In the Principle's Office
Here’s a phrase that scares everyone…
In the Principle’s office, where everyone assumes they will either go to complain, or to be reprimanded!
But so many beautiful things happen in this office!
We launched this new blog column with one of them!
In the office we have the opportunity to discuss above all, what we are worried about, what we are thinking about, what we are looking for a solution for!
So come with us to discover a series of these beautiful discussions!
This week’s guest is Mrs. Evi Bitsakou, Psychologist-Child Psychologist.
LE: Good morning Mrs. Bitsakou! On 21 February at 17:00 our school’s parents will have the opportunity to participate in the webinar organized by our school on “Developing parental communication skills in order to enhance a safe and cooperative parent-child relationship” which will be held in English!
EB: Thank you very much for the invitation and it is a pleasure to talk with parents about such an important topic as that of communication with their children in early childhood.
LE: What do you consider today the biggest challenge parents face with their preschool children?
EB: Raising a child is a challenge by itself, as the parents are relearning themselves, discovering their limits, their strengths and the range of acceptance and love they can possess.
Every period has its own challenges for a parent. In today’s times, challenges could be a) lack of time for parents as they work long hours and b) exposure of children to “screens”. The latter may sometimes be an easy solution for parents, but in the long run it has negative effects.
LE: The way children of this age express their emotions is most often a mystery, especially to young parents. How would you advise them to recognize and approach the signs of expressing their sadness, anger, insecurity, or fear?
EB: Young children cannot express their emotions in words like adults, but they can express them through their bodies… When they are sad, they cry. When they are afraid, they gather themselves together. When they get angry, they scream or hit, etc. The biggest challenge is that the child may not understand the reason for their strong emotions. A parent, after realizing that something is upsetting the child, needs to first offer the child the reassurance that no matter what happens he or she is there to take care of it. The biggest “adversary” for parents is their own anxiety that they must find an immediate solution to what is happening, whilst sometimes the solution comes through the security the child feels when the parent understands.
LE: Tell us, when do children feel safe in communicating with their parents and how do they show it?
EB: A child can feel safe with a parent from the earliest moment in life. Let’s not forget that the fetus perceives and feels from the womb… How children show it varies depending on the age and the temperament of the child. If we could say it somewhat generally, the child shows the secure attachment when he can separate from the parent with ease and when the parent returns from where he was, the child responds positively, with a smile and a hug.
LE: At a time when we are all inundated with so much information what would you advise our parents to be careful in their choice of research, articles they seek out online or in person in their attempt to address the issues that concern them in their relationships with their children?
EB: I understand that sites are a way of “sharing” for parents, but they can’t offer anything more than that. If a parent is interested in learning some information about their child’s development, they can either find it in scientific articles published in peer-reviewed journals (e.g. pubmed is a valid search engine for such articles), or they can visit a mental health professional: psychologist, child psychologist, developmental psychologist.
LE: Thank you very much for your time! We look forward to joining you for the webinar “Developing parental communication skills in order to enhance a safe and cooperative parent-child relationship” on February 21, 2023!
EB: Thank you and I look forward to meeting the parents of your school!
I am a mother of two children, a wife, a daughter, a friend, and a Psychologist – Child Psychologist. I completed my Psychology degree in England and continued there with my Masters and PhD in Developmental Psychopathology. I returned to Greece in 2008 and have been working with children since 2003. Over the years I have worked with children in various contexts, with different needs, such as developmental disorders with an emphasis on ADHD, emotional difficulties, difficulties in interpersonal relationships, loss of loved ones, fostering and adoption and post-traumatic stress. I also work with parents in a counselling and/or therapeutic capacity. My vision is for a healthy connection between people and themselves and those around them…