Message from the Executive Director

Perspectivei27j "From Incomprehensible Behaviors to Direct Self-Expression"

@Letfs consider what we adults can do for children to allow them to express themselves more directly when the behaviors in their daily life are incomprehensible.

@When we have a group consultation with the mothers, a child will often enter the room to look for their mother. Even after seeing their mother, they will show incomprehensible behaviors such as walking round and round the room, touching other mothers one after another, crawling under the table, etc. Why doesnft the child go straight to their mother? There is a reason for this. Letfs observe their facial expressions and the direction of their eyes, their motherfs attitude, and the overall atmosphere.

@ If the child heads straight for their mother, the mother naturally calls out to them, smiles or holds them. But if the child doesnft go directly to them, the mother usually continues talking and does not address them, even though she does care. This is probably because the mother herself wants to talk more and is concerned about bothering the other mothers by interrupting the conversation. The childfs behaviors eventually escalate: Climbing tables, jumping around, or trying to climb the window railing. The mother canft stay silent if their child goes that far. She stands up and tries to stop her child. But the child resists by pulling themselves back, because their mother still doesnft understand the difficulty they have in wanting to approach them but not being able to, because she is talking. In the end, she is at a loss and becomes angry at the child who wonft listen.

@When you see your child enter the room, it is ok to stop the conversation, so please look at your child and send a message to them that you are there for them. If your child still doesnft come to you, please send a clear message by turning your body toward them. It might send a clearer message, if you gesture to them to gCome here!h by opening your arms. At the same time, we ask for other mothers to cooperate by telling the child, gYour mother is over here.h As expected, the child who used to wander around by themselves will go directly to their mother. Both the parent and child have beaming smiles. Just as we observe them, a child observes our facial expressions and attitude and then acts accordingly. This example teaches us that a change in the motherfs attitude reassures the child and helps them to express themselves more directly.

@Everyone feels closer and more open with a person who approaches them with a tender look in their eyes. We would like to re-examine our attitude and communication skills without deciding prematurely that a child is acting strangely through their behavior only, and put these changes into effect wherever possible.

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