My Child Doesn’t Want to Grow Up

Children enter the process of becoming individuals from the age of 3. It brings along the skills of being an individual, growing up, engaging in age-appropriate social behaviors and meeting their needs. Growth is not only physical increase in height and weight, but also being able to behave in accordance with the age emotionally.

In order for the child to learn to behave in accordance with his age, parents should provide opportunities for the development of the child’s skills and prepare a suitable environment, trust the child and ensure the child’s self-confidence, pay attention to the basic principles such as setting rules and limits, behaving decisively and consistently, adequate and high quality that will ensure mutual satisfaction with the child. They must pass the time.

In cases where the rules and boundaries are not clear, in overprotective families where the child is not given the opportunity to develop and all his/her needs are met instead, it is seen that the children behave like a child younger than their age when they grow up physically and physically but cannot mature emotionally.

* What are the common reasons for not wanting to grow up?

When the child’s needs are not adequately met, it is seen that he returns to previous developmental periods. When children have difficulty expressing their wants and needs, they show it with their behavior.

The most obvious way of seeing this is to attract attention by acting younger than his age. Life events such as the arrival of a new sibling, over-protective parenting, separations, conflicts, illness, death, failure at school, taking on some duties for the child, treating him as if he is younger than his age are the situations that cause children to come back.

In these situations, behaviors such as bedwetting, baby talk, thumb sucking, and not wanting to be separated from their mother can be seen in children.

* What are the effects of not wanting to grow up on the socialization process?

A child who behaves in accordance with his age in social environments and can establish harmonious relationships with both his peers and adults is seen as a socially compatible individual. However, children who are not yet fully mature psychologically and who are resistant to growing up cannot fully establish appropriate social relations with neither their peers nor adults. Children who show behavioral symptoms such as bedwetting, baby talk, thumb sucking, and staying away from their mother are those who can be easily teased and hurt by their peers.

When these children encounter a problem, they do not have the psychological maturity to solve it. Instead of appropriate solution methods, they exhibit the behaviors of a child under their age. For this reason, they may have difficulty making friends and joining a group.

* How does this reflect on your education life?

A child who is resistant to growing up may experience various difficulties in terms of academic skills and social relations in education life. There may be difficulties in acquiring the responsibility of studying and doing homework in the academic field, and having the parents do the homework.

In terms of social relations, he may receive frequent warnings from his teacher because his sense of responsibility is not sufficiently developed.

* How should parents approach their children who do not want to grow up and how should they not?

  • Parents should first carefully examine their children’s personality traits and closely monitor their developmental stages. Considering what skills they have at what age and what they can do, they should give responsibilities at age-appropriate levels and follow this up and guide and help the child at the point of difficulty.

  • In life events such as divorce, loss, school failure, the birth of a new sibling, attention should be paid to the quality of communication with the child, and it should be considered that the child needs more attention during these periods.

  • Children’s “growth” is delayed in an overprotective family environment where parents do the work that the child should do instead of the child. Therefore, the child should be given responsibilities appropriate to his age.

  • The message should be given that babyish behaviors are not accepted and that age-appropriate behaviors will be accepted.

* When is expert help required?

When children do not exhibit behaviors appropriate for their age, parents should first review their own attitudes. It is appropriate to seek help from a specialist when behaviors that are not suitable for their age are observed in the child, even in cases where the communication and time spent with the child is of good quality, there is no problem with the arrangements such as eating and sleeping, there is no vital crisis, and the infantileness is not reinforced.

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