Sadness is a common experience in childhood. Acknowledging such emotions can make it easier for families to address more serious emotional problems, although some families may have a (conscious or unconscious) rule that sadness is "not allowed". Robin Skynner has suggested that this may cause problems when "screened-off emotion isn't available to us when we need it... the loss of sadness makes us a bit manic".
Sadness is part of the normal process of the child separating from an early symbiosis with the mother and becoming more independent. Every time a child separates just a tiny bit more, he or she will have to cope with a small loss. Skynner suggests that if the mother cannot bear this and "dashes right in to relieve the child's distress every single time he shows any...the child is not getting a chance to learn how to cope with sadness'". Pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton argues that "trying to jostle or joke out of a sad mood is devaluing to her" and Selma Fraiberg suggests that it is important respecting a child's right to experience a loss fully and deeply.
Margaret Mahler believes that sadness requires "a great deal of strength" to bear, and that a child in self-protection may develop "hyperactivity or restlessness...as an early defensive activity against awareness of the painful affect of sadness". This is why D. W. Winnicott suggests that "when your infant shows that he can cry from sadness you can infer that he has travelled a long way in the development of his feelings....some people think that sad crying is one of the main roots of the more valuable kind of music".
Read more about this topic: Sadder
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Famous quotes containing the word childhood:
“If a child were kept in a place where he never saw any other but black and white till he were a man, he would have no more ideas of scarlet or green, than he that from his childhood never tasted an oyster, or a pineapple, has of those particular relishes.”
—John Locke (16321704)
“Sadism is not an infectious disease that strikes a person all of a sudden. It has a long prehistory in childhood and always originates in the desperate fantasies of a child who is searching for a way out of a hopeless situation.”
—Alice Miller (20th century)