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Are you sensitive to young children?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Ruby, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. Ruby

    Ruby Well-Known Member

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    Apparently people who parent children love them so much and people who work with children care about them. I don't see such extreme cases of affection towards children in parents or people who just love children. I kind of have a feeling that they can't care about children that much if they will willingly change them or brush their hair without being extremely gentle and without fearing that they would cause the young child any pain or discomfort. I also don't know how they could randomly pick a baby up without a second thought, without feeling tense and scared that they might drop the baby or cause pain. If they really cared about a particular young child or they care about children in general, how could they just do things to them involving touching without worrying or fearing about hurting them or causing them discomfort? In fact, how could they do these things at all? If early childhood professionals really loved and cared about children, how come they don't show a lot of affection and warmth by soothing, cuddling, caressing and comforting? Even if they urge to, how do they resist without going crazy?

    I feel that I am sensitive to young children because they're small & fragile. I feel that I must be extremely careful if I touch them in anyway. I am also sensitive to their voices which cause me discomfort but their voices can sound really sweet and charming at the same time. I've had very little experience with them since I was twelve and quit student teaching with a dance class because of my shyness. I also feel that I'd be very shy around young children. When I was twelve, I got given a random baby from my mum's friend to hold but I didn't pick him up, I just left him lying on my legs because I was afraid I might drop him or cause pain. I did not move my legs at all but I kind of felt I'd have to deal with him until someone took him away from me which was quite a while away. Also for my dance concert, I changed some of the 3-4 year olds but I did it extremely slowly and carefully because I was scared and tense. The funny thing is that even if I'm scared of hurting them, they act like they're experiencing no pain or discomfort what so ever, so that makes me relieved.

    Another thing which I don't think is a problem is that I like things that are aimed towards young children. Whenever I see books, toys, decorations, rooms, child care centres, child-friendly environments, television programs and other things aimed for young children, it fills me with joy and a sense of youth and happiness. I also listen to young children's music a lot and it makes me feel good. Things like that which are aimed for young children also remind me of young children. Although their presence makes me happy, I am shy. I also really support the development of children even if they aren't that young. I guess I have strong opinions as to what kind of environment they should grow up in, what they are exposed to ect. That stuff matters. I find it sad if children and even teenagers aren't living in child-friendly environments and if they're exposed to inappropriate things or things that they could hold off of until they're older. For instance, there may be certain songs that aren't inappropriate, but children could wait until their adults to be exposed to songs that involve themes that they are not ready for yet such as love and relationships. Instead they could listen to nursery rhymes and educational music while they are young. I don't think they should grow up too quickly in this sense.

    By the way, because I value childhood development, I feel like I want to work with young children when I grow up. I've just decided recently but I keep changing my mind on what I want to do and I might for this. I think that I would become used to them if I'm around them more often. I think I want to be a preschool teacher but that would only happen if I deal with or get over my shyness and sensitivities. I figured that If I did work with children, that would be one of the best careers for other people's plus my own personal development. I would learn what I need to know to be a satisfactory and confident person not just with kids but in society. So I think a preschool teacher might be a better, more useful and more fullfilling career than multimedia and design which I am also thinking of but I'm now more drawn towards careers in early childhood.

    Sorry this was long.
     
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  2. Karrie111

    Karrie111 Active Member

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    I love kids too. Maybe you could babysit a child so you could get more comfortable with kids. Maybe a family member has young kids? Kids make me feel great too.. they are in some ways much easier to understand because they tell it exactly the way it is. There's no mind games.. ! I also agree about kids nowadays being so grown up, they should just be allowed to be little. They wont be little for very long! I have been a nanny and looked after lots of kids, but like you i was a little nervous at first. Babies are generally very vocal about how they're feeling. They will let you know if they're unhappy or in pain! Anyways you seem really nice, i hope things work out for you :)
     
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  3. Licorice

    Licorice Twisted

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    Kind of presumptuous, but anyway...

    Parents worry a lot! Especially new ones. What made you think that they don't?

    The child still needs to be fed, though. He or she still needs to be changed. He or she still needs human touch. They'll die if someone doesn't do that for them. Parents and healthcare professionals simply have confidence that they know how to handle their own child or the children they're responsible for, and that they'll survive a few strands of hair accidentally getting pulled during brushing or such. Children need someone who knows what to do, because they don't and they can't feed or change themselves.

    It's potentially inappropriate to be too attached to or involved with a child not your own. There's a lot of ways to show they care besides touch.
     
  4. Ruby

    Ruby Well-Known Member

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    Why do you think I feel like this and how come other people don't? I am sensitive to many other things by the way.
     
  5. Ariel

    Ariel Well-Known Member

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    I feel the same. My cousin has young children - it's probably the closest I'll get to being an aunt but I'm too scared to hold them in case I hurt them somehow. I prefer older people and feel very uncomfortable in the presence of children even though I don't want to feel that way at all. :(
     
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  6. Ruby

    Ruby Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad someone feels the same! Maybe if we put ourselves out there more, we'll get used to them and realise that they won't get hurt. Are you a sensitive person in general?
     
  7. Ste11aeres

    Ste11aeres Moderator Staff Member

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    It sound like you'd be happier as an Infant/Toddler Caregiver, than with preschool (3 to 5 year olds). Because although you would probably love children of all ages, the expectations the a daycare or preschool has of Infant/Toddler Caregivers are different than the expectations such an establishment has of preschool age teachers. If you were a preschool teacher, your boss would expect you to be very strict, to keep the children on a schedule, etc, and not to be too gentle. If you were an Infant teacher, your boss would be happy if you were simply very gentle and sweet.

    That's my experience, since I've done both. And I've been a Nanny.
    In my professional experience Infant teachers have to and do affectionately touch hold and cuddle the infants.
     
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  8. Ste11aeres

    Ste11aeres Moderator Staff Member

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    I disagree with the first sentence.
     
  9. Karamitzov

    Karamitzov Active Member

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    Hmm. I thought that this thread would be a bit different. I tend to be really good around children, such that it surprises any female friends that I may be hanging out with at the moment. Although, it can get a bit strange with very young children.

    For example, if a parent brings a very young child around, the child will almost invariably stare directly at me for long periods of time. It's kind of fun sometimes, but other times the parents will be flabbergasted. I also have an easy time calming kids down when they're upset, so that's kind of nice.
     
  10. Ste11aeres

    Ste11aeres Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, sometimes the awkward thing is not the child his/herself, but the reaction of the parents. I've sometimes bonded strongly with some children. But I had to gain the parent's trust before I could really show my love for the child without adults thinking I was an obsessive creep.
    (P.S. I am obsessive, I'm just not a creep)
     
  11. Karamitzov

    Karamitzov Active Member

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    Obsessive, eh? Have any weird hobbies?
     
  12. Ruby

    Ruby Well-Known Member

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    If I studied Children's Services and Bachelor of Early Childhood Education, I would have experience and qualifications with children from 0-8 years old and maybe as old as 12 although I wouldn't really want to work with children above about 6 years since they aren't quite as childlike and aren't into the same things as preschoolers. I'm also not keen on working with children aged 0-2 because they don't have great language and social skills which is kind of important for me to get along with someone and there aren't that many structured activities since they may not have the skills to do them. People working in day care have low salaries but preschool teachers have a good salary, so that's the main reason I'd choose that over day care. I've also considered hosting children's parties, being a nanny and student teaching preschoolers at my dance club (which is unpaid but seems fun and rewarding) while I'm studying or if I have extra time if I decide I want to work with children. I think an occupation where I have to be more gentle and nice may suit me, but that's who I am and I think being more harsh, tough or strict is something that I might have to learn to cope in society and it would be hard for me because I feel terrible and guilty about being harsh, not giving into a demand ect. I might get used to it though.

    Which occupation did you prefer and why? What was different and similar about all of them? What are the pros and cons.
     
  13. Licorice

    Licorice Twisted

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    So you disagree with it being potentially inappropriate to be too attached to or involved with a child not your own, but then give an example of where it was true for you because... ? o_O
     
  14. Ariel

    Ariel Well-Known Member

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    That's true to some extent: it becomes easier the more time you spend around young children. Other people just seem to instinctively know how to engage with children and entertain them, whereas I've no idea what to do and have to directly copy what other adults are doing. But that doesn't sound like your problem if you relate to them well. I have more of a problem coping with the crying and stamping around - loud, repetitive noises. It's socially draining for me, and I normally sneak off to spend time with the elderly people! You should consider working with young children if you enjoy being with them.