You hate milk, but your child keeps insisting that you should drink it with her, because she adores it. Until your slight irritation. Then she cries, but she can't explain why... And you lose your patience. When do children begin to know how to talk about themselves, and understand that others can have different ideas and perceptions? Knowing the stages of your child's social development, and in particular the theory of mind, can help you to improve your relationship with your children. Let's see how!
Photo by: Billy Huynh
Social development : from me to you
I was waiting anxiously for the moment when my daughter would have been able to express her imagination, her certainties; and explain me the reason of her despair without having to enumerate infinite inconclusive hypotheses. (Because usually the answer was the only obvious thing I hadn't thought of).
You know, those times you're serenely playing together, with so many smiles. You get distracted 30 seconds for any reason, until desperate screams don't make you turn abruptly: what could possibly have happened? Honey, what is it? But in response, you only get louder cries.
You try to hug your creature, but she rejects you.. Nothing, you have to try to understand. Did you get hurt? You lost the game? Is it because I went to the kitchen for a moment to get a drink leaving you alone? Men probably feel that way when women respond "Nothing" to the question "What is it?".
But is it so obvious that the use of words coincides with the ability to talk about oneself? To understand and verbalize needs and desires, and inferences on the emotions of others? Are the two learnings figuratively like the bearing poles of a ladder, independent but interconnected, or do they need further support?
In other words: how do I explain to my son that if he doesn't tell me what's wrong, I can't help him and he will continue to cry unnecessarily?
And when will he understand that in the morning I need to leave the house on time and for me it is not important if he sits on the right or on left in the trailer of our bike, as long as we hurry?