One of your main jobs as a parent or carer is to make sure that I grow up into an adult who is able to cope in the wider world, even with all the problems life can throw at us. This is a skill we call ‘resilience’.
When I am a baby I rely on my adults to manage everything in my world for me. As I get older I need to learn how to manage things by myself.
I am often overwhelmed by my feelings and find it hard to see things long-term as I have only ever lived short-term. I need my adults to help explain things so I can develop good feelings about myself, make decisions and cope with whatever life throws at me.
If I have no adults to guide me in the world I will only be able to find out what’s safe by myself. This puts me at risk of doing things or finding people which hurt me and cause me to become stressed.
If this happens over a long period of time, as a way to cope I may simply ‘shut down’ and stop trusting anything. This is call ‘disconnecting’. I may appear to be very aggressive or disinterested, but inside I am actually very scared and confused. I will also miss out on experiences and happiness that would be good for me.
It can be very difficult for you to get the right balance to help me learn about the wider world. Sometimes I may get frustrated if you stop me doing something I feel I am able to. At other times I may not feel ready to do something you are pushing me to do.
But with adults’ support I will eventually learn how to make decisions for myself and be very grateful for the help they have given me.
Please talk to me about how I feel about everything in my world – how things work, my family, my friends or something I have heard on the news. I may surprise you by how much I know or how strongly I feel!