Childhood is a special time where we learn a lot about the world, people, friends, family, and ourselves. Children learn from their parents and often model after them. Whether you have children or you’re considering having them, learning about child development is important. You will gain insight into how the mind of a child works, and how your own childhood experiences may have impacted your life. Childhood can be idyllic or traumatic or possibly a mixture of both. Learning about this period of our lives can be enlightening and even surprising. The articles in this section aim to show you more about this developmental period of our lives. Once you become an adult, putting yourself inside a child’s mind can be inherently challenging. Reading about how a child’s mind works and learning what to expect during particular developmental phases is important.
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Childhood can be a special time in a person’s life. You’re learning about the world, bonding with your parents, spending time with your friends, and everything is new. The innocence marked by childhood means that children have a point of view that is unique. When raising children, it can be important to remember that you are always making an impression on them. Kids can have a lot to say and may have insight into different areas of life. In many ways, you are teaching them, but they are also teaching you. Whether you have your own kids or you are working with them as a teacher or in some other capacity, children have a lot to show us through the way that they perceive the world.
What We Learn As Children
If you are the parent of a child, it can help to remember that you are watching a young person explore, learn more about themselves, and try to make sense of their world. You may have a lot in common with your child, or they may seem very different from you—whether it be their interests, personality, or preferences. Whether you are a biological parent or have adopted a child, you can significantly influence this person’s life, perhaps more prominently than anyone else can.
One of the most notable things about being a human being is learning. We are always learning, no matter how old we are. Children know this intuitively and continue to seek out knowledge through exploring, observing, playing, asking questions, and more. Children often learn by actively seeking out knowledge and passively experiencing the world around them.
Kids learn lessons like self-control, decision-making, and problem-solving. Parents might teach their children personal hygiene, how to cook, and how to communicate effectively with other people. While children are reliant on their parents, as they grow up, they gain more and more independence. Teaching your children helpful life lessons can help ensure that they go into the world as capable human beings.
Remember What Childhood Felt Like To You
If you want to be there for a child, one of the most important things you can do is to emphasize that you want to understand their feelings. Even if you have kids or work with them in professions like teaching, this doesn’t necessarily mean you remember what it was like to be a child. However, you can take some time to think back on your childhood and try to recall what it felt like. This may help you relate to the children in your life on a deeper level and understand them better.
When a child opens up to you, it can be vital to listen intently and value what they have to say. Validating their feelings can help them feel safe, supported, and secure. In the future, they may be more likely to open up to you if they believe you are there for them. Think about what you needed as a kid—odds are, the kids in your life need similar things. Whether that’s comforting them when they cry, teaching them to ride a bike, or showing them how to do new things, you can be an essential part of their lives.
While childhood can be a special and beautiful time, some people experience childhood trauma or abuse. Physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse during childhood can be a common but painful experience that may take years or even a lifetime to heal from. People who have been abused can be scared to develop new relationships, develop learning problems, have long-term health issues, or experience mental health conditions. If you are a survivor of childhood abuse, it can be essential to seek treatment for your past so that you can heal. If your child has been through something traumatic, getting them support as soon as possible can speed up their recovery.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse in any form, reach out right away to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) for immediate support, advice, and assistance.
Online Counseling With BetterHelp
Sometimes, watching your child struggle with different types of problems can begin to take a toll on you as their parent. Maybe your child is having behavioral issues in school or acting out at home. You might be the parent of a neurodivergent child or the caregiver of a child who is living with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). If you are having difficulties with what your child is experiencing, online therapy can be a helpful resource to discuss these challenges. You can search the online network of BetterHelp counselors and connect with someone that specializes in parenting. From the comfort of your home and according to your busy schedule, you can speak with your counselor through in-app messaging, phone calls, or video chats.
The Efficacy Of Online Counseling
Online counseling can be ideal for parents who want mental health support but are struggling to find the time for it. One study assessed the effectiveness of a web-based therapy intervention on parental psychological flexibility and emotional regulation. Researchers found that the intervention had positive effects in each of these areas. Additionally, parents’ mood and coping skills also improved throughout the program.
Childhood is one of the most distinctive times in our lives. It’s where we learn important life lessons, celebrate significant milestones, and start to grow into the person we’re going to be in the world. Raising a child can be rewarding, but it can also come with plenty of challenges. You don’t have to walk through these difficult moments on your own. Speaking with a licensed online counselor can help you make wiser parenting choices and learn how to take care of yourself while caring for your child.