Childhood emotions and their traces

Childhood emotions and their traces

The mother of Alex, a 4-year-old boy, was walking with him in a city park when a dog suddenly attacked her. A great coldness came over her body, her skin became sweaty and her heart began to beat fast: she was gripped by intense fear. Even so, she had time to carry Alex while several people helped her and led the dog away. Everything happened very quickly, but she experienced a very strong emotion.

The symptoms she presented correspond to the body's response to an alarm, in which the nervous system triggers its defense mechanisms. These responses are not only triggered by danger or fear, but also by anger, rage, joy or love.

If we know about the impact or negative reaction that this event provoked in the mother of the little one, it is worth asking how this same event will have affected the child. Experiences as the one described can provoke in people the appearance of a Phobic Disorder, in this case it would be a specific phobia to dogs, for that reason it is necessary to consider them and to know how to face them so that the children learn to handle fears and anxieties.

The lived experiences leave their traces

From an early age, human beings learn to identify pleasant sensations from unpleasant ones. It happens to all of us that we remember experiences from the past. The fact that we remember past experiences shows that, despite the passage of time, what caused us pleasure or displeasure leaves its mark.

Certain events that occur in childhood, especially if they are repeated, are very intense or of great significance, have a lasting effect and influence later behavior. This shows the importance of emotions in children's lives; they are an expression of their emotional sphere, which can suffer when faced with very strong stimuli or an inadequately stimuli.

From birth, the child experiences different emotions. At the beginning of life, the most elementary emotions related to feeding, displeasure with the sensations of cold or heat, humidity, or due to the state of helplessness in which the child finds itself, predominate.

While it is important and indispensable to meet the baby's needs for food and shelter, it is of great value that the baby feels protected by the mother's actions and affection from the moment it is born, and then by the adults in the family environment.

The child's physical health is just as important as his or her emotional health.

People make sure how they carry an infant because they know that its spine is still weak, at the same time they watch the position of its head because it is not yet supported, on the other hand the fontanelles are still open. Many forget that just as they take care of these physical or anatomical aspects, they must also take care of the emotional aspects.

Sometimes I have seen children crying inconsolably and I have heard an adult say "Let him cry so that his lungs develop and so that he does not get used to being held in your arms every time he cries". This is not always a valid assessment. Those who think and act in this way can provoke imbalances in the little ones, this can be a way of transmitting them unnecessary states of anxiety, provoke feelings of resentment, impotence or helplessness, and also a feeling of loneliness, among other harmful states.

To the extent that we manage our children's situations better, we will help them to create and maintain their balance; thus we will promote their harmonious growth and development, with security and confidence, which will allow them to be active, stable, productive and, above all, happy young people and adults.

Emotional disorders have different causes. Some begin in the cradle itself, because adults often have such erroneous attitudes and concepts as the one mentioned above about crying, thus causing "traumas" in the child that will later reflect negatively on their behavior and emotional health.

Every person needs his or her own individual experiences, but there are many that are unpleasant and do not have to be repeated in the offspring. The child should not be a "recipient" of adult conflicts. Both the use of force and excessive attention from adults are paths that should not be trodden. A less thorny path is better: that of joy and serenity to act with balance.

The control of emotions in the child

The child can lose control over his emotions if states of anxiety, fear and resentment are created. If their ability to discriminate between good and bad, fair and unfair is destroyed, they will have unusual aggressive reactions and different complexes and disorders that will hinder their normal development.

For example, we often talk about the child who wets the bed, a matter in which the whole family is interested and tries to obtain results. The normal thing is that the child wakes up when he/she feels this physiological need, if he/she does not do it, he/she keeps growing and the problem continues. This is an indicator that he/she does not have the adequate control over his/her sphincters to avoid night urination, and most probably he/she does not have a good emotional control, usually due to difficulties in the world of the adults around him/her.

Whether it is the wet sheets, the huffs, the hyperactivity, the melancholic attacks or the difficulties in learning, all are negative emotional reactions of the children in response to the inadequate ways in which they are taken care of and educated, or expression of conflicts in the dynamics of their family.

Let us always keep in mind what the famous children's writer Graham Greene once wrote: "Every child comes into the world with a certain sense of love, but it depends on the parents, on the friends, whether this love saves or damns."