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The First Years of a Child

The First Years of a Child

In the afternoon hours of August 11th, 2023, within the premises of the Preschool Institution "Pasa and Natasa" in Nova Varos, clinical psychologist Vlajko Panovic delivered his second lecture on parenthood as part of the "Petar Mandic" Endowment's parenting seminar.

The second lecture on parenting

The lecture's topic was "The First Years of a Child Until School Entry: Guidelines for Upbringing".

Dr. Vlajko Panovic attempted to provide insight into the most significant developmental sequences of children and advise attendees on how to overcome common crisis situations and parenting mistakes.

Children are a gift from God

Dr. Panovic began his second lecture with the notion that children are a gift from God, regardless of whether one believes in God or not. It is important to understand that children are not our possessions; we have been entrusted with them for their physical, mental, and emotional well-being, with the ultimate role of parents being to prepare children for independent living.

In practice, different attitudes and behaviors are prevalent, which, according to the speaker, hinder a child's healthy development and growth, leading to many troubles later in life.

The earliest stages of a child's life

Discussing the earliest stages of a child's life, Dr. Panovic highlights the mother's role as essential during this period, but also the importance of the father figure. Through the presence of both parents, the child constructs a mental space for the relationship between two people and becomes an integral part of the group.

Regarding the earliest interactions between parents and children, the lecturer describes them as highly intimate, without disturbances, with calming music in the background to capture the child's attention. The quality of this relationship, he explains, determines the child's future attitude towards diversity.

Spontaneous Child Development

The lecturer highlights spontaneous development as the best way for a child's growth, where the environment should assist the child in modeling their behavior and heading in the desired direction. Every new skill a child masters in their development should be encouraged because each one – standing independently, walking, speaking – represents a revolution in the child's brain.

Parenting mistakes recognized by Dr. Panovic include leaving children to cry (as he states crying indicates that something is not right), pressuring children to eat using manipulative tactics like "if..., then...," which can determine a child's entire destiny because they will carry that conditioning through life and replicate it with a model like "I want..., if...".

In spontaneous development, it is emphasized that children should develop needs for something before their parents satisfy them.

Sibling Relationships

According to the lecturer, first-born children always have a more passive attitude toward life and reality compared to their younger siblings because they have received everyone's attention from an early age, while younger siblings develop a wider range of behaviors.

The most common mistake pointed out is advising older siblings to give their things (toys) to the younger ones. It is recommended that younger siblings should never be allowed to take anything from an older brother/sister without permission.

Children's Talents

One common mistake parents make is comparing their children to other kids. Instead of comparisons, it is essential to teach the child to recognize their own talents. Therefore, a multi-talented child should be encouraged to explore their talents, and parents should not impose their standards.

Dr. Panovic sees the recognition of a child's talent conditioned by the alignment of parents, where the joy a talent brings to the child should always be more important than its material profitability.

Speaking about talents and a child's success, the lecturer underscores that material rewards should never be given to children for their achievements because it creates mercenary interests. Instead, the reward for children's success should always be the joy and embrace of their parents.

At the end of the lecture, responding to audience questions, Dr. Panovic also discussed unresponsive mothers, the influence of mobile phones on children, toys, and differences between children from larger and smaller communities.

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