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Building a strong foundation by Nidhi Lohia

By Volunteer Nidhi Lohia, FHI Kolkata

Childhood is considered to be that stage of life where an individual undergoes maximum mental development. A child’s mannerism, thoughts, behaviour etc. are all immensely influenced by what he perceives from all his senses. These incorporate every single aspect; whether conversations among adults or the treatment meted out to the child by his kins. Every behavioural nuance which a person imbibes during his childhood gets reflected in his personality for a lifetime. Hence, a healthy interpersonal relationship is a mandatory pre-requisite for the holistic development of a child’s mental sphere. If the foundation laid, during childhood, is strong and robust, the emotional health will be finely tuned for the remaining stages of life. 


Interpersonal relations refer to every kind of interaction that transpires between two individuals. It signals to the nature of rapport that one develops with another person. A child’s heart resembles clay; the people in his vicinity are the potters whose actions, words etc. affect and mould his psychological well-being. This interpersonal relationship during childhood is more or less a one-way traffic, its the child getting influenced by the interaction. The child is still full of innocence, devoid of any kind of malice. He is not aware of the worldly affairs and so has very little to contribute to the interpersonal activities. Hence, the way an adult treats a child gets etched in the memory forever. It not only affects the behaviour but also the overall emotional welfare.


Majority of children depict an inquisitive nature; the level of curiosity is at its pinnacle during the early stages of life. If their incessant questions are met with an expression of frustration and not dealt politely, the child gets affected immensely. The reaction which the child receives gets etched in his mind and gradually, the curiosity level will decline. It may even lead to the child getting bogged down emotionally and confining himself to a corner. He won’t develop social skills; he will restrain himself from asking new questions. Again, if a child receives love and affection in his interaction with his kins, he will be emotionally well-off. This will too be engraved in his mind forever. There will be fewer psychological issues in the later stages when life will get tougher. All the beautiful experiences and interactions of childhood will come to his aid. However, again if this interaction would have been emotionally draining or even abusive, the result would have been dissimilar.

Thus, a healthy interpersonal relationship nurtures the emotional dimension of a child’s personality. Whatever the child experiences will get reflected in his disposition forever.

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