It is that time of the year, in Aotearoa New Zealand, when we experience new beginnings- a new school, job, class, friends. With them often come child-like anxieties and concerns, which are we are taught to disregard in ourselves, and in our children. Will they like me? Will I be different? Will I be able to do the work? Will the teacher know me?
But, far from being irrational, studies have shown that these feelings remind us of our experiences as newborn babies. Of a time when we felt we might literally fall apart if our mothers' arms were not tight around us. A time when we could not distinguish our emotional needs from our physical needs. When hunger felt like the end of the world.
Gradually, with the help of caring adults, we develop the ability allow us to cope with new situations. But, deep down, we all have that memory trace of terror from infancy, that is triggered by new beginnings.
Children have not developed the inner resources to cope with new beginnings, and need help to install within themselves an inner sense of security. Those most likely to need extra help are those who, especially during infancy and childhood, have experienced frequent changes of caregivers or a traumatic loss of a parent through death or illness. Also at risk are children whose parents have not been able to provide a safe emotional environment, such as children whose parents experience depression or anxiety, and children who find it hard to tolerate frustration. Children who have recently suffered a loss will also need extra support.
If you would like to book in an assessment for your child or young person please do get in touch here.