In the modern world, people’s diaries are filled with important or urgent matters for months ahead, constantly rushing somewhere has already become a habit that we – sometimes unconsciously – instill in the younger generation. Children have to join the “race” in order to be in time for kindergarten or school, additional classes and shopping with adults. What happens to a child who is rushed all the time? We consulted with psychologists and will tell you.
There are suggestions that the future generation is doomed to live in a world even faster than ours. But children in this sense are different from adults and tend to delay in many things that are obvious to us – for the reason that they do not have enough experience, and what we are already doing automatically costs them some work. Slowness of this kind is one of the natural stages in the development of the child. For example, children from one and a half to three and a half years old are only developing fine motor skills, and the task of fastening a button or zipper can seem really difficult for them.
Sometimes it seems that the child hesitates out of spite, or out of spite does not understand that adults need to hurry. Such a reaction of parents is especially natural if one day the child did the same action an order of magnitude faster. It is important to understand a few things here:
1) At that time, the child had a desire to complete the task faster, but this does not mean that he can and knows how to do this on an ongoing basis if there is no such desire.
2) The fact that once he was able to gather his strength and get a good result does not at all guarantee that such a speed of reactions of the psyche and the amount of internal energy are constant.
Why so slow?
A fast child suddenly becomes slow, starting to fumble in things that seemed obvious to him before. Sometimes the reason for this is the response of the psyche to the changes taking place in the life of the child – moving, divorce of parents, family quarrels or conflicts in school. In this case, with the help of slow actions, the body tries to deal with anxiety. When the crisis situation passes, it will become noticeable that the child has begun to behave actively again.
Often, slowness occurs as a response to a specific situation that is unpleasant for the child. For example, if he does not like the teacher in the kindergarten, then he will be going there more slowly than usual in order to delay unwanted contact. If you notice this behavior in your child, then be sure to try to identify the cause that worries him and decide what measures you can take to eliminate it.
One example of temporary slowdown is also the situation when both parents are very busy at work, but set aside a strictly defined time to sit with their children at home. So, starting to do homework slowly, the child hopes to spend more time with his parents: even if they swear at him, they will still remain there until the lessons are done. In such a situation, it can be advised to add other activities to the joint pastime with the child – for example, walks – so that the process of doing homework stops dragging on indefinitely.
But, in addition to the cases described above, there are those where the child behaves more slowly than his peers on an ongoing basis. Statistics report that there are about 20% of such children – and this is every fifth child in a kindergarten group or school class. There are frequent situations when someone has already solved an example and is chatting in class or throwing papers, while someone has not rewritten the boards and half of this example. Adults often try to rush the child by telling him that everyone is waiting for him, and he can go faster. In reality, everything is not quite so: the human pace of activity for the most part depends on the structural features of the brain, and it is simply impossible to change the speed of impulse transmission on your own. That is, a slow child cannot go faster, and if he forces himself to speed up for a short period of time, then he will spend it even more on restoring his strength.
What to do?
Hurrying the child, you only slow down the speed of his reaction, as he begins to understand that he is unhappy, experiencing a lot of stress about this. If such cases occur constantly, the child will begin to withdraw into himself. Believe me, slow children know that they are slow without being reminded. Being under constant pressure both from themselves and from adults, they feel less significant and successful. Such children need the help of specialists: a psychologist and teachers who can adapt to their individual rhythm.
It is a mistake to think that slow children are dumber than fast ones – they can do the same thing, just in a different period of time. Moreover, they also have their advantages – for example, they do not tend to make overly emotional and impulsive decisions, and the work done is likely to be of better quality and more thorough than that of a child who completed it faster. This does not mean that someone is better and someone is worse – it is important to remember that every child has a lot of virtues.
For comfortable living and studying conditions, parents need to provide the child with a stable schedule. It is much more effective to wake the baby half an hour earlier so that he has time to get ready at a pace that is comfortable for him than to try to hurry him up. If you, as a fast parent, tend to get irritated at an unaccustomed pace, then it’s best to leave the room for a few minutes, calm down and let him determine the speed of his own actions. You can also do housework or read a book during this time: keep yourself busy with something and time will pass much faster. In those situations when the child did not have time to learn what he went through in the lesson, you are entrusted with a responsible mission to provide him with the opportunity to complete the assignments at home, spending as much time on it as he needs.
Most often, with age, the slowness of children comes to naught, and by the fourth grade the child “aligns” in pace with other children. If necessary, neuropsychologists, psychologists and educators can provide assistance.