Stimulation does play a role in social development

This is a case study of four years old boy. The boy was brought for the session because they felt that he was an introvert and had some personality issues. The parents felt that the child had some problem with his social development. They said they both were very social however their son Ajay (name changed) was not socially inclined.

Case History

As per my protocol I took the detailed case history. On interrogating I understood that whole day the parents went to office and the child was kept in day care center. The parents didn’t get sufficient time to spend with the child due to their hectic schedule. He went to day care but lot of stimulation was missing which was really must for him. When I say stimulation it means that an atmosphere filled with opportunities so that the child could interact in an effective way.

Child didn’t get rich environment

After meeting Ajay I realised that he didn’t like going to Day Care center as he had nobody of his age. He had lost confidence in talking as he didn’t have anyone to interact with of his age group. When he reached home Ajay’s, mother was very tired to take him outdoors. The only scope for Ajay of going out was on weekend with father’s friends where he would find himself lost.

I asked one question to the couple. How much compulsory was for both the parents to go out and work? On this the mother said that she never felt the need to stay at home although money was not an issue.

It’s fine if both the parents are enthusiastic about their work. Since we live in modern era both the genders should get equal opportunity. Due to rise in expenses many a times it’s required that the couple earns together. However if the child’s area of development is at stake then it’s important that one of the parent takes the back seat for sometime and help the child.

Need of the child

In this case if the couple wanted Ajay to be more social, vocal, extrovert then it was important to provide him that kind of an environment. I suggested the mother if she could take a break for a while and give him as much as stimulation she could.
I gave this suggestion after detailed observation and after couple of sessions with the child. Ajay had tremendous scope to be the kind of child that his parents were expecting and even he wanted to be one of those however he required right type of direction.

The parents understood what I meant to convey and mother decided that she would take a break after servicing the notice period. I wasn’t sure if they would take this step but to my surprise the mother did take a break.

Activities for social development

We decided upon few Activities that both the mother and son could do in terms of building his social skills.
• Simple things like going for a stroll in a day time. Mother should greet whomever she met so that Ajay could observe her.
• Both could go to buy groceries wherein Ajay would observe how the mother was interacting with the vendors( earlier everything would be home delivered so that scope was missed out).
• The parents were asked to share their stories about the childhood days in terms of how they made friends.
• Ajay went down during play time with his mother in initial days and gradually he started going alone.
• Father had to take charge on weekends and holidays. The parents took Ajay at places during weekend where he would get different environment. Example, visiting the malls, going at the beach and watching the waves. Visiting different gardens and talking about nature.

One of the days mother messaged me that she could see lot of difference in Ajay and she had never seen him so happy. This made the mother feel very satisfied and confident about her decision of leaving her job.

Exactly after one year, father called me and said they would like to meet me with Ajay. I was wondering that must be the reason. It felt good to see Ajay with a radiant smile and change in posture. High self esteem was seen in his body language. Parents had come with his photographs on their cell phone. They said that all of sudden Ajay has bloomed so much that he enjoyed dancing in group, ramp walks and games. He had overcome his fear and there was a remarkable difference in his social development. They shared his videos and all three were extremely elated. He had learnt how to interact with his father’s friends and building friends. He started sharing lot of his thoughts with his parents too.
I was happy because the mother was very comfortable and wasn’t lost after leaving her corporate job.

Let me share with you that mother was an MBA who was at a very high post. However the same ambitious mother was quite disheartened on seeing her son when he couldn’t cope up with his social skills.

Zero to six years

So dear readers as per child development zero to six years are the foundation years. This is the time when we can make the child or break the child. Hence right type of stimulation is a must. That doesn’t mean that the child can be left on his own post six years. However if we as a parent can build their base then the building become will very strong.
All we need to give is our time, love, patience, listening ear , observation and lots of stimulation. Rest all the child will absorb on his own.

If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them and half as much money- Abigail Van Buren

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