Message from the Executive Director

Perspectivei29j "Children Who Have Strong Anxieties About Strangers"

@ There are children who get nervous and demand to be held by their mother when they meet a stranger or who canft leave their mother when they go to a new place. These gHitomishirih are children with strong anxieties about strangers. Letfs consider what gHitomishirih means, and think about the way we can support such children.

@As a starting point, how we understand gHitomishirih is important. Some mothers who come for consultations are worried, stating gIf my child counts on adults too much, their relationships with others might not broaden.h or gI wonder if my child wonft be able to play with other children.h, and try to let go of the clingy child. Unfortunately, even some specialists suggest, gIf a child stays with their parents, they wonft develop social skills, so it would be better to join some kind of group as soon as possible.h When a first time mother hears this, they become hasty, feeling that their child must get used to people and taking them to crowded places, or entrusting them to staff at kindergarten or daycare centers, while wondering if itfs OK, even though the child hates being separated from them. However, it doesnft go as well as hoped. Some children canft get used to the new environment and become clingier. They are often seen as having personality problems or disabilities by being framed as a gcowardh or a gchild who canft find independence.h

@When viewed from the perspective of child development, gHitomishirih is not something to overcome. It is an important behavior in the process of growing up in a healthy manner. It suggests that the child has chosen a person important to them and has observed the attitudes and relationships of the people around them. Therefore, we should not think of gHitomishirih negatively and forcibly separate the child from their mother. The most important thing is to try to communicate with the child in a way that is reassuring and that they can understand. If a childfs anxiety of being separated from their mother is accepted and they have experiences of being respected, they will develop a sense of safety and trust, and become more motivated.

@However, when mothers receive criticism such as gYou overprotect your childh from people around them, even though it is their first time raising a child, they tend to blame themselves, thinking gMy child canft be apart from me. I wonder if my childcare method is wrong.h You should have confidence in the fact that you are trusted by your child and shouldnft think of it in that way. Emotional support can become the basis of positive thinking for anyone.

@There are many adults who used to depend on their parents or have strong anxieties about strangers, who now live confidently. We often hear that a gcrybabyh grew up to be a strong young man. Personality is created by experiences and encounters. In this way, we would like to place importance on everyday interaction with children and watch over their growth in the long term.

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