After working all day, I had a hard time getting off work and had to play with my children?
Why don’t you take TV/tablet computer/mobile phone as [nanny] and be happy and relaxed?
Many mothers may have learned that this is not good for their children’s language development. Today, we invite teacher Chen Shi, a child psychological consultant, to tell you further that this way of bringing children has what’s shortcomings for children’s psychological development.
The mother plays with her child while playing with her cell phone, and the child cannot hear her talking to herself. Such [companionship] is not an effective companionship.
Is what an Effective Companion?
[Effective companionship] is to accompany children to do some things TA wants to do, so that children feel that they are loved by their parents, their thoughts and wishes are valuable, and their emotional feelings can be shared and supported.
1. Accompanying ≠ Education
For children’s development, companionship and education are both necessary, and the two often merge with each other, but the starting point is different:
- Accompanying is child-centered, and parents follow their children’s thoughts and rhythm: [I (parents) see you (children) want to be what, I follow you, maybe you can learn what from me]; Education is somewhat instructive. Parents start and let their children learn and do it: [I (parents) know that you (children) need what, I will guide you, maybe you can find that you need this].
Good companionship can promote parent-child relationship and children’s autonomy and self-confidence. These are the basis of education.
2. How is effective? Which is invalid?
[People are not in their hearts] is a typical example of invalid companionship. At this time, children cannot feel [being accompanied].
Children’s need for companionship is also more important in quality than in duration. Long-term ineffective companionship will make children face strong frustration. It is not difficult to understand the [strange bedfellows] between couples who lack communication.
With children, we should pay attention to these principles.
Here, I would like to recommend the PACE principle that consultants need to follow in children’s psychotherapy to parents as a reference for their attitudes when accompanying their children.
1. Playfulness is fun
When accompanying children, create a relaxed and interesting interactive atmosphere.
Using the soft tone of telling stories to express interesting and happy feelings can promote children to have more positive and positive experiences.
When happy, children feel that the anxiety of being evaluated will be reduced and their internal creativity will emerge more easily.
Of course, it is not to say that when children are sad, they should try their best to amuse them immediately, but to increase their relaxed and interesting experiences in normal times in this way, so that children can better adjust their emotions and states when facing emotional pressure.
2. Acceptance Acceptance
Actively express to your child that you accept the wishes, feelings, thoughts, impulses, motives and perspectives behind TA’s external behavior.
Acceptance is the core of a child’s sense of security. It is not right or wrong to accept TA’s inner world without judgment or evaluation. It is like making the child realize [I see, I understand you, it is not bad or very good].
Of course, the motivation to accept children does not mean that we need to accept children’s behaviors that may hurt others or ourselves. At this time, we may need [education] to cooperate.
Interested in understanding the meaning behind children’s behavior can help children perceive their inner world and the reasons behind their behavior.
Curiosity can promote parents to look at problems from their children’s point of view. Children often do things that parents don’t like. Sometimes children actually know that it is inappropriate to do so, but they don’t realize why they do it.
When parents feel dissatisfied, they will easily accuse their children and ask [Why do you want XXXX? ] Although this is a question about the cause of the behavior, the focus of the parents’ statement at this time is to criticize and imply a prediction: [I can’t think you have what’s reasonable motive to do so.]
When judged or even criticized, the child’s instinctive reaction is to defend himself, oppose or lose control of his emotions, rather than to explore the real reason why he did so. When parents’ language and intonation express simply curiosity, the child is more likely to stop the behavior at that time and open his heart.
Note that the curious attitude does not make children feel the pressure to answer.
Actively let children know that you care about and understand TA’s inner world. No matter in happy or difficult times, you are willing to accompany TA and support TA.
The English initials of these four points together happen to be the word PACE (pace, pace), which implies following the rhythm of the child and experiencing TA’s inner world from the child’s experience and perspective.
What should parents do?
1. Quality first, do your best
From the above-mentioned principle of companionship, it can be seen that high-quality companionship is not easy. It requires not only time but also rich emotional input.
Parents have work and housework to undertake, as well as their own needs for study, leisure and entertainment. The time and energy that can be used to accompany their children are limited.
Many parents did not actually experience being accompanied by high quality when they were young. Naturally, it will be more difficult to learn how to effectively accompany their children.
Therefore, the first point I want to tell you is: lower expectations, don’t be too demanding of yourself, and try to make yourself enjoy the process of accompanying your children.
2. Reunion Time, Stable Expectation
As the saying goes, good steel is used on the blade. The time when children crave their parents’ company most is the reunion time when they return home every day.
Finish some of the most necessary things quickly and spend a while with your child immediately. It doesn’t take long, 15 minutes is enough, and then go to do housework and deal with some of your own things.
Of course, it is good to be able to spend more time with children, but for children, it is very important that TA can roughly judge under which circumstances it is possible to be accompanied by parents stably during what every day.
In this way, children can easily adapt to their parents’ rhythm and avoid frustration by managing their expectations.
STEP 3 Treat it in good faith
Sometimes parents are in a bad mood because of certain things, it will be difficult to give their children effective companionship. You can tell your child your state in a way that is easy for your child to understand.
For example, use your fingers to make a small circle and tell the child: “Mom’s patience is only so small now, you can play for a while by yourself, or you can play with your father, and then play with you when Mom’s patience returns to (draw a big circle in the air).”
In this way, children can understand that their expectations cannot be met in time, not because TA is not good.
4. Ritual assistance
Some ritual actions can help parents put aside some of their daily trivial troubles so as to accompany their children wholeheartedly.
For example, when you get home, change into comfortable household clothes, wash your face, and then accompany your children. Or simply list your worries in a small notebook and say to yourself, “Notepad will help me save these things first, and now I can safely accompany my children.”
5. Listen more and learn less
Listen to the child’s voice more and do a good job so that the child can express himself to his heart’s content.
Less reasonable content, avoid the tone of teaching people, the focus at this time, is not to teach children the specific content of what.
When children’s thoughts are fully listened to by their parents, children often take the initiative to listen to their parents’ thoughts.
Step 6 Face to Face
In the process of accompanying, parents adjust their posture to see each other’s facial expressions and eyes as easily as possible.
7. Pay attention to the synchronization of non-verbal information
Children’s language ability is far inferior to that of adults, but they are very sensitive to non-verbal information such as tone, intonation, expression and body posture.
Parents not only need to be consistent with the content and way of speaking, but also need to keep consistent with their children’s emotional state at that time.
For example, if parents say in a bland tone [I am happy to see hello], children will naturally feel strange.
8. Make yourself fun
Accompanying children can also be a time for parents to enjoy happiness and return to childlike innocence.
Don’t carry it, relax, let yourself follow the children also become fun, can play, companionship will be more quality.