In my last column, I have spoken about the truth of Lying-in period, and this time, the most troublesome problem for me was my elder child’s “Regression-to-infant.”
“Regression-to-infant” indicates the behavior of a child in early childhood that the child behaves like a baby due to such as, the accumulated discontent and anxiety caused by the birth of sister or brother. Baby like behavior is such as, just imitating a baby, suddenly becomes unable to do what was possible to do, say extremely selfish things, bully brother or sister, becoming mentally unstable, and the way of expression varies according to the child. Taking such behavior must be a manifestation of the deep psyche of attracting the attention of the parent. It is said that the occurring period of this is often from around 2 years old to around 5 years old, when the child starts to comprehend the relation around own-self.
Our eldest son was 1-year-and-a-half when his sister was born, and though he was in the age that Regression-to-infant possibly does not occur, yet for caution’s sake, I kept telling him during my pregnancy such as, “Baby is in mother’s belly,” “Baby is a member of our family,” “Mother will bring back the baby after giving birth at the hospital.” The eldest son gently patted my belly and talked to the baby before birth and seemed to be looking forward to it.
And while countdown to the birthing, I have repeatedly told him that “While mother is in the hospital, we cannot see each other.” Now due to the corona countermeasures, even the own child is not allowed to visit the hospital. It is the first experience for my eldest son to be separated from his mother for number of days. I myself was anxious whether my eldest son could tolerate it. And I thought that I wouldn’t be surprised if Regression-to-infant occurred because of it.
However, when I was actually hospitalized, my eldest son tolerated and endured very well. He spent the days with his father vigorously without crying or fretting until I returned from the hospital. On hearing this, I was even reversely letdown to know his behavior.
However, when I returned from the hospital and encountered with my son after many days, he cried out loud and runaway from me! As I expected him to hug me, I was startled to find the unexpected outcome. It seems likely that as he was told, reasoned and tolerated, and then the moment he saw his mother’s face his endured emotion was eased and overflowed at once.
And so, the next 2 days went unstably, and finally on the second day “Regression-to-infant” occurred. He cried out and ran away just by seeing my face in the house, and when I tried to touch him, he cried out loud and rejected me absolutely. The more I chased him, he became uncontrollably violent. Living in the same house and being rejected by my own child, I became extremely sad and tears flowed.
And then, I realized it to be absurd and I researched it, and it came out to be one of the common attitudes of Regression-to-infant. As my son was already very fond and tenderly loved his sister instead of bulling her, he vented his turmoil by violently defying his parent.
Comprehending it, I made up my mind. From the next day, I restarted our daily stroll with him, which we went everyday before birthing. Actually, as I was in my lying-in period I was not supposed to go out, yet in my case, fortunately my after-birthing recovery was abnormally excellent, and so I was able to restart our daily stroll. In this way as I restarted the same habit as before birthing with him, child is so comprehensible that his Regression-to-infant was immediately cured.
This Regression-to-infant appears more likely to a child who has deep trust relationship with the parent. That is, it is based on the deep psyche that “This person shall accept my vented discontent.” So, when Regression-to-infant appeared, surrounding people, like myself, may become sad and confused, but rather consider it to be the sign of relationship of trust and accept it positively. In one way or another, if the person is convinced that “Whether or not brother or sister is born or whatever, relationship between myself and the parent does not change,” Regression-to-infant shall be cured without fail.