When offending someone else's child: is this my business?
Every mother knows how to raise children, and does it her own way. But there are situations when we really want to intervene. Do I have to fight the urge to give unsolicited advice? And where is the border of non-interference in the affairs of others?
I know better!
Where does the desire in us to share our experience with others, give advice, even if there was no such request? Psychologists believe that the desire to intervene in other people's affairs has many reasons. This is an attempt to increase your self-esteem at the expense of others (I know something better!), Or a desire to feel needed, in demand, or a manifestation of anxiety, an unconscious desire to control everything - even something to which you have nothing to do. Or perhaps we think that others will regard our silence as indifference?
Personal boundaries are a conditional concept, but they help us to determine where our space ends and someone else begins, this is the line beyond which our feelings and beliefs are located. Borders can be rigid and flexible, include your “inner circle” or extend much further. But the result is one: the worse a person’s personal boundaries are built up - the easier it is for him to violate strangers as well, confident that he has every right to do so.
Ekaterina Misenina, psychologist, is sure: “Sometimes, it is really very difficult to resist the urge to give advice on raising children. However, as they say, giving advice is a thankless task and often completely useless. Why is it so difficult for us to remain an outside observer and let others deal with their own children? There can be quite a lot of reasons - from a sincere desire to share your own experience, including mistakes already made and their overcoming, to impatience and annoyance at the sight of unpleasant behavior of someone else's child.
What to do when it seems that to be silent is no longer possible? To start, take a break and listen to yourself. Why are your feelings so strong that it’s hard for you to resist interfering in someone else’s personal life? How does this respond within you, what does it remind you of? And finally, how does this relate to strangers and their children?
The truth is that each family itself determines the priorities and methods of education (within the framework of the law, of course). Moreover, observing a separate scene, it is not easy for an outsider to understand the content of the relationship, to understand the situation, taken out of context. So it’s worth considering such an intervention-advice. ”
When to intervene?
When to intervene
But there are situations when interference in other people's affairs is not just desirable, but necessary. Perhaps you regularly hear the neighbors shouting at their child outside the wall, or do you notice how a furious mother beats a baby on the street? The paradox, but it is precisely these situations that cause the most doubt: is it worth it to intervene? What if the child is even more frightened, or then will the parents be even more cruel to him? And if after our “signal” guardianship authorities come to the family and immediately send the child to the orphanage, what good is this?
Olga Davydova, editor-in-chief of the I-Parent portal, said: “Not to intervene in such cases is the wrong position. The absolutely normal reaction of an adult who sees how a child is being offended, treating him badly is to protect him. But the question is how to do it right. Commenting to parents in the presence of the child? This can cause him additional harm: you intervened in the conflict that the family is trying to resolve by some familiar means, and he most likely has a background. Yes, the first reaction is aggression, yelling at the parent: "What are you doing!" But, before reassuring someone, first calm yourself. And then tactfully indicate that the parent is out of range. Most likely, a mother or father who tolerates public violence against a child themselves needs help - and this is important to understand.
The situation of child abuse is dangerous, first of all, with its delayed consequences. The one who is brought up with screaming and physical abuse simply does not know that you can communicate with children differently; he has no behaviors that will allow him to raise his own children psychologically healthy.
In most cases, this is still not intentional sadism, but impulsive actions - from impotence, from the fact that there are no skills to express their feelings in a different way. Many parents who regularly use screaming or physical abuse in the past have experienced this on their own - from their mom and dad. So they need the help of a specialist - a child or family psychologist who will help build new relationships with the child. But the child needs support, because the principle of non-interference in other people's affairs will not allow him to understand: what is happening to him is far from the norm. He will learn this behavior model as the only one - and there is a risk that he will transfer it later to his family. That is why on the I-Parent portal we talk about what responsible parenthood is, why and how to raise children in an atmosphere of trust, and use interactive methods of upbringing. ”
Ekaterina Sigitova, a psychotherapist, is sure: “Mom can scream at a child from anger, resentment, inability to cope in other ways. I am for interference - in those cases when something happens outside the box. But the line is different for everyone, so you should think about the reasons and the different options for action. The adult's normal reaction to the beating in his presence of a defenseless little creature is rage. It’s so biologically laid down that we all, especially those people who have children, cannot remain indifferent to this. But someone will not be able to restrain himself (and there are good reasons for this), while someone does not have the opportunity to act (for no less good reasons).
Actions can be like this - and protect the child (close yourself, drag him away), and attract the attention of others, call the police. But remember: the child at this moment is scared, feels helpless and powerless, the whole world is dangerous for him at this moment. We cannot change his world, we cannot change his mother, we cannot teach him and mother constructive ways of interacting with each other - for one contact this is unrealistic. But this does not mean that you need to stay inactive. "
- Directly call what is happening with words, indicate that the parent has gone beyond the permissible limits. Oddly enough, many people do not even suspect what they are doing, and then a random passer-by will be the person who reports this.
- Protect the child by urging the parent to stop. It is important for the child to understand that someone is ready to protect him, even if the attempt failed.
- Help mother. Most of these cases are actions from impotence, exhaustion, lack of resources and despair. This cannot be an excuse for violence, but offering concrete help (to distract the child, to talk) can make a difference. In this case, it is very important to first cope with your fury from the actions of the mother or father, and this is difficult (unless you are a professional psychologist). But just such help can have positive long-term consequences for the child.
How not to do
How not to do
- It’s not worth protecting the child by using physical force: this is how we teach him that violence can really solve problems.
- If you make your mother feel shame, humiliate her in front of the baby, she can then take out the anger on him.
- No need to remain indifferent, pass by.
How to act in situations that have been going on for a long time? Olga Davydova: “Sometimes we don’t intervene, based on the interests of the child, to whom the parents are ill. There is a myth that “wicked” guardianship will come and “confiscate” the child. But this is not so! The process of removing a child from the family is a complex, lengthy process, and there must be very good reasons for it.
Nobody is ever deprived of parental rights in one call. The most correct way is to call the police. You don’t even have to talk about your suspicions - you can say, for example: “I hear the sounds of a fight, I’m very worried.” The policeman will come, his duty is to assess the situation in the family, to look under the conditions of the child, how he is treated, whether he has bodily injuries. In any case, the family will be put under the control of specialists of guardianship and trusteeship bodies.
Of course, if you just come to your neighbors, most likely they will not let you on the doorstep - and they have every right to do so. But you can help in another way: offer informational support, drop a trust telephone number for children and parents in the mailbox, in the end, write a note (you can anonymous) that contact the guardianship authorities if you notice that they continue to do this. "
Svetlana Petrovna Komkova, head of the department of guardianship in the Presnensky district of Moscow, said: “The problem is that we have become indifferent, we may simply not notice that, for example, our neighbors are mistreating the child. Let us not think about the feelings of the parents in whose upbringing we interfere, and not about what they think about us. Let's think about a child who needs help. For example, in Moscow, a system has been created to provide assistance to children in difficult situations, social patronage. Guardianship and trusteeship bodies respond to absolutely all received signals! If there is a threat to the life and health of the child, we will arrive within three hours.
As support, guardianship can offer parents support, assistance in raising their child, while no one takes him out of the family. There are organizations we work with: social workers, experienced psychologists and psychiatrists who can help parents deal with uncontrollable anger and other problems.
Let the main criterion of your choice - to intervene or not - be the desire to help the child. Of course, parents can refuse such help. But, if there were already signals, people will at least be afraid that they can take the child away and begin to think that they are doing something wrong. ”
Some more tips
How to give unsolicited advice:
- “Can I help you?” You seem upset. ”
- “My son behaved the same way. One curious way helped us ... "
- “It's so hot today, my daughter is completely sweating. How about yours? ”
- “Sorry, I'm a master of unsolicited advice. Don't you think that ??? ”
- “Does your kid seem to have a crisis of three years too?” We also went through this. Now I remember this with a smile, and then I thought how unbearable he was. ”
- “Maybe he is crying because he’s tired? Would you like some water? ”
- "I was recently told that ..."
How to stop aggression:
- Take out the phone, warn: "I am starting to shoot video" - and start shooting.
- Stay close and look expressively at the parent.
- Distract your mom or dad with a question, for example: “I want to ask you something ...”, “Are you all right?”, “Are you feeling good?”
- Say firmly: “You are behaving inappropriately, stop right now. If you don’t stop, I will call the police. ”
- Turn your attention to yourself: sing loudly or say: “Look at me more quickly!”
- Say: “Stop, you scare not only yours, but also my child.”
On a note!
- Single All-Russian helpline for children and adolescents: 8−800−2000−122
- The project of the Support Fund for Children in Difficult Life Situations, “I Am a Parent”: www.ya-roditel.ru
- The authorized bodies in the field of guardianship, guardianship and patronage: dszn.ru