How family influences children’s attitudes towards school, what to do with bad friends, and how to reduce psychological stress.
On the eve of the Day of Knowledge about School Problems, we talked with clinical psychologist Andrey SKATOV.
Sooner or later?
Andrey, why do children go at the age of 7, what is the psychological peculiarity of this age?
– 7 years is a golden standard. Usually, by this time, the attention span of children increases, and perseverance is formed. A lesson at school lasts 40 minutes, during this time the child can sit still and his attention will not switch from the educational process.
But in practice it happens differently. It all depends on the upbringing, home environment, how overloaded the child is with gadgets. It is necessary to take into account the error of the environment.
– Some parents want their child to go to school from the age of 6 …
– It is important to understand that in addition to the wishes of the parents, there are objective factors. Earlier, it is possible to send a child to school if he is assiduous, stable, with a calm, basic skills are formed. It is also important to consider that the age difference can be additional stress for the child.
An environment can be formed in the classroom that children will try to make such a classmate an outcast.
– Some parents, on the contrary, are in no hurry to take their child to school, they say: let his childhood last another year.
– Very often we project our needs onto the child, act out what we lacked in childhood. Children become a field for correcting our mistakes. Here you need to evaluate more objectively, do everything first of all for the benefit of the child, and not your fantasies.
Whims or problems
– From September 1, a child needs to get used to a new regime, a new place, a team. Is school always stressful?
– Stress and anxiety depend a lot on the family. If the parents are anxious, worried, getting their child to school, become nervous, pale, then, of course, the child will be infected with this condition. Anxiety comes from the environment in which the child is formed.
If grandparents are anxious, parents are anxious, then the child will be very anxious. And his adaptation period will pass with certain difficulties, experiences, maybe even colds, which clearly respond to stress and anxiety.
At the same time, we cannot always track our condition ourselves, it seems to us that we are calm and stable, but in fact we are not. The child carefully evaluates all this, so he is anxious.
– How long does the period of adaptation to school take?
– Everyone has it differently. There are a lot of nuances here, starting from the perinatal period, in what state the mother was when she was pregnant. The family environment also influences – what is the situation at home, and the kindergarten – how the child behaved there, how well he built contacts with peers.
– If a child does not like school, he does not want to go there, is it just whims or an indicator of some problems?
– Maybe an indicator of the problem. But there may also be a reflection of the reactions of adults. Adults are often capricious, they say: “Oh, it’s Monday again, faster would be Friday!” This is supported by popular radio stations: “We are all living, weekend!”
People create emotional buzz around the work week. The child catches it. Because school is, in fact, work too. And if we allow to be capricious, to negatively assess the working week, then the child will behave in the same way.
– But the child can be uncomfortable and because of the situation at school, in the classroom.
– Maybe. I often hear from parents that the school is unbearable, the teachers are not motivated, they just recite their lessons without being involved in the process of pedagogical education. You have to understand that choosing a school is a roulette wheel. Even if there are many good reviews about the school, there is no class for class.
It is difficult to predict what kind of children will come, what kind of psychological, and possibly mental, problems and disorders they may have. Yes, quite a hostile, aggressive environment sometimes develops. And the child will need to develop socialization skills so that he can defend his rights and interests. It is important.
We often form a child that is comfortable for us, obedient. And when he finds himself in an environment where it is necessary to show some qualities, character, he is not able to do this, because his parents suppressed him at the first stage of development. As part of interaction with peers, he becomes a victim of bullying, ridicule.
Yes, adults can also show aggression, but they have a more developed volitional mechanism, they can control themselves, comply with the rules of behavior. Children show their darker sides more.
– Where does aggression come from in children? Why do they start bullying classmates?
– It is always a combination of many factors. Maybe the baby was born with an umbilical cord entanglement, oxygen starvation affected the functioning of the nervous system. Or perhaps he has neurological problems or mental disorders.
Or the child himself often faced aggression from the parents. If the father asserts himself, humiliating the child’s mother, then the child, seeing this, can behave in the same way towards other children. There are many options. But usually, there is no one reason, it is a combination of factors that intertwine, and a pattern of behavior is formed.
About gadgets and friends
– Now children spend more time with gadgets than with their peers.
– I recently read the news that China has begun to severely restrict its IT companies, which, in fact, now occupy 70-80% of the gadget market. Limitations have been established on gaming applications at the legislative level: on weekdays – an hour, on weekends, holidays, holidays – 2 hours.
This is a big blow to the gaming industry, but this is done in the interests of children and the country. Now every family has a phone, and there you can see how much the child uses YouTube, social networks, games. And set limits. We need control. And it is important not just to prohibit the child, but to show by your example.
If the parents are buried in the phone, and their gadgets are taken away, the child feels injustice and, of course, this will further form resentment, which in adolescence will manifest itself in aggression towards adults, leaving home.
This is especially common in families where only one child is growing up, who is conveyed by attention and demands. He is developing the ability to defend himself. And he begins to do it in such an inadequate way. But this also occurs in large families.
Children always learn not by words, not by what we explain, suggest, forbid, but by example. If we do not read anything, do not study, then the child begins to show unwillingness to attend the lesson, motivation decreases to a minimum.
– Bad friends often appear around the child, swear words and lies begin to slip through. How to neutralize their influence?
“Unfortunately, even talking to parents at a school meeting will not solve the problem. All people have different levels of intelligence, culture, and worldview. There are people who live in a world where they believe obscene words are permissible.
We are all in our multiverse, depending on our level of intellectual development, values, culture, spirituality.
Here it is necessary, as far as possible, to explain to the child the difference. And not to say that Petya is a fool, that’s why he says that. This does not work. And to tell that we are all different, this is a question of upbringing, to cite as an example how children were brought up in gymnasiums earlier in tsarist times, so that the child would become interested.
– How to explain this?
– It is necessary to communicate with the child, to feel, to know that he understands, in what categories he thinks. And gradually inform. It should not be that you live in your room, and he – in his. You work, he learns. So let him go and get good grades.
He should see in his studies not only requirements, but also some kind of interest in his development, so that there is an understanding that he goes to school not only for the sake of grades and not in order to say: “I am smarter than Petit, better than Masha”, but because school is a training of the intellect.
An intellectually developed, educated person perceives the world in a different way, and can organize his life deeper and more interestingly, in society to achieve more on the material level.
– School is stressful for parents too. Everyone wants their child to study well.
– An adequate adult understands that all children are different. Someone has a more developed auditory side of perception, someone has a visual or kinesthetic side. One child is more creative and less rational. The other is more technically sophisticated. Therefore, scolding a child that he is not successful in some subjects is like scolding fish, that they do not know how to climb trees, they were not created for this.
In some countries, the inclinations of the child are assessed in order to adapt the education system for him and pump his talents. Our system of equalization and standardization sometimes traumatizes children. And, often, a child who finished his studies with Cs can be happy and successful than an excellent student who only knows how to learn and does not have communication skills.
In my practice, I saw a lot of children – excellent students (more, by the way, girls) who study in order to be the best. Yes, you can be the best at school, at the university. But then the person is judged by other qualities. It is important to be able in some situations not to think linearly, to show ingenuity, which is not always formed in a child who is sharpened for a good grade.
Of course, this is not always the case. There are also C grade students who graduate poorly, and there are also harmonious excellent students. Excessive perfectionism is not needed, then the person can calmly endure the situation, without stress.
– In addition to school, the child begins sections, circles, tutors. Does such a load affect the psyche?
– Here, the French cartoon “The Little Prince” is very indicative, where a mother for her daughter on a large board made a schedule of studies, classes right up to adulthood, right down to who to be friends with and what holiday to go to.
Often, the child’s psyche is overloaded, he does not receive the skills of self-organization. Everything was painted for him. And when working with children, who have 5 sections each, it is clear that they are experiencing terrible stress, because they do not have time, everything becomes more complicated for them at school, they need to prepare for a concert, for a competition.
They are faced with panic, anxiety states. And this is a big trouble.
– How to reduce the psychological stress?
– Don’t forget to rest. People often come to me who want to solve a problem. I begin to explain to them that they need to get enough sleep and rest. They say: “No, we need to turn off the problem, but in life I don’t want to change anything, I will live in stress, I like that I’m exhausted, at the last moment they manage to submit the report, pay the bill, close the loan ..” People themselves create stress for themselves, and children are reflected in this.
From my example, I can say that I have fond memories from childhood, how I went with my parents to the forest, in the spring – to look at the ice drift on the Oka, with my grandfather – to pick mushrooms. We went to the dacha, walked. Such moments create calmness, warmth, the feeling that there is a place where you do not experience stress, where you do not need to compete with anyone, to prove something. And loved ones are not stressed. For the child, this will be support and support. Then the adaptation is easier.
In order for a child to strive for something good, it is necessary to show by example. This is a very simple formula.