“I don’t like talking to children,” says 28-year-old Maria. – I cannot behave naturally with them, I tense up and feel uncomfortable. Although I understand that this is wrong … “
Clinical psychologist Tatiana Voskresenskaya reflects: “Modern Western society imposes certain obligations on children. While tribal communities do not require love for other people’s offspring, and many animals are also indifferent or even hostile to them. Socially prescribed affection and reproaches in the absence of it often cause only protest and irritation … “
I’m too old
“In different circumstances, our“ I ”can be in one of three states,” explains the transactional analyst Vadim Petrovsky. – We behave either like one of our parents; or as the child we were in the past; or as the adult they have become.
Anyone who is uncomfortable in the presence of other people’s children is probably in the ego state of an Adult. He restrains the manifestations of the child part of his personality, such as spontaneity and emotionality. For example, because they were not encouraged by his loved ones in childhood. It is also possible that he did not have an example of how a caring parent behaves, and he was unable to develop this side of the personality in himself. “
When meeting with other people’s children, he either, contrary to his intention, slips into the position of a Child, entering into children’s games, or retains the position of an Adult, assuming a serious look. And in the role of a Parent, he does not feel at ease.
“Unconsciously, he resists giving what he did not receive himself, and even envies an overly spoiled child,” continues Vadim Petrovsky. “If at the expense of his own child he fills in his own gaps (“ let at least my son (daughter) get what I didn’t receive ”), then other people’s children cannot help with this or are an unpleasant reminder.”
I’m afraid of being exposed
Unlike most adults, children are natural and frank in their manifestations: they can cry loudly, be indignant, laugh out loud, stare at us, do everything that is considered indecent and ugly. Whereas we follow the rules, control our behavior, hide our immediate desires – sometimes even from ourselves.
“The answer to the discomfort in the society of children is often that we are trying to hide something, for example, real feelings,” explains Tatiana Voskresenskaya. – At the same time, we guess that children see right through us, as is typical for them, and can put in an awkward position: “This aunt is evil!” And if we can still shout at our child, then we cannot force a stranger to remain silent. “
I am aware of my imperfection
Next to someone else’s child, we are more acutely aware that as parents we are imperfect, explains psychotherapist Christine Brunet: “Out of fear that we will be judged by the parent of another child, who is softer or, on the contrary, more strict than us, we take a defensive position: a kid as badly brought up, noisy, disobedient … “
The logic is this: someone else’s child is behaving badly, which means that his parent is raising him incorrectly, and we are raising ours differently. In this case, dislike for other people’s children is a manifestation of the fragility of our self-esteem, the desire to find confirmation that we are doing everything right.
What to do?
Reconcile with your childish self
“Be more generous to yourself,” advises Vadim Petrovsky. – Remember what children’s activities can please you: swings, bubbles, ice cream, cartoons … and do not deny yourself this, no matter how “silly” it may seem at first glance.
Get yourself back to being natural
We try not only to behave as expected, but also to feel …
“What for? – asks Tatiana Voskresenskaya. – Maybe you should “let go” yourself? As members of society, in behavior we follow the rules accepted in it, but our emotions belong only to us. If we allow ourselves to experience real, and not “intended” feelings, then we will experience noticeable relief, and the child will have more confidence in us. “
Accept your imperfection
“Are you afraid of others being judged? Why are you so sensitive about possible criticism of your parenting method? Try to find answers to these questions to get to know yourself better, ”suggests Christine Brunet. And don’t try to be the perfect parent. Accept that you are an ordinary father or mother and do everything you can for your child.