Feeling of Independence in Children
Some problems experienced in childhood, wrong or incomplete parental attitudes, traumas may cause some damage to the child’s sense of independence. If necessary interventions are not made in the future, problems such as not being able to find one’s identity in adolescence, being able to live independently in adulthood, being dependent on a spouse in a relationship, which continue throughout life, can seriously affect the quality of life of the person.
Personality Development in Children
The process, called the 1st Personality Period, covers an interval that continues until the age of 7. The most important and vital part of this range is 0-2 years. At this age, the child absorbs and internalizes everything that happens around him like a sponge. For example, if the mother feels very bad that day and wants to breastfeed and leave the baby as soon as possible, the baby may become very moody and cry that day. Whatever the mother feels, she feels. If the mother stays away from her baby when she feels bad and gives it to a safe person, if she gives her love and attention when she can communicate well with the baby, the baby who stays away from bad feelings will not feel bad even when his mother feels bad in the future. Because it shows the development of understanding that he and his mother are different people. Thus, the foundations of the sense of independence are laid.
The period called the 2nd Personality Period is the adolescence period between the ages of 10-20. Here, too, a sense of independence can be gained and reinforced by allowing the individual to make their own decisions, respecting their own space, and encouraging them to do something on their own.
When Does the Desire for Independence Begin?
At about 6 months, this situation begins when the baby tries to throw himself back from the mother’s lap. Throwing back is the earliest concrete example of a sense of independence. The child, who wants to discover that there is a world other than the mother’s hug, becomes less and less wanting every day. At these times, it is necessary to leave the child a little free, not to try to hold him constantly, to support him for the progress by not allowing him to be limited in one place.
Crawling and Walking Periods
Babies start to crawl at an average of 6-9 months. This period is critical for babies who are introduced to the freedom to go wherever they want independently of the mother. The baby, who crawls in the same room with the mother for the first time, tries to go out of the room slowly and immediately returns to the mother. What he wants to try here is how far he can go from mother, what will happen when he is away from his mother, and whether the mother is still there when he goes away and returns. During this period, if the mother acts very intrusively, constantly opposing the child such as “don’t go there, come back”, closes the door and lets her crawl only in the areas she has determined, if she gets angry when she tries to get away, the child will feel anxiety and fear in this situation. Because being away from the mother is a bad thing, and if she gets away, it means that something bad will happen to her. In this case, the child refrains from moving away from the mother, and in time he becomes sitting “at her knees”.
In children who have difficulties in the crawling process, especially the parents’ efforts to enforce it, cause more anxiety in the child and delay the walking. Here, the child almost makes it stubborn not to walk. Because whenever he wants, he must stand on his feet, be left free. As long as the parents interfere with this, the child will not be able to realize his own wishes. During this period, things can be done to encourage the child to walk, but it should not be forced.
Which Attitudes Of The Parents Make The Child Addicted?
One of the most wrong attitudes is to insist on eating. The child does not want to eat because he does not feel really hungry, he says he is not hungry. If the parents persistently say “no, you have to be hungry, you have to eat” and try to feed them, after a while, the child will not be able to distinguish his own needs. Because the mother confidently tells him that she is hungry, but she does not feel hungry. These children, as individuals who do not feel their own needs in their adulthood, always expect others to do something for them, and the risk of being dependent on someone is very high.
The second wrong approach is to be overly intrusive about what the child will wear. If you force the child to wear socks even though he says he is not cold, he will not be able to realize his own needs and desires after a while. Be sure, if the child is cold, he will say that he is cold and demand to wear those socks.
The third mistake is a problem that arises from thinking for the child without listening to the child in toilet training. If the child insists, “You have to pee, let’s go to the toilet” insistently, if the child does not listen when he wants to go to the toilet, how will he announce his own wishes in his future life?
Finally, the attitudes towards the child’s emotions can create some obstacles to the child’s being a separate individual. For example, parents buy a toy. The child is not very responsive. His father says, “We bought you a toy, if you don’t like it, how can you not be happy?” The child thinks that perhaps he has given an adequate reaction. Such situations may lead to a tendency to react towards the expectations of the other person by not acting like himself, so he may begin to ignore his own feelings.
Attitude During Adolescence
Children who do not have problems with independence during childhood do not enter into much individuation conflict with their families during adolescence. Knowing that he can do what he wants within certain controls, the child does not try to push the limits of the parent or try to stubbornly try different things to show that he can make his own decisions. However, coping with the problems arising from childhood can be a difficult process with the effect of hormonal changes in this period. In this case, leaving it too relaxed can also backfire on the adolescent in providing excessive control. If the family finds it very difficult, they can encourage the adolescent to go to therapy or seek help from a specialist to get support themselves.