Unfortunately, in our society, it is common to speak of abuse in its different forms and degrees. It is essential that we denounce these practices, sensitize young people about these behaviors and protect those who are victims of these situations with terrible consequences. However, this is not enough to eradicate violence, abuse, aggression and mistreatment between human beings. The best way to end abuse is by promoting your antagonist: good treatment.
Although it may be more than one, human beings are animals and, specifically, primates. This means that we come from series to this planet extremely immature, or what is the same, without the ability to develop ourselves. It is the typical immaturity of the newborn that makes them dependent on their primary caregiver in order to survive. At the time of birth we need at least one caregiver to cover what we need. That no one has the slightest doubt that not providing the minor with what he needs is a form of abuse called negligence. There are many human needs that we could talk about, but one of them is to be well treated by the people around them. Be careful that good treatment is not something that is limited exclusively to childhood or adolescence, but is essential throughout the life cycle. Don’t we need our partner to hug us or listen to us when we have had a bad day? Of course.
No person, regardless of age, can survive without being cared for by other people. We need our loved ones, their affection, affection and love to be sufficiently adapted and in psychic balance. Moreover, in case this is not the case, it is possible that as adults we are disconnected from our most basic and primitive needs. I once again insist on the idea that we are mammals, primates more specifically, and therefore we are born, grow and develop in command, in tribe. If, as significant adults around our minors, we are able to provide our children with good treatment, we will be promoting good brain development and their childhood. These practices, as positive as they are necessary, are the foundations for them to be healthy and balanced adults in the future. The more needs we cover when they are young, the less problematic we will find when they are adolescents and adults. Please, do not confuse needs with whims or good deals with something that has become fashionable now and that weakens or makes our children more nerdy. Quite the opposite.
The contexts and families that are based on good treatment strengthen, empower and develop empathetic, sensitive and good adults for society. Newborn mothers and fathers have the ability to tune in to the needs of their children. They know if they cry because they are afraid, sad, or hungry. In addition to connecting with the needs of their children, they have the ability to give an adequate response to their demands, or what is the same, they are responsive. The responsiveness It is the ability that the main caregivers of children have, regardless of the age of the minor, to respond to their needs and cover said deficit, be it physiological, affective, social or cognitive. Children will develop in a healthy and balanced way as long as we are empathetic and responsive to their needs. The situation of absolute dependence that characterizes a newborn will only be resolved over the years through the vehicle of good treatment. Children require their primary caregivers to take charge of tuning in to their needs and consequently meeting them. Our role and our responsibility is to give them what they need in the right measure and that they cannot achieve by themselves.
When we talk about the importance of connecting and meeting the needs of our children, we must bear in mind that it is not just about having a will and a positive attitude. I explain. 99% of parents want to develop a healthy bond with their children, but research shows us again and again that only 50-60% of parents develop a secure attachment in their children. This leads us to the conclusion that it is not enough to want, but you have to power. The ability to tune in to the needs of our children and to be responsive is not something that can be carried out only with a positive attitude, since it is necessary to have the necessary resources and skills to be able to carry it out. Everything that has to do with bonds, emotions, relationships and attachment is transgenerational, that is, it is transmitted from generation to generation, from parents to children but not genetically.
Let’s look at an example to try to understand it better. If I have to make a basket, I need wickers, but if I don’t have wickers, no matter how motivated I am, I won’t be able to make a basket. The same goes for links; if we have the necessary skills and abilities, we will be able to transmit healthy and respectful ways of relating to our children, otherwise it will be impossible. For this reason we find healthy links and more unhealthy or pathological links. Parents who do not meet the emotional needs of their children in a sufficient way, both in number and quality, it is not because they do not want to, but because they do not know, that is, they do not have enough wickers to create a basket for themselves . These parents are victims and need help on many levels. They are neglectful, abusive and abusive but, like their children, they are victims. They express love for their children but do not know how to take care of or protect them. In a very high percentage, these parents, in turn, had parents who also did not know how to love them in a healthy way. If they have not been loved, seen or psyched, how are they going to love their children in a healthy way.
Let us remember that affections and bonds are transmitted from generation to generation in an unconscious and automatic way, here what we want to transmit does not come into play but what we can. Now, there is always reason for hope: children who have grown up in environments where their needs have not been adequately cared for can get ahead thanks to restorative figures such as teachers, a close relative or, of course, a psychotherapist . They are the second chance figures. People who are in serious situations, psychologically spoken, are usually those who in their childhood had caregivers who were not affectionate with them, did not trust them and did not transmit their worth and abilities.
In conclusion, all the actions that are aimed at covering what our children need will be tremendously positive for them. Neonates and children need us to be sensitive to everything they need to develop in a healthy and balanced way. For this reason, have no doubt that meeting their needs will make tomorrow, as an adult, a more balanced, healthy and safe person. It is time to go against the current of that social and cultural mandate that says that if you give your child what he needs, he will be a dependent, soft and insecure person. Of course not, quite the opposite. Security can only be reached through insecurity, empathy only develops by being selfish at first, and autonomy is only reached through the vehicle of good treatment and through the most absolute dependence. Therefore, do not get carried away by the insensitive, behavioral and adult-centered voices that are heard very often in our society and that go against the good treatment of children. Try to bond in a healthy way with your child, promote his autonomy, set healthy and respectful limits, help him and teach him to regulate his emotional world, empower him, always look at him unconditionally, tune in to his needs, stimulate him enough and remember that what children want is to be with their mother and father.
Rafa warrior He is a psychologist and a doctor of Education. Director of Darwin Psychologists. Member of the Spanish Society of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy. Author of the books “Emotional education and attachment. Practical guidelines for managing emotions at home and in the classroom” (2018), “Stories for emotional development from attachment theory” (2019), “How to stimulate the child’s brain”(2020) and“Educate in the bond” (2020).