Why It Works

Many child experts believe that by the time a child is between 4 and 7 years of age they have learned 80% of what they will know. These years are extremely important. Developmental psychologists are aware of the stages children go through. When a child hasn't mastered a developmental task, it can affect later development. Many adults and children suffer through life unaware that certain tasks were not achieved. It is much easier to accomplish these developmental tasks as a child, at an age appropriate time, than as an adult or older child who has suffered painful consequences and is emotionally wounded. Many individuals have missed the moments for these tasks to be mastered, and because of this, they often feel that their life hasn't been fulfilled. ESTEEM DREAMS™ has integrated some of the complex concepts of specific developmental theory. Some of the developmental lines that ESTEEM DREAMS™ addresses include: identity formation, anxiety levels, sense of delay, object relations (relationships with people), and neutralizing anger (using words to express feelings). For example, this statement addresses identity formation "You can be you. You don't have to be like all the other kids". Anxiety levels are addressed by initiating simple relaxation techniques such as "one fluffy cloud, two fluffy clouds..." The statement "sometimes we have to wait for what we want" addresses the developmental line of delay. Neutralizing anger is addressed by encouraging children to use their words rather than acting out. Object relations (the perception of self in relation to others) is addressed throughout ESTEEM DREAMS™. These all start during the first years of life and build as a child matures. Giving the child a sense that he is valuable, safe, and loved reinforces these developmental lines. Play is also important in mastering these conceptsby allowing verbal expression of anger, positive feelings, and role playing which aids identity formation.

By addressing object relations, ESTEEM DREAMS™ has highlighted one of the major keys in understanding child development. Object relations is the term that refers to how humans form their perception of self and their relationship to other people. The sense of self begins in infancy and continues to develop throughout life.When a child has been treated with value by caregivers whoprovide a warm, happy, loving, safe environment, the child then internalizes these loving behaviors and will eventually be able to return these loving behaviors to others. Being able to form good healthy relationships is the foundation of life. Object constancy and object permanence are very important parts of object relationships.

Object permanence means that a child knows an object exists even if it cannot be seen. Children who have a stable environment with a loving primary caregiver are more apt to develop object permanence. Primary caregivers whoare out of sight and reliably return help the childdevelop a sense of object permanence.Sometimes small children appear resistant when asked to put their toys away. These children may not have internalized the concept of object permanence. They may actually believe the toys don't exist when they can't see them. Before a child develops object permanence, it is very difficult for the child when the primary caregiver leaves. In ESTEEM DREAMS™, the statement "we are here even when you don't see us", helps reinforce object permanence.

Object constancy is the other critical part of object relations. Object constancy means that a child knows that when he is angry one moment, he is still the same person as he was before when he was laughing and having fun, or, "mom is still a good person even though she is disciplining me". Mom may seem mean, but the good memories are preserved. A child needs to realize he has many facets and feelings and is the same person even when he is feeling different emotions.ESTEEM DREAMS™ addresses these complex concepts by stating, "It is OK to have happy feelings" or "It is OK to have sad feelings".

We now know children soak up information from the day they are born. In fact, some child theorists believe the first year of life is the most important because it is the foundation for the rest of the child's life. Achieving these developmental tasks can be the beginning of a vibrant future for the child. Although psychologists have known about the different developmental lines, such as identity formation, sense of delay, object relations and neutralizing aggression, ESTEEM DREAMS™ is the first to install and anchor these developmental lines in a wonderful, inspiring, friendly manner that is child oriented. ESTEEM DREAMS™ is a great beginning and a beautiful gift for children who are going through some of the most important developmental years of their life. Remember these developmental lines start during the first year of life and build as a child grows. ESTEEM DREAMS™ is a gift of a lifetime. You can't start too early.