My deep thinking seems to happen in the mornings as I put my makeup on in front of the mirror. This morning I thought about the baby we lost at three days old. Although my main focus was thinking about what our five year old son must have gone thorough in the following two years after she died. I feel so bad that I didn’t talk with him more in those two years about his sister’s death. However, I made the same mistake that so many people make with 2-5 year old children. We don’t give them enough credit for understanding what is going on. I believe they understand so much more than we realize.
Nearly two years after losing our daughter, we were expecting another baby.
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We dropped him off at the church for a meeting for children (called Primary) and my mother was going to pick him up at the church and take him home with her. His baby brother was born the next day. He appeared to be excited to see and hold his new little brother. Everything appeared to be fine with him and I had no idea what the poor little guy had gone through for the previous two years since he lost his sister.
It was probably a few weeks after his brothers birth that the Primary teacher told me what our oldest son had said in her class that day. She mentioned to me that he was extremely sad. Trying to cheer him up a little she told the class that he was going to be a big brother soon. He immediately said, “No I’m not, our babies die.”
It is amazing how the tears flow so many years later just thinking about what that little guy went through for two years and all I probably would have had to do what to talk with him about it. I can’t say I remember whether I did or didn’t, but I am guessing that I didn’t simply because of his reaction that day in class.
I have learned many times while working with children that misconceptions occur due to concrete thinking. Think about a toy lying on the floor and you cover it up with a blanket. While they are quite young, they might look elsewhere for the toy. As they get older, they understand that the toy is still there. I believe that between the ages of two to five many problems can occur because of concrete thinking and also because that they do not yet express their thoughts and feelings clearly.
Often, and particularly, when bad things happen, they are not able to voice their thoughts and feelings. Next time something bad happens or even just when your child isn’t acting quite right, just talk to them. You might say something as simple as, “Are you okay?” or “You look like you have something on your mind. Do you want to talk?” It just may open up the door for a meaningful discussion.
Do you have a story about concrete thinking you would like to share?
Do you have a hard time talking to your children about serious things?
If you do, have you taken the time to ask yourself why?
I encourage you to open doors that you may not want to because it can help prevent many "explosions" down the road for your children and for you!
Shaping the Child Parenting
The purpose of this website is to make changes that give your family an opportunity to be secure and well adjusted, capable and confident, positive, happy and fun, thus improving the chances of raising emotionally healthy children for generations to come.