It is stated by child psychologists that between the ages of 3 years and 11 years is an imprint period. This means that childhood experiences between these ages are likely to have an impact on who that child becomes, how they feel, behave and represent the world to themselves in later life.
This is why it is extremely important that a child is given the opportunity to understand their feelings and emotions. Failure to do so could lead to that child growing up and feeling unable to ever achieve their full potential.
Because their brains are still developing, early experiences of bereavement, attachment or parental divorce can have a much greater influence on their understanding of themselves and their ability to regulate themselves.
If these issues are not addressed as they get older they are likely to be at a higher risk than others of involvement with anxiety, difficulty in forming relationships, showing affection and more likely to encounter mental health services. Longer term, these issues might mean they find it harder to parent their own children, hold down a steady job or find any level of personal fulfilment.
In working with schools across the UK, I have highlighted the following commonalities affecting these children;
Bereavement – Children have reacted with confusion or mirrored emotions of those close to them. Some demonstrate concerning behaviours due to the deep loss for someone.
Parents divorce/changes in home life – This causes disruption to their emotional state and has affected their concentration.
Low confidence caused by shyness or negative life experiences.
Low self-esteem e.g. self-doubt, lack of assertiveness, negative beliefs, sensitivity.
Parents have also express their concerns to me in dealing with their children’s behaviour at home. Many are:
• Stop talking to each other
• Being disrespectful
This leads the parents to overreact instead of disciplining in a way that will help to positively change their child’s behaviour long term.
At NLP4Kids, we have developed a wide range of activities and techniques for both the children and the parent. We also offer parents workshops and one to one sessions which focuses on parents learning some of the basic techniques that can influence the way they and their child relate to each other.
For the child, we offer small group workshops which will boost their self- confidence through practical exercises that are effective and simple to learn. By using NLP techniques, children will be able to become more confident and make informed decisions.
By improving and addressing behavioural needs of individuals/emotional needs of certain children, we aim to see improved attendance, attainment, behaviour, progress and emotional health and well-being.
By Gemma Bailey