C is for… Children

The Psychologist A to Z continues.

Suggested by Krishna Kulkarni, a postgraduate at the Institute of Education:

‘That’s where it all begins. No two children are the same and no one theory can explain everything about them. It is this diversity that keeps psychology as a field so young and innovative. In today’s fast-moving world, it is learning from the beginning that will help us move forward. I am convinced that insights from this stage of identity formation can be leveraged in powerful ways as the world aims to translate its plurality into strength, rather than discord.’

By the age of three, children are already adept at figuring out who is boss. Find this and other studies by searching ‘children’ at www.bps.org.uk/digest.

Read about the street children of Latin America in Graham Pluck’s article at tinyurl.com/zdkut2n

Do the children of psychologists feel that their parents’ profession had an impact on their upbringing? Jon Sutton and Aidan Horner ask at tinyurl.com/sutthorn.

Scientific evidence can only take you so far – it’s the individuality of each relationship that’s crucial, according to Professor Vasudevi Reddy (University of Portsmouth). ‘You have to be open to engaging with the individual child and allowing them to engage with you,’ she said in The Psychologist Guide to… You and Your Baby (see tinyurl.com/youandyourbaby). ‘Using a “recipe” can get you out of a distressing or negative pattern, and can help you to reflect on what you are doing. But if followed as formulae, rules can interfere with the genuineness of your response and intrude into the relationship.’

- Tweet your thoughts on this topic, and suggestions for any letter, to @psychmag using the hashtag #PsychAtoZ or email the editor on [email protected]

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