Do i age regress
What It Is, Why It Happens & When It May Be Helpful
Age regression occurs when someone reverts to a younger state of mind. This retreat may be only a few years younger than the person’s physical age. It could also be much younger, into early childhood or even infancy.
People who practice age regression may begin showing juvenile behaviors like thumb-sucking or whining. Others may refuse to engage in adult conversations and handle issues they’re facing.
Age regression is sometimes used in psychology and hypnotherapy. It can also be used as a self-help tool, or something someone does to reduce stress.
Keep reading to find out when age regression might be used and what it might achieve.
Sigmund Freud believed age regression was an unconscious defense mechanism. It was a way the ego could protect itself from trauma, stress, or anger.
Still, other psychologists think of age regression as a way for people to achieve a therapeutic goal. It might be used to help a patient recall memories of trauma or painful events. The therapist can then help their patient heal properly from those experiences.
Psychiatrist Carl Jung believed age regression wasn’t a means to escape anything. He believed age regression could be a positive experience. It could be used to help people feel younger, less stressed, and more open.
With all these different theories for age regression, several types exist.
Each of these age regression types share two common elements:
- People who regress revert to a younger state of mind than their physical age. The length of years varies from type to type and person to person.
- Age regression is in no way sexual.
As a symptom
Age regression may be the result of a medical or psychiatric issue. For example, some individuals experiencing significant distress or pain may revert to childlike behavior as a means to cope with anxiety or fear.
Certain mental health issues make age regression more likely. Age regression could be a symptom of one of these conditions:
- dissociative identity disorder
- schizoaffective disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- major depressive disorder
- borderline personality disorder
Age regression may occur in personality disorders when people come face to face with distressing memories or triggers. In this case, the age regression may be spontaneous.
What’s more, some individuals may begin to revert to a younger age as they grow older. This can be a sign of dementia. It might also be a coping mechanism for worries about the impact of aging.
Age regression can be used as a therapeutic technique. Some mental health professionals use hypnotherapy and age regression to help patients return to painful periods in their lives. Once there, they can help them overcome the trauma and find healing.
However, this practice is controversial. Some experts suggest it could be possible to “uncover” false memories. Plus, it’s unclear how reliable these “recovered” memories are.
People with a history of trauma may be more likely to regress. In fact, age regression may be common in people who have been diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID), a disorder formerly known as multiple personality disorder.
People with this disorder frequently have a younger personality among their distinctive personalities. However, it’s believed that the “little” may not be a separate personality. Instead, it may be a regressed version of the original personality.
In other words, the person with DID may be aware of everything, but they feel like they’re a different age. They may talk like a child or begin behaving like one. In other instances, the “little” is entirely separate.
In this case, age regression is a form of security against fear or insecurity. This type of age regression may be triggered by particular events or stressors.
For others, age regression may be intentional. Some individuals may select reverting to a younger state as a means to block out stress and worry. They can also revert to a younger age so they can avoid tough issues or personal problems.
As a form of self-help, age regression may help you revert to a time in your life when you felt loved, cared for, and secure. In that sense, this can be a positive experience.
However, age regression may be a sign of a larger mental health issue. You should speak with a mental health care provider about this practice. They can help you learn how to use it safely. They can also evaluate your experiences to determine if a different type of treatment is needed.
Age regression is never considered sexual. It’s a type of defense mechanism that allows you to mentally escape to a different time in your life.
This is different from pretending to be younger. Indeed, some individuals portray themselves many years younger than they are as part of a hobby, sexual fetish, or kink.
For example, some members of fandom communities may use costumes and portrayals to “pretend” to be younger and more naïve. This is not real age regression.
There’s no inherent risk in age regression. If you practice it as a form of self-help or relaxation, you may want to make sure you’re in a safe place and around people who understand this technique.
If, however, you find yourself reverting to a younger age without your control, you should seek help from a mental health professional. You may be showing symptoms of an underlying issue that needs to be addressed differently.
Age regression occurs when you mentally retreat to an earlier age. In all ways, you believe you’re back at that point in your life, and you may exhibit childish behaviors, too.
Some people choose to revert to a younger age. In this case, it can be a coping mechanism to help them relax and eliminate stress. Age regression may be a symptom of a mental health condition, such as dissociative identity disorder or PTSD.
Age regression can also be used a therapeutic technique, though it’s a controversial practice. A mental health professional can help you return to a time in your life when you were abused or experienced trauma. From there, you can work together to heal.
Speak to your healthcare provider if you notice symptoms of age regression or you’re interested in learning more.
Causes, Signs, & Overcoming It
Age regression can be an involuntary or voluntary reaction to stress and trauma. Here’s what to know about it.
Think back to when you were a child: what were some of the things you used to do to self-soothe when you were scared or anxious?
Did you suck your thumb or hide under the bed? Maybe you covered your ears and closed your eyes? Or started to whine until someone paid attention to you in the way you wanted?
As a child, these behaviors are expected. However, we tend to grow out of them as we age, enter adulthood, and learn more effective and age-appropriate ways to relieve stress.
But sometimes, people revert to a younger state of mind and re-adopt some of these juvenile behaviors. This is called age regression.
“Age regression is a term that is used to describe an individual’s reversion of their mental state to a younger one,” explains Bryan Bruno, psychiatrist and medical director of Mid City TMS in New York City. “Age regression may only set the individual’s mind back a few years, but in some cases, it may take the individual’s mind back to childhood or even infancy. ”
This reversion can happen at any age — though, in children, it is relatively common and usually temporary.
“Generally, [age regression] is a defense mechanism,” explains psychologist Cynthia Halow. “People regress as a form of escape: they want to get away from the realities of their current life [and] they tend to revert to a point in their life when they felt safe, comfortable, and secure.”
It can also be an intentional coping mechanism, she adds.
Generally, there are two broad types of age regression: involuntary and voluntary.
Involuntary age regression
Involuntary age regression is when you are unconsciously reverting to a younger state of mind; you did not choose to engage in this behavior.
Some people intentionally regress to a younger state of mind as a way to block out anxiety, difficult feelings, or personal problems as a self-help or self-soothing strategy.
That said, if you do this regularly, you might want to speak to a therapist to make sure it’s not a sign of a larger mental health issue and to learn to do it safely.
Age regression can also be used as a therapeutic technique in conjunction with hypnotherapy.
“[This] therapy allows patients to relive earlier memories and experiences,” explains Bruno. “It is often done to help patients resolve issues in their past and confront memories that may be harming their present mental health.”
However, some therapists believe that this practice could lead to the creation of false memories — so as a therapy technique, it’s somewhat controversial.
Symptoms of involuntary age regression can include:
- being mute
- using baby talk
- curling up in the fetal position
- hugging a comfort object like a stuffed animal or blanket
- having a temper tantrum
Symptoms of voluntary age regression could include:
- sucking on your thumb or a pacifier
- playing with kid’s toys
- using children’s utensils or sippy cups
- creating a space filled with childlike objects
- wearing kid’s clothes
Both involuntary and voluntary age regression can be triggered by stress, fear, insecurity, or trauma.
Unconscious age regression can also be a symptom of certain illnesses, neurological conditions, or mental health conditions, including:
- post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- borderline personality disorder
- dissociative identity disorder
- mood disorders
- major depressive disorder
- personality disorders
Treatment for involuntary age regression often depends on how old you are and what is causing the age regression.
For example, explains Bruno, “In children, the behavior is typical, and most often a temporary reaction to stress or trauma.” It generally goes away on its own, especially if you provide them with care, love, and attention.
But for adults, he says, “the most effective method in treating age regression is to identify its root cause.”
In other words, treatment often involves determining if it is a symptom of a larger mental health condition, then treating that condition.
One of the most effective ways to treat age regression is to speak with a therapist. Regardless of the root of your emotional regression, a therapist will work with you to understand your defense mechanisms and emotional triggers, and help you find healthier ways to cope.
Age regression is a reaction to stress, anxiety, or trauma. It can be voluntary, a way to self-soothe when you’re feeling overwhelmed, or involuntary, a potential symptom of a larger mental health issue.
If you’re experiencing age regression, the first step to consider is reaching out to a therapist — they can help you figure out why it’s happening and the best next steps to take.
Age regression. Diaries of the adoptive mother of a child from the orphanage
Regression was expected. I did not know how and when, but I understood that my daughter would regress. Still would! An eleven-year-old girl arrives in a completely unfamiliar city with an unfamiliar aunt, who is the only guide in her new life. Anyone gets scared.
The most convenient way to start exploring space is to become small! All little children know nothing about the world around them. And they master it without any understanding - first of all physically, and only then - emotionally and intellectually. Therefore, my daughter began to climb around our apartment on all fours and felt comfortable at the same time, sometimes even joyfully, but abruptly refused to walk. Even in the kitchen, to sit at the table, she first crawled under it and only then crawled from the floor to the chair.
I did not consider the problem of age regression difficult. And I was not shocked by my daughter's crawling on all fours. But I was frightened by the fact that my daughter very often uttered the word “bad”. The lace on the sneaker is untied - “bad”. Soap escaped from the hands - "bad". The notebook is not located - “bad”. I ask you to read - "bad". For breakfast, semolina porridge is “bad”. In short, no good! If something is wrong, if the daughter cannot do something right away, or if she doesn’t like it (and she doesn’t like everything she doesn’t know and has never tried), then all this immediately acquires the status of “bad” . Moreover, regardless of animation and it is in the feminine gender. My daughter reacted to everything with one word, accompanying him with pouting lips, knitted eyebrows and an evil glance from under her brows. She crawled under the table, even a computer one, even a dinner one, or buried herself in pillows. Sooner or later, an excess of bad mood due to the “bad” reaction ended in tears and hysteria. And such a situation, when a childish “I” disproportionate to her years lived in the teenage body of an almost twelve-year-old girl, tormented me greatly. In fact, my daughter was a little girl with an amazingly large body.
I explained to my daughter that the laces are not “bad” at all, they are just laces that are needed so that the sneakers do not fly off their feet when my daughter runs fast or jumps smartly in them. I explained that soap cannot be “bad” - it is slippery in itself, there is even such a riddle: “It slips away like a living thing, but I won’t let it out, the matter is quite clear - let it wash my hands. ” My daughter listened carefully to the riddles because she loved them. She also loved poetry very much, so I coped with semolina with the help of Veronika Dolina’s song and Dragunsky’s story “Everything is secret becomes clear” about how a boy threw semolina porridge out the window and it fell on a policeman’s cap.
It must be said that my explanations were accepted only in the form of fairy tales, fables or stories on behalf of those subjects that my daughter zealously called "bad". I have never in my life made up so many stories about what shoelaces, notebooks and mugs think about how such a wonderful girl, my daughter, treats them. And of course, I had to become the main character in the stories about myself. Yet creativity is a terrific virus! If he settles, then for a long time! And at this time, we ourselves were fun and not bored. We walked and composed stories and poems, and the “bad” reaction more and more acquired a shade of indifferent automatism. The frown lessened, the lips didn't curl so much, and the little body stopped hiding under the table.
However, it is also impossible to quickly get rid of automatism. As soon as I felt that the word "bad" pops up without an admixture of anger, irritation or aggression, I stopped paying attention to it altogether.
Croton has strong leaves
I wanted to buy a plant for my daughter so she could take care of it and grow with it. Since she was about to turn twelve years old - in my opinion, this is already a fairly meaningful age - my choice fell on a plant called croton. I chose the strongest, according to my feelings, tree in the store. It had large multi-colored leaves, from yellow to green, from pink to beetroot. They were carved and beautifully bordered, with clear veins inside the leaves. And the croton I chose had a lot of little leaves that had just come into being, which fully corresponded to the little “I” of my maturing daughter.
I brought a croton and gave it a place on the windowsill by the computer desk where my daughter used to do her homework and my assignments. I must say that no enthusiasm followed - the daughter simply did not notice the new plant in her room. And I had to draw her attention to strong leaves with a clear vein structure, to different colors that blend harmoniously on one plant, to small growing leaves. To be honest, I really hoped that my daughter would take this amazing plant under her wing. But my hopes were in vain. The daughter, apparently, still needed care herself and was not so independent as to take care of something living. Although there were many talks about a puppy, and there were many requests for a kitten. This is despite the fact that an amazing cat Tigra lived with us.
And I visited the croton. I admired how its leaves open. She watered it, wiped the large carved leaves and sentenced good words. I did all this in front of my daughter. Sometimes she gladly took part in the care of our croton. And sometimes I was carried away by something of my own and only watched my actions from afar from the corner of my eye. One way or another, the croton has still remained our common flower and has not passed under the “jurisdiction” of my daughter, although it lives on her windowsill.
Herringbone to me
She promised to survive. Gave roots.
But after a month it dried up.
Without clay and distant hills!
Sometimes an adult becomes a victim of his own delusions, not based on anything specific. So, for some reason, there is a strong opinion that if a person has been deprived of affection and attention for a long time, was not surrounded by care and warmth, then this need must necessarily be realized in the opposite way - that is, he will enthusiastically look after someone or something that needs his attention and care, because he knows for himself how bad it is when you are abandoned or not paid attention.
In my experience, these things have been unrelated to each other. Moreover, I was convinced that a person deprived of care has no idea not only about how to care for others, but also about how human care is manifested in principle. Where does the desire to do something good for another person come from? Understanding what level of care a particular living being needs? How to remember that next to you is a whole world that you need to take care of? And when to do it? All these questions get their answers only with experience.
We city dwellers live in a world very disconnected from nature. We do not heat the stove, we do not light a fire in the fireplace to keep warm. We live in apartments, not houses. We do not plant plants and trees around high-rise buildings, because we do not consider this space ours. Our world is much more artificial than we think about it. If we think at all. Therefore, the experience of caring and caring for us is also completely unnatural. Of course, the world around us is changing. But relations between people do not become warmer, kinder, more merciful. Because it becomes unnatural for us to care for our neighbors, as well as for our smaller brothers. Because the child needs to be reminded a hundred times about this or that action, so that this action does not just become a habit, but becomes a need to surround yourself with plants and animals!
Everything needs internal energy, which is consciously released by the person himself, because only then the action becomes meaningful. Wealthy people prefer to buy energy in the form of aquarium care services, dog walking, etc. But this does not make the world around us kind, sympathetic, sensitive, and in principle cannot arise. And professional care services, caring for the living and non-living are becoming more and more in demand and more and more highly paid every year. On the one hand, people in the artificial world need warmth and attention. On the other hand, they learn less and less to take care of themselves and less and less instruct and teach their descendants to take care of the world in which they live now and will continue to live.
“Train on cats”
Experienced famous phrase “Train on cats” is not accidental for the Soviet period. How to teach a child tact, independence, timeliness, tenderness, patience and much more? How to bring up a “golden” character in a child so that he can realize his own interests and take into account the interests of others; to make it easy for him to cooperate, interact, understand other people? “Train on cats” is a very meaningful piece of advice if you take it seriously. In our world, there is almost no place left for living, natural nature. Rather, we strive for the exotic of the Red Sea, for the maintenance of rare animals that are completely uncharacteristic of our climate, than for the usual, but daily manifestation of love and warmth for what surrounds us.
So far, there is no sense in the daughter's actions. After a reminder, she can water the croton, clean up after our cat Tigra. But my daughter will not do it on her own, even if her cat asks! Even if croton leaves fall one after another in front of her daughter’s eyes, it would not occur to her to water it. Initiative in such matters is a consequence of spiritual education. Either the child responds to the needs of living beings and consciously holds their world in his attention, or we, parents, are doomed to remind our children hundreds of times of this or that necessary action. Will they fulfill our request in a few years? Personally, I'm not sure.
When a child becomes an adult
A long time ago I read a fantastic story that really surprised me and made me think. In it, earthlings flew to another planet. And the aliens put them in a cage. People resented this attitude towards them. Then it turned out that you can live in a cage. People lived in a cage, and aliens watched them. One day people caught a mouse. What did they do? They built a cage and put a mouse in it. And they were immediately released into the wild by aliens, since by this action they proved their intelligence to the alien race.
I think that parents and children are like different races in this fantasy story. And education is a process of not only passive observation, but also the active creation of situations of varying complexity. Children live "in a cage", and parents watch how they cope with life situations. What should children do so that parents realize that their children have matured, grown up? What action should children take to demonstrate to their parents that they are ready for a free life and it is time to set them free?
For me personally, the proof of maturity is responsibility. While the child answers my questions in different situations: “I don’t know”, “It’s not me”, “Bad”, “I didn’t do anything like that”, “I don’t care!”, “So what?”, “What like this here?" etc. - this means that I, as a parent, did not prepare my child for adulthood, could not organize situations in his life in which he could learn to take responsibility and admit that it was he, and not someone else in this situation cheated, lied, or simply forgot. Whether we like it or not, it is care and responsibility that are the standards of adulthood and the keys to a child's freedom from parental care.
My daughter and I still have to go through a huge number of situations on the way to growing her little "I". But, as they say, the right question leads to the right answer.
My child is in good physical shape. Still, not everyone is given to crawl quickly and smartly on four limbs. The daughter looked like a well-trained monkey. She clung to everything and moved a little sideways. When this nickname was assigned to her at school - Monkey - my daughter was offended.
I must say that we started to master the school from the school yard, namely, from the obstacle course that was built on the school stadium. My daughter really wanted to learn how to pass it, especially the destroyed bridge and stairs. My eyes were closed with fear when my daughter climbed onto thin logs, and even jumped from one log to another, overcoming a considerable distance at a decent height. Every time we passed by, my daughter would ask me if I could go as far as I could. And each time, with bated breath, I allowed, preparing to catch her or somehow support her in case of a possible fall. But she perfectly learned to pass the lane: the labyrinth, the bridge, the barrier, and the window. The snag was only in the horizontal stairs. Her hands were weak: she was hanging on the crossbar, and any attempt to grab the next crossbar with one hand ended in failure. The daughter rubbed her hands and said: “Nothing, nothing, tomorrow I will ask you!”
As a rule, after school, many children "get stuck" in the school stadium to kick the ball, climb, run, hang - in general, warm up after sitting at the desk. My daughter was very attentive to see who was climbing. And one boy showed her how to go up the stairs. He swayed with his whole body, and this helped him reach the next crossbar. My daughter quickly mastered this technique and deftly walked five or six bars at once. It was a victory. One side.
On the other hand, such a thirst for sports achievements greatly alienated her from the girls in the class. And since my daughter did not look like girls from the class at all, and she initially treated the boys with a fair amount of contempt, she was really lonely and scared in the class. And then there was such a nickname for her - Monkey. For a fourth-grade student, it was too childish a nickname, she looked more like a kindergarten than a school.
My daughter was very worried about this, and every time she deftly and smartly passed the obstacle course after school, we discussed with her what a nickname, most likely, means her advantage. The daughter could not boast of anything else in school life. And after several people praised my daughter for her dexterity in climbing stairs on the playground, she finally relaxed and stopped being offended by the nickname Monkey. And, of course, very soon they stopped calling her that.
My daughter and I did a lot of exercise. In order to somehow strengthen the vestibular apparatus, she spun in a circle, stood on one leg with her eyes closed, hung upside down. To build self-confidence, we noted the positive dynamics of our daughter's success in climbing the stairs and the entire obstacle course as a whole. Every weekend we went to the dam, to the children's town - everywhere where more or less complex metal structures were installed - and we studied there. For six months, my daughter became stronger physically, grew by 10 centimeters and believed in her abilities. And her little "I" has grown.
Puzzles played a huge role in overcoming age regression. I must say that I, as a child psychologist, had a lot of split puzzles that I made, which my daughter collected almost maniacally. It was evident how much in all the past years she yearned for intellectual tasks. Her intellect "suffered" due to the lack of basic academic skills, such as literate writing and reading. If a child does not know how and therefore does not like to read, then many interesting puzzles, puzzles, riddles, tasks become inaccessible to him.
But in order to form and then develop reading and literate writing, a fairly large amount of time was required. With graphic puzzles, everything was simple: you didn’t need to read to solve them; so I settled on them. And here Krasnoukhov's puzzles played a special role. And when my daughter put together the most difficult Golden Chain puzzle in half a minute, we were both happy.
Successfully solving puzzles and strengthening the spirit through physical exercises helped us cope with age regression. But not verbally. I had the feeling that my daughter's auditory development was stuck at the level of two years of age (then she communicated with her own grandmother). It was from this age that we began our advancement along the time line.
My daughter and I agreed that for the whole week at home (our agreements did not concern the school, which we had to go to regardless of our intentions), she would talk like a two-year-old girl. And I tried to talk to her exactly like a little girl. I hoped that she herself would get tired of lisping. But I was wrong. My daughter enjoyed a lot when she spoke like a little girl and when I called her like a little girl. All household chores fell entirely on me. I could not ask my girl to read, I could only read fairy tales, nursery rhymes, sing songs to her.
Sometimes I asked her to sing. She did it with pleasure. It turned out that she knows a lot of songs. However, the repertoire, of course, was the children's home. From “There lived a pink elephant in a clearing” to “After all, it doesn’t happen in the world that children are lost.” Against this background, a song about a dolphin stood out. Almost every day, my daughter, like a beggar in the subway, sang to me in a mournful childish voice about how a dolphin's mother died. At the same time, the daughter's emotional state was joyful, close to euphoric. She rejoiced at the plaintiveness and tearfulness of the song itself, and stared wide-eyed at the terrifying effect it had on those around her. This pissed me off the most! My daughter literally brought me and my friends to white heat with this song.
Week after week went like this. So we agreed that my daughter is already three years old. But she grew up, and she is already five years old. I showed my childhood photos, where I was the same age, so that she at least understands what age she is talking about and what a child can and cannot do at that age. And the song about the death of the dolphin's mother was sung and sung.
In my seventh year of life (my daughter and I agreed that now we will overcome two years of life in a week), I rebelled and offered my “first grader” a choice: either put the song under a ban, or rewrite its words so that my mother would be. The daughter said she would rewrite the words. And once she sang to me a song about a dolphin whose mother was found to the same terrible tune! It was the greatest achievement in the first six months of our common life. My daughter never tried to sing this song at home again. But during the summer holidays at the tourist camp, she "pleased" all the kids and adults around the campfire with her song. The head of the camp told me about this event. Apparently, in an unfamiliar environment, my daughter could not deny herself the pleasure of embarrassing all the "home" children and adults with this tearful song shocking with details.
As soon as my daughter "was seven years old", I took up the school curriculum. We started with the first grade and, in parallel with the school curriculum of the fourth grade, we went through the Russian language program for the first, and then the second and third grades at home. Math was not so bad, and I concentrated on writing and reading well. As I already noted, school skills were not formed. My daughter wrote with her left hand. The handwriting was unbearably sloppy. With such violations of the emotional-volitional sphere, what other handwriting can be?!
However, the difficulties were not only in the fact that my daughter wrote the letters ugly. One of the important problems was related to the lack of internal control in principle: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. If my daughter needed to write a three-letter word, then she could write it ugly, but it was clear what kind of word it was. If there were more than three letters in a word, then there was no word at all - there was a set of incomprehensible doodles.
Thus, I understood that the lag in speech development is based, firstly, on the absence of inner speech, with the help of which the child not only dictates the word to himself letter by letter or syllable by syllable, controlling his writing, but also, in principle, exercises self-control and self-support. Secondly, the connection between the visual, auditory and kinesthetic perception systems was not formed, i.e. her hands wrote on their own, her eyes looked incomprehensibly at what while writing, her ears and mouth also did not help her hands to write. Thirdly, the problem was exacerbated by the strongest clamp in the throat area, which made it difficult for both the formation of reading skills and speech itself. My daughter had a very good auditory memory. But even having learned the verse by heart, she could not tell it in such a way as to get a positive assessment - she constantly stammered, swallowed and therefore made huge pauses: there was no poetry in such a performance.
We barely coped with the lisping and mangling of words. But at the age of the first grader they stopped. We stuck tight. And I realized that I need to start from the basics - from breathing: until we remove the lump of resentment in my throat, my daughter will not be able to speak and read normally. As long as she can't speak smoothly, she won't write well. Therefore, I also divided school difficulties into parts. And each part has its own rules.
Stages of overcoming speech regression: breathing . So, we started doing breathing practices. In principle, many people, even adults, breathe in such a way that when they inhale, the stomach is drawn in, and when exhaled, it fills up. Of course, breathing correctly should be the other way around: when you inhale, the stomach expands and fills with air, and when you exhale, it retracts. My daughter had a short breath, while her shoulders rose and pinched her throat. The air got stuck at the level of the throat and did not reach the stomach at all. Therefore, the stomach did not participate in breathing. With such a short breath, it is simply impossible to speak long and smoothly. Therefore, her speech was intermittent, the sounds did not reach out, did not agree and did not sing. Increased pressure on the first syllables and "swallowing" the last syllables (word endings) - this technique of speech, reading, singing wandered from word to word. Naturally, such external speech did not help either the work on each word when writing, or the normal coordination of cases, endings, etc.
After the very first attempts, I realized that the breathing practices did not work. My daughter took the first breath correctly, but already on the second, the shoulders rose again and the breath did not go deeper, and the stomach, as it should be when inhaling, was not filled with air. The fact is that it is difficult for a child to act only from one abstract understanding that it is necessary to breathe correctly. It was necessary to find an interesting meaning on top of the “must” for the right action.
Ah, the flute, the flute is an extension of the throat...
Simply put, the child will persevere in breathing for something - say, in order to play the flute. With the beginning of learning to play the flute, breathing changed. The teacher, a young girl, explained and showed how to breathe so that the flute sounds beautiful and strong. At first, my daughter pulled a note on the flute for two counts. This is very little. But we did. A few weeks later she drew a three-count note. At the same time, I pulled a note for twelve or thirteen counts. My example inspired my daughter. The two of us learned the notes and the position of the fingers on the flute valves, the two of us learned to breathe - and this pleased us and inspired us. The flute itself was wrapped in magic. And we, the players (this is still loudly said - just extracting sounds from it), looked at each other with shining eyes, especially when the sounds turned out to be clear and corresponded to octaves.
Stages of overcoming speech regression: resentment . In parallel with playing the flute, we worked through the hurtful events from my daughter's past life, which we could not even touch before! The deeper my daughter breathed, the more her throat “opened up”. The longer she held the note, the more fun we got from playing the flute. And the more vulnerable and sensitive she became in relation to the memories of her past life. Despite this, it was at such moments that the daughter could at least tell something about what happened to her there, in the distant dark past. And if earlier she simply choked on tears, mumbled and sobbed convulsively, now tears could roll down her cheeks in a hail and flow freely. At such moments, we immediately remembered the correct breathing, having learned to combine deep breaths and exhalations with a hail of tears.
Gradually, the clamp in the throat area became less strong, and speech, although terribly confused (the endings were still swallowed, or even grabbed the entire second half of the word), became possible!
Daughter to the flute
She pressed her lips.
The icicle has fallen.
Melted on the palm.
Live with a full breath.
Glimpses of truth on the path to forgiveness
The first glimpses of the truth appeared. If earlier my daughter deftly invented a past for herself and often fantasized about this topic, now she began to talk more often about her true experiences. Perhaps the real events did not happen exactly as my daughter told about them. I took this into account, but for me the most important thing was the very feeling, the very emotional state of my daughter at the present time. It was not so important for me whether people from the past consciously wanted to offend this child or whether he himself was offended. Only his real resentment mattered. And the most important was the way of forgiveness. I asked my daughter to forgive all the people who once offended her. We didn't look for someone to blame. I brushed aside any thought that my daughter was undeservedly offended and everyone around was doing nothing but harming her. I also stopped talking about how my daughter behaved badly and deserved to be treated badly, and people did the right thing by hitting her and leaving her alone.
Initially, I did not take either side of these barricades of resentment, because I had my own side - this is our real life with my daughter. I deliberately did not fall into a state of justified anger: “How could they!”, although it was not easy to resist this. Of course, the information I received shocked, revolted, and surprised me, but I steadfastly decided to forbid myself from assessing what had happened to my daughter before. I was firmly convinced that the only thing that matters to us is our present and the intensity with which my daughter experiences her past life. I helped my daughter sort out her real feelings, look at them, analyze her own behavior, and not fall into anger and hatred for those who now have nothing to do with her life. I earnestly asked my daughter to forgive them. Not immediately and not all. And honestly everyone. Together, if possible, we reviewed all the painful situations from the past life of our daughter and said goodbye to them.
For a while, my daughter wanted to be angry with them. I did not support this and explained that anger poisons our real life with her; She talked a lot about the fact that each person has his own truth, his own view of what happened a long time ago. These truths may not match. And people's opinions also differ on the same issue. I was not going to justify anyone - neither my daughter, nor those who were with her in the past. I protected our present as best I could. Therefore, I consider this period of our life - from the fourth to the sixth months - the most difficult: I had to be a psychologist, psychotherapist twenty hours a day and seven days a week, and only a few hours a week I had the happy role of a mother.
Gradually, the role of mother pleased me more and more often. The role of the “Sunday psychotherapist” remained. I don’t know why it was Sunday from my daughter’s past that plunged into our present with tantrums and aggression, I can only guess. But we took Sunday under special supervision and tried to spend as much time as possible in the forest, on the dam. Fortunately, autumn spoiled us, and we spent all Sundays in nature with great pleasure: we gathered mushrooms, made a fire, just sat by the water, rushed like mad along the narrow paths of the yellowing forest.
Of course, the birthday itself had nothing to do with it. But waiting for him was an amazingly effective way to put an end to the work on regression and breathe a sigh of relief, or at least enjoy a well-deserved rest, albeit a short one.
I must say that my daughter on all the calendars living in our apartment marked her birthday with a bold circle. She reminded me every time that the main day of her life would soon be. Perhaps my daughter's birthday was an essential, defining boundary between her past and our present. On her last birthday, no one came to her orphanage. She waited and hoped that they would remember her, congratulate her. But that did not happen. And, mindful of her bitterness of loneliness and abandonment, she threw all her strength into making her new birthday go differently. My daughter didn't know how she would like to spend her new birthday. The only thing she knew for sure was that she wanted to receive a mobile phone as a gift. For more, she lacked neither experience nor knowledge. My daughter had no idea how much personal effort would need to be invested to make her birthday interesting and exciting.
About a month before my birthday, I started a game. The game consisted in the fact that as soon as my daughter allowed herself to slide into a childish speech, I told her in the same manner: “My little one, I will give you a beautiful bow and a big ambulance for your birthday. All kids love big cars." When my daughter shouted back that she didn't want a big car, I told her that then she needed to convince me that she was no longer a little girl dreaming of a beautiful dress or bow!
Every time I distorted words, I told my daughter in an exaggerated parental voice what exactly she would receive as a birthday present. And then we laughed together. Because it was really funny. And if for the first time my daughter got terribly angry and rushed at me almost with her fists, then for the tenth time we laughed at the “fluffies” and bows for about five minutes without stopping. The game amused me, although it was not easy every time to impromptu invent children's gifts that would delight a little girl. And it was very difficult to play it in such a way that until the very hour of the presentation of the gift, my daughter was not sure that she would really receive a mobile phone, and not "things in a box", it was very difficult. During this month of waiting, we not only significantly improved our understanding of each other, but also clearly became more talented and more sensitive!
In parallel with the game, we started a real preparation for the birthday. I asked my daughter to make a guest list to determine the number of guests. At first, my daughter wanted to invite just "everyone". I did not convince her that our apartment would not withstand "everyone". I asked my daughter to take into account the fact that the birthday falls on vacation time and talk to each guest. The guest list after talking with her acquaintances approached zero. And the daughter announced in an upset voice that none of her girlfriends in the yard could come. I realized that she was ready to discuss inviting guests to her main day in her life more seriously. As long as there was a strategy of inviting "everyone", of course, there could not be a strategy of choosing "some, especially pleasant and interesting."
Of course, we were lucky in a way. I have no idea how we would have handled the "everyone" strategy if they hadn't refused to be guests themselves. We have compiled a list of children with whom my daughter was interested. And they even discussed what exactly this or that guest is interesting for. Then we discussed what would be interesting to do together, what to play. It turned out that it was best to invite everyone to the bowling alley. It turned out to be a very simple matter: I accidentally saw an ad. I drew attention to it solely because of grammatical errors. On a beautiful glossy sheet of paper with a modern design in a trendy light green and purple tones, it was written: “School-student tariff”. I could not stop and read this text to the end. And the brochure was about exactly what I needed - a game of bowling. It was enough to call and find out that upon presentation of at least one certificate from the school, I would pay a ridiculous amount for an hour of bowling. It suited me. And I ordered two tracks: for children and for adults.
In addition to bowling, we were very fond of playing checkers and corners. Therefore, the idea to hold a tournament was born. When there was some certainty with the games, we began to develop a menu for the main day of my daughter's life. By this time, the daughter coped well with pancakes. Therefore, it was decided to bake a huge pile of pancakes. And I really wanted pies. Therefore, we bought puff pastry and baked pies with different fillings for five hours in a row on the eve of our birthday.
On her big day, my daughter got up herself at seven in the morning and baked pancakes for several hours! It was her personal achievement. She was tired, but very pleased. The birthday was a great success: we had a lot of fun, as planned.
And on Monday, the first day of the second term, my daughter told me the following:
- Mom, two little girls appeared in our class.
- Are you new in class?
- No. It's just that two of my classmates were talking like little kids today.
- What did they say?
- All sorts of musi-pusi-nonsense. Like in kindergarten!
* * *
On April Sunday, the second spring of our life, my daughter wrote:
“Once upon a time there was a girl who every evening, when she had to go to bed, became small.
“Mom,” she said, “I have become an ant!”
And mother understood that it was time to put her daughter to bed.
And in the morning the girl would wake up as soon as the sun was rising. But it was still small, small, so it fit freely on the pillow. And there was still room.
- Get up! Mom said.
“I can’t,” the girl answered. - I'm still too small, like a butterfly.
And then she joyfully exclaimed:
– Well, I grew up!
And jumped out of bed with a cheerful cry. And the beginning of a new sunny day.
This text is an introductory fragment.
If senior regression . Children in the family. Psychology of interaction
Psychologists single out such a thing as "temporary regression": when the elder grows, grows up and suddenly starts to grow down - not in the physical plane, but in the psychological one. The child becomes more emotionally dependent, less emotionally stable, cries more often, wants to be held more often, requires more attention, speaks in a whining voice, becomes intractable. He may have trouble sleeping at night, enuresis may appear or return, he may want to be small and believe that being small is better. Thus, the first-born is looking for its ecological niche.
If the child wants to be small, you can play it: wrap him in a large sheet or blanket, give him a pacifier, put on a diaper. Only when he gets tired of it in a minute and a half, do not let him out - let him lie down a little more. When you nevertheless let him out of the diaper, do not let him immediately run or play with toys, say: “No, now lie in the stroller - you are small, you can’t do anything. You don’t even know how to roll over - lie only on your back. Here are the rattles, look at them. Often a few such “transformations” are enough for the child to understand everything. Most kids get it right the first time, but some are willing to keep playing for days or even weeks. Nevertheless, saturation with such impressions comes, and the elder becomes easier. Do not be afraid to let the elder play with the baby. He will soon realize that there is nothing good in this.
So, we are looking for a new ecological niche. Privileges help us powerfully in its creation. What besides this?
Physically, emotionally, the older child should not become further from the mother, but closer to the mother. In the first six months of a new elder's life, no matter how big he is, he needs the maximum of the bodily contact that he allows.
It's easy with two or three years old. Four-, five-, six-year-olds may not let themselves get close, not let themselves be squeezed, although they need contact. Here we must look for a form that would be pleasant for the child and not offensive.
For the regressive manifestations of children on the part of parents, condescension is needed. Let's say these manifestations appeared. If you see something that looks like a regression in an older person, and you start to fight this behavior head-on, these things only intensify. If you are fighting with a rush, you do not understand the nature of this behavior. And the nature of this behavior is that the child has not found a new ecological niche and is worried about whether his parents still love him or whether his mother now loves the new child more, because she holds him a lot in her arms, takes care of him. If such anxiety settles in the elder, it may accompany him not for several months, but for several years. So, at that stage of development of children's relationships that you have, you need to help the elder find a comfortable ecological niche for himself.
There are some common behavioral phenomena in older children that appear shortly after the arrival of the second child in the family.
For example, this is the so-called temporal regression, which consists in the fact that for some time (from several days to several months), the firstborn begins to behave like an unintelligent baby, while losing the previously acquired skills. Some suddenly forget how to pack their bags and do their homework on their own, others how to fall asleep alone, and still others how to handle shoelaces. Do not panic, this phenomenon is typical for many children.
Sometimes after the birth of a baby in the family, the firstborn may resume sucking habits. Don't fight them head-on. If the elder again began to urinate in the bed at night, and specific health problems were excluded, then one of the explanations for this may be as follows: the elder sees that the younger is doing this and at the same time everyone loves him, and believes that this rule applies to him equally. Without raising your voice or falling into hysterics, explain to the firstborn that he is wrong. Know that this is often a characteristic “ring” signaling a senior’s lack of attention.
The consciousness of a child up to six years of age is extremely egocentric, it is natural for him to feel himself the center of the universe. When you are torn between two children, you should not expect full understanding from the elder, although you need to talk about your feelings with him.
Over time, both children must realize that the mother has many responsibilities. For example, right now she has to give a small massage and help the older one with the lessons. By the way, the second child must also learn to entertain himself on his own. If this rule is strictly observed and becomes an unshakable law, then problems should not arise in the future.
What else do children in regression begin to do?
Very often they sleep worse or fall asleep worse. You can't do anything with a child who can't sleep. You can lay him down for a long time, cradle him, but you cannot force him to fall into a dream. Sleep gets lost quite often, and children become more demanding on styling. Such a regressive violation can be overcome in the following way.
If you see that your child is regressing and either requires more help in falling asleep, or wakes up more often at night, try forty to fifty minutes of concentrated time with him before bedtime before you start to bed. It is better if it is “solo” communication, i.e. when the younger one is somewhere on other hands. By the way, in the first three months of a baby's life, it is very important that dad can come home at the beginning of the evening ritual. Little ones are often much more restless in the evening (closer to the month, colic can begin), and they are simply tired already; older people are also much more demanding in the evening. And at this time, mom's strength ends. In the first period after childbirth, it is very important that dad does not come at nine or ten. There is no obligation for a mother to cope entirely on her own, to carry out a full cycle of the daily routine of two children without the help of her husband. On the contrary, the more dad will participate in the first weeks, the closer he will become with the older child, the more opportunities he will have to get involved in the younger one, while mom gives solo attention to the older one.
In the "solo" period, physical contact is very important: do not hold the child by the hand, but give a massage, play, read a book, i. e. there should be attention according to age. So that the child does not endlessly delay falling asleep, it is better to give him love, attention, warmth, just physical presence before bedtime.
Also, the elder may become less independent, asking: "Feed me", "Dress me - I can't, I won't go." Very often this happens at those moments when you need to gather the elder somewhere: to the garden, to school or to classes, when he must move at a pace. And then the child gets stuck and begins to behave just like a baby, like a baby - he becomes stubborn, naughty, scandalous.
What can be done about this type of regressive behavior?
It is very important to predict your own child - when, at what moment the eldest may get stuck. It is enough to observe the child for five to seven days, and you can notice when he gets stuck, when he is more prone to emotional outbursts. This usually happens when you need to move from one state to another: to gather somewhere, break away from something, start doing something. At such moments of transition, great efforts are required from the child, and he begins to quarrel. There are periods of instability. If such situations are regular, you should not expect that next time it will blow over and everything will pass without a scandal. It must be immediately recognized that the child will now whine and scream just as he whined and screamed yesterday. And then it is already possible to come up with some small incentives, small supports for a child who has fallen into such a temporary regression.
For example, you know that a scandal is possible when you go to or from the garden - the child will normally meet you in a bad mood. In this case, you can help - have a "magician's pocket", setting up the child: "Let's go with you to that blue shop and eat an apple there", or: "I have crumbs - let's go and feed the pigeons", or: "Come on When you're fully dressed, I'll put a song on your phone." You need to think very carefully and carefully how you can encourage the child’s small successes, realizing that he does nothing to spite you. Just such feelings of parents, as if the child is doing it on purpose right now, when it is so difficult with the baby, and behaves disgustingly, make it very difficult for adults to support the child. And that is exactly what should be done.
If the difference in children is less than three years, a child who already knows how to walk well, at the time of regression, will begin to feel that his legs are tired.
And there are all sorts of therapeutic poems for this case:
A kid was walking along the path,
His legs were tired.
The goat cried out:
– Me-e! Lay a rug for me!
A lamb was walking along the path…
There are other helpers in movement: strollers where two people can sit (for the weather, with a step at the back, three-wheeled, special attachments where you can sit). Perhaps all these devices are not very convenient to transport, but in general, if you are ready to support the child in this way, it will be easier for him, and at some point everything will pass.