. It doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. However, it can be very enjoyable. Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect name for your baby, even if you’re thinking of more unique names.
Here are 6 tips for choosing your baby’s Bame
Take your time before choosing
It is necessary to give yourself enough time to choose a beautiful name for the newborn that will last a lifetime, even if it is a good time, to ensure that the name is appropriate for the child.
Determine the type of name
You must decide whether you want to name your child using traditional first names or a new unusual name, and do you want a girl’s or boy’s name or a name suitable for both sexes, and in any case, you will need to talk with your partner to choose an appropriate name that satisfies all parties.
Is the name appropriate for any age?
It’s true that you’re naming a baby… but it’s important that the name you choose can grow with the baby. You may have a really cute baby name… but can you imagine it on an adult?
First you need to ask yourself, will the name you choose for your child stay that way for the rest of his or her life? Or will it only work for him or her in childhood? Some people choose names for their children that express childhood or very old names that don’t match the age we live in, creating hatred for the child’s name and blaming the parents later, so make sure you choose an appropriate name for the newborn that is right for him or her to continue with for the rest of his or her life.
Read More: Pregnancy-Calculator
Wait until you see your baby
You and your partner may decide to name the child after seeing him or her, where inspiration comes from the child’s good looks, from which you get a name that suits him or her.
You have to be slow and wait, in some cultures they say that a child can come to name through the signs he or she makes, and listen to others’ opinions and information about names for different births, but don’t let others impose their opinions on you.
Say the name to see what it looks like.
After choosing your child’s first name, try to pronounce it with the middle name and the grandfather’s name, if you find it homogeneous, light and easy to pronounce, you can choose it, but if you find the first name difficult to pronounce and not homogeneous, you will of course have to rethink another first name that is easy to pronounce.
Use our Baby Bames generator Tool
Our tool has a huge database that stores the first names of girls and boys, which you can rely on to choose an appropriate name for the child.