Children's fears and fantasies: what should adults know about the features of perception in children under 9 years of age?

For example, children's fears are based on this “vision”: a child “sees” under the bed of a terrible wolf. This does not mean that he is deceiving. He fantasizes, based on his psychological state at the moment. Such children's visions are combined with children's imagination, and as a result they generate either “invisible” enemies of the child, or his “invisible friends”.

Adults, as a rule, do not understand children in such situations, so it seems to them that the child is sick or purposely lying, or loves to brag. Therefore, many children do not share their "friends" with adults, confident that they will not understand them anyway.

For the first time, scientists-psychologists and teachers of the Waldorf school began talking about the “invisible friends” of children in the early 20th century. In particular, this problem has been deeply studied by Caroline von Heidebrand. But this property of children's imagination has long been reflected in fairy tales. One such fairy tale, Carolina von Heidebrand, cites as an example — the Grimm brothers' tale about a toad. The main plot of the tale is this: the toad came to the girl to drink milk from her cup, and in gratitude for it brought her from her treasury sparkling stones and golden toys. The toast always drank milk from the baby cup on the stairs, and did not touch the loaf, left it.

Once a girl spoke to her out loud. “Baby, eat a loaf!” Said the girl. The girl's mother accidentally heard her daughter’s conversation, saw the toad, jumped out with a log and killed her. The tragedy of what was happening was that while the toad was alive and communicated with the girl, she was healthy, grew, and after parting with her little and faithful friend, the girl began to lose weight, fell ill and soon died.

In the story of a fairy tale there seems to be no external reason for the death of a girl. However, according to psychologists, everything happens at the level of the child's mental strength. The mother had no idea that the toad was the “invisible friend” of the girl, she prevented the child from manifesting her creative powers, and they began to accumulate in the body, eating away at him. Adults often accompany their lack of understanding of children's fantasies with words like: “Don't be silly!”

Now I propose to think about the image of Carlson. Who is he for the kid? In my opinion, the same "invisible friend." The imagination of a child, a friend of his games and fun, a friend of his soul, with whom he is interested. But according to adults, such Carlsons do not really exist! A boy, deprived of parental understanding, given to the care of a teacher who does not love him, finds spiritual support in a creature invented by him.

Here it is important to note one more fact: while fantasizing and developing, children cannot independently distinguish truth from fiction. Adults either do not know about this, or forget when they evaluate the statements and behavior of their children. Carolina von Heidebrand gives another example on this subject.

A girl of five years old says to her mother: “Mom, I saw a lion on the street!” Mother does not believe her, she says that it was just a big dog. She believes that her daughter lied, and demands that the girl ask God for forgiveness in the evening. In the morning she is interested in her daughter, if she asked God for forgiveness, she replies: “Yes. But at first God also thought that it was a lion. ”

This story, fortunately, is not as tragic as the story of a girl with a toad. "Invisible Friends of Children's Games" usually remain with the child until the change of teeth, at the latest - until the 9th year. As soon as a child joins the team (in kindergarten or at school), the invisible friends disappear, because now the child has comrades from real children's life. If a child is lonely in a team and in a family, then his invisible friends may be subject to ridicule from their peers for a long time.

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