Your child is growing up fast, and so is his brain and thought process. He now experiences various conflicting emotions, is making new friends, and is faced by tough situations in life. To help him along the way, you need to be his friend, philosopher, guide - something you can do only if you understand his mind.
So, how to understand child psychology? We present a systematic procedure to get you started on understanding and predicting your child's behaviour and psychology. These child psychology tips for parents are expert tested and mom-certified - and who can know children better than the ones who brought them into the world, right?
Step by Step Procedure to Read Your Child's Mind
Observe your child :
Notice how your little one eats, plays, communicates and spends his/her time. You will find out how your child is growing, and how well he adapts to changes in his environment. This way you'll be able to gauge his temperament, and how flexible he can be, mood-wise. It's one of the best tips to understand child psychology.
Being a friend is important, but parenting is your first job :
It's true that being more casual and friendly with children can make them more comfortable with the idea of opening up to you - but in the end, your child might not agree with some of your decisions even if it's in his/her best interest. Instead of spoiling your child by making sure they agree with all you have to say, be more open minded about what they have to say and offer the right advice without judgement or blame.
Spend quality time with your children :
Even if you have a hectic schedule, try to set aside two-three hours just for your kids and use them to do fun activities like pretend-play together, go outdoors and play, and even watch a favourite movie or read a book together. You'll get new insights on your young one's likes/dislikes and understanding child psychology.
Involve your children in household chores :
Carrying out household chores is an activity experts recommend for children of all ages. It'll teach your child taking responsibility for his share of work, seeing it through and develop a good work ethic.
Don't snub your child :
Children have egos too, and just as you would feel hurt if made to feel irrelevant - they do too! As a parent, you would see that children have an egocentric view of the world and some of their opinions might not fall in line with yours. Even so, pay attention when they voice their views and make them feel heard and relevant, without snubbing them away.
Instill confidence in your child by talking to them :
Talk to him about his day at school, about his friends and how he generally feels in new situations. Talking to you will help him gather the confidence to face new situations and people.
Ask for their opinion :
Knowing that their opinion matters to you will instill in your kids a sense of autonomy and individual thought. They will analyse issues that you are working on and it will also hone their problem-solving skills.
Stay in-sync with their likes/dislikes :
A key to knowing your child better is to stay up-to-date with their preferences, which are also very fleeting and ever-changing as they grow up. Not only would this maintain that special bond between you two, it would make shopping for gifts much easier!
Honour your commitments :
Once you promise your children something, make sure you fulfill it too. This would be exemplary for them as they would also grow up knowing the importance of keeping one's word. At the same time, they would know that you mean what you say.
Don't be too overbearing :
Understand your young one's temperament- they might love sharing and opening up to people or they might prefer spending some time alone. In the latter case, don't force your child to socialize or share more. They might begin to feel uncomfortable and shut you out altogether.
Notice what's left unsaid :
Instead of constantly questioning your kids, be more observant of their actions, body language, words and expressions. The thing about child psychology is that children, especially teenagers, often say things that might not reflect their true state of mind.
Let your children act their age :
Allowing your kids to act their age is much healthier, psychologically, than coaxing them to act more mature than their years. Childhood is a precious time of their lives that they will not experience again.
Let your child socialize at their own pace:
Based on whether your child has an extroverted or introverted persona, he may socialize and make friends really easily or may take time. Gently helping him to talk and play with other children is a good idea, instead of blaming him for not being able to make friends quickly.
Understand his fears and insecurities :
While growing up, different children develop different fears and insecurities- be it fear of failure, body image issues, fear of facing strangers etc. All you can do is acknowledge these and help him through it, by understanding the root cause.
Explain your reasons :
Make sure your children know why you do the things that you do- this will make them better decision-makers and help them understand you better as a person, as well.
Rules shouldn't be set in stone :
Granted that setting some standards for acceptable behaviour for your child and expecting him to meet them is important- these standards and rules should not become shackles for him. Be flexible in your discipline approach and let go of misgivings.
Let your interests be known :
Just as you need to know your child to develop a stronger bond, your child needs to understand your preferences as well. Only then will he understand you well enough to see you as his friend, and an individual instead of just a caregiver.
Fight for what you feel is right :
When an argument arises, it's better to stick to your guns if you feel that's best for your kids. Giving in once would mean that they'd expect you to give in to their demands again.
Enhance his self-esteem :
Positively rewarding and praising your children for little achievements will enhance their self-worth and esteem. But make sure you don't overdo it either, as that would make them more complacent and over-confident, instead of motivating them.
Establish schedules and time management :
Establishing a sound sleep-routine, mealtimes, screen-time etc. teaches your children to not lean towards excesses and manage their time and resources better, which would help them throughout life.
Let them express themselves :
Self-expression is very important for a healthy growth of one's personality. Letting your children be as they are and not trying to change them according to society's traditional ways goes a long way in avoiding psychological issues and conflicts later in life. Your children will be happier for it.
We hope these tips to understand child psychology have helped you in some way. Reading your child's mind can be difficult, and occasionally frustrating. Just remember that no one knows him better than mom does!
How do you read your child's mind? Share your mommying secrets with us!