All children will have times when they disobey the adults who care for them – at home, at school, with relatives, or in the supermarket canned-goods aisle. The effects of a young child’s misbehaviour can range from mild embarrassment to broken goods, minor wounds and damaged friendships. How much naughtiness is normal and when does it become a problem that needs treatment or intervention?
In psychology, there are degrees of naughtiness that are defined somewhat by a child’s age, but more so by the number and types of “naughty” behaviours that they do:
There are times when most young children are reluctant to say goodbye to their mum or dad and head off to crèche/kindergarten/school/child care. Some children are quite spectacular in their protests, while others prefer the silent, cling-like-an-oyster-to-a-rock arrangement.
Some children will experience an intense anxiety experience that is excessive and developmentally inappropriate (not quite right for their age). Children with Separation Anxiety Disorder experience such intense anxiety that it interrupts their lives (and the lives of their family members) and causes an impairment in their education, their school and family relationships and thier social functioning.
It is great when we do a good job of something. There is a real sense of accomplishment when we set a goal and meet it. But…..there is a real difference between working hard to achieve a goal and perfectionism.
People who have a problem with perfectionism measure their self worth on their ability to achieve really high standards. If they do not meet these exceptional standards, then they berate themselves, feel unworthy and push themselves even harder to achieve further and higher goals. Perfectionism can drive people to a point where it is difficult for them to be happy and can be associated with excessive tension, stress, worry and depression.
Yes – it’s on! Mother’s day is upon us and so, too, the carefully crafted junk mail and television commercials – Images of blow-waved children bouncing onto a perfectly ruffled bed on a sun-streamed morning bringing breakfast on a delicately manicured tray while a handsome man with the just right amount of five o’clock shadow smiles on from the bedroom door. Ahhh! Motherhood!
We all know that motherhood is rarely perfect. But – how much leeway is there from “perfect” before it starts to have a detrimental effect on families?