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Child Psychology: What is it, and how does it work?

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Before starting to define the term child psychology, it is necessary to understand that the universe of children is multifaceted, and several things are involved in childhood.

The child is inserted in several environments that affect him/her and this must be carefully observed. Among these environments, we can mention the family, school, society, cultural and economic issues, living with other children, and even genetic issues, among other aspects of life that influence their development.

Several situations can influence children’s lives and their development process. Among them, we can see situations that are quick and easy to care for and others that require professional follow-up to better meet the child’s demands at that time and allow for healthy cognitive development and management of emotions.

Thinking about it, let’s understand a little about child psychology and how psychotherapy aimed at the mental health of little one’s works.

What is child psychology?

Child psychology is focused on the analysis of children’s behavior, considering the situations that affect their development and impact emotions and learning, as well as their quality of life.

Child psychology seeks alternatives to help children face their fears and anxieties through psychotherapeutic strategies that help in the resignification of traumatic events because sometimes the child cannot express through speech.

The child will express themselves through actions and emotional lack of control that can be overcome with professional help and in the construction of an increasingly safe environment for their growth.

The work of child psychology is done through psychotherapy, which can be defined as effective care for children’s mental health, helping to understand their behavior, and demonstrating to the family and children how to deal with situations that involve fear, anguish, and insecurity, to feel welcomed.

Thus, a huge point in child psychology is the monitoring not only of the child but also the family as the main support in this process of self-knowledge and building trust in the child.

How important is child psychology?

The child goes through several stages of development and mental health care is extremely necessary so that all stages are lived healthy and without interruptions that can cause problems in their development. Hence the important role of child psychology in this process.

Adults have an easier time expressing their feelings and frustrations. Even if this is not a reality for all adults, the rule is that we know what we like and what is not part of our identity, having the full capacity to express our desires verbally.

With children, this is different since they are discovering life events and the way to express their feelings is often not accompanied by words, but by attitudes that need to be read between the lines so that help is provided.

Therefore, the most important factor in child psychology is the ability to understand what the child cannot express in words.

How does child psychotherapy work?

There are many tools to help children express their feelings and thoughts within psychotherapy. Among them, the professionals use games, jokes, and drawings, among other observation techniques to establish communication with children.

You must be asking yourself: but how can a drawing help to understand a child’s behavioral problem?

Children are sensitive to capturing emotions from the environment and people, and this can be reflected in their behavior.

Often, they can witness situations that generate confusion and even mental suffering. They can only express themselves through the tools that are used in their development process such as drawings, and in the way of playing and communicating with other children.

Within these expressions, psychology professionals can understand what children think about situations, people, and themselves.  Thus, their behavior says more than words most of the time, hence the need for differentiated attention.

The constant monitoring of parents in this process is essential, and psychotherapy must reach the whole family so that the results are efficient for the children.

The school is another important point of support in child psychology, as children spend a lot of their day in the school environment, establishing coexistence with their peers and with the adults who form the school’s body of educators.

Signs that a child is having psychological problems

Children need constant observation in everyday life. So, they can understand what content is traumatic and what content is reactional.

Thus, this is one of the major concerns of parents regarding their children’s behavior and how to act in the face of it.

An important factor for parents, caregivers, educators, and all people who are part of children’s daily lives is to observe their behavior changes. However, recognizing they are in psychological distress is a complex task that raises doubts for parents.

It is possible to notice many signs in children with some psychological difficulty. Hence the insecurity and difficulty of parents in this identification. We can cite some of these actions and help mom or dad to observe more precisely some behaviors that may be indicative of psychic suffering.

A strong indicator that is soon noticed by everyone around the child is the difficulty of socializing both with adults and with other children. In addition, there is a commitment to learning, and the ability to concentrate and attention, among other reasons, such as:

● Social isolation

● Irritability

● Aggression

● Shyness and excessive introspection

● Melancholy and persistent sadness

● Anxiety

● Difficulties in eating and sleeping

● Competitive behaviors

● Compulsive behaviors

In addition to these signs linked to behavioral and sentimental issues, some physical aspects may indicate that the child needs psychological support, such as stomach aches, palpitations, shortness of breath, sweaty hands and feet, vomiting, and redness in the body.

These symptoms happen involuntarily, guided by emotions, related to mental health, through situations that cause anxiety in children.

When these symptoms are noticed, they should be diagnosed as being either physiological or pathological by a pediatrician or specialist. Only then can the necessary measures be taken for child psychological treatments. With the help of psychotherapy, the child’s quality of life and the glow of childhood are returned to your child.

How to help children feel confident and overcome their fears?

Doubts always arise when it comes to caring for our children, so it is important to be open to receiving help in this process of educating and addressing the needs of our children.

A relevant point is access to professionals who are well-prepared to receive children and help treat psychological problems, whether preventive or symptomatic.

Fear is a primary and necessary emotion in our lives to protect us from impending dangers. However, when these fears become excessive and are aligned with the symptoms mentioned above, they can be a strong indication that the child needs professional help to overcome this obstacle.

1.    Offer support and security: give importance to the child’s fear so they feel supported in that situation.

2.    Dealing with fear gradually: Do not force contact with the phobic situation or object, but gradually encourage this contact, respecting the child’s limits as he or she gains security.

 3.  Identify the source of the child’s fear: Identifying where occurred the situation which causes excessive fear or discomfort in the child is essential to help your child.

 4. Demystify the child’s fear: demonstrate to children that sometimes the situation that generates fear is something of our imagination. An example of this is the monster under the bed. You can deal with understanding by safely demonstrating that there aren’t any monsters and that we are all afraid of some things in life.

 5.  Do not use fear pedagogically: Don’t use the object of fear as a threat to the child. It could generate more frustration and cause immeasurable trauma.

6.    Praise the child when he/she gets over his/her fear: It is essential that he/she feels safe to overcome his/her fears and that his/her overcoming of these challenges is recognized. 

How to deal with child frustration?

We all exhibit disruptive behaviors and with children, this is very common.

One of the first things to do is to understand what situation this behavior is linked to; then analyze what may have generated the child’s frustration and how she has been dealing with it.

Some strategies can help to deal with child frustration, such as acting maturely in the situation that causes frustration, demonstrating security, and not dramatizing the moment of irritability.

Demonstrating the problem solution can help to control the child’s emotions. It is important to offer support, helping them with the daily learning challenges, especially in this discovery phase.

Benefits of child therapy

Identifying psychic suffering in children and adolescents and seeking help as soon as possible can transform everyone’s lives and preserve the best of childhood for your child.

With that in mind, the child therapy benefits can be perceived right in the first follow-ups. Something essential that should always be remembered is that the whole family needs to participate in this process.

Child therapy provides parents with clarification on children’s actions, providing access to techniques that help them understand and deal with this problem.

The change in the quality of life of the little ones is notorious, as fears begin to be overcome and well-being is promoted.

Among the advantages of the child’s therapy are:

the increase in the child’s confidence to discover the world around him/her; the understanding that there are difficult situations in life; the certainty of a stable environment for their growth; and improves their relationship with their peers, family, teachers, aligned with the development of emotional skills.

The school is an ally in the search for the best development of the child

The school is an important ally in the process of understanding the role of child psychology, as well as in the process of identifying harmful behaviors to children’s mental health. At school, children will experience adaptation to life in society, encouraging the best actions for their development.

The insertion of the child in a school with humanized training, and based on respect for others through a globalized, international and multicultural education, provides a healthy and enriching educational experience.

With that in mind, come to meet St. Nicholas School, the best private kindergarten in São Paulo, with an international teaching proposal in an inspiring and motivational environment, with excellent professionals and adequate infrastructure for your children’s growth.

Click on the link to apply now!



  • St Nicholas

    St. Nicholas School is a school with an international education with the aim of developing responsible, confident and caring citizens. Teaching students to ask the right questions, to get to the right places for them. You can find St. Nicholas School in Pinheiros and Alphaville.


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