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Tita's Articles

My Problem is My Problem

Many people think of childhood as an idyllic time of your life, but actually being a child is not easy and sometimes very frustrating. Authors like Roald Dahl, Maurice Sendak, and Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket) made clear in their stories that this is a rather wrong assumption showing how much struggle an impotent child can suffer amongst their fellows and oblivious grown-ups. We all have problems, and as they are personal you shouldn't say that one's is more important than another's. The parent who can't make to his child's football game because he had to work is a matter as important to the child who missed his parent who didn't show up to their game. Adults have more understanding that there are going to be other games and future events to share and enjoy than children, and only because they've lived more and overcame their own problems themselves. A child's perception of time is relatively different than an adult's, especially because a child hasn't lived to experience gain and loss enough yet.

If you say that an adult's problem is more important than a child's one because it's a "real problem" that would only indicate that you don't understand problems at all. We at any age are living under circumstances, have feelings, experience ambiguous thoughts and doings. So what are "real problems" after all? We talk here in a personal matter, because problems are relative respectively to their owners. The troubling we go through at the present is the most important one - regardless of age - that's our dimension of things. One's problem is always going to be more important to me than anyone else's, period, because that is the one they have to deal with themselves. That's one of the reasons why so many children get very frustrated for not being taken seriously. People's opinion about a trouble's scale is irrelevant when the it still gets the best of you.

Let's put it this way, imagine a situation where a couple of parents cannot afford their a birthday party to their child because of financial problems. Realistically a financial problem is bigger than not being able to have a birthday party, but not personally. And most importantly, parents have the power to understand the child's angst, when finances are far from any child's comprehension. They might know mummy and daddy have a problem that makes them sad, but they can't comprehend the dimension of financial issues.

A dropped ice-cream might not be an earth shattering matter but it comes with a wave of emotions that can overwhelm children, and meanwhile they are the ones who have to deal with it - can you imagine someone mocking you for having to deal with a problem that gets you? Having respect for children's issues - or anyone for that matter - t's not about the issue itself but considering the one who has to deal with it and their capacity, or lack of, to deal with it. And demeaning the situation or mocking a reaction is not a good way of helping them solve their problem, but to be ashamed of having one.

When writing to children, is important to have this in mind, because making fun or being moralistic is not going to help them deal with their own lives. Having an appealing character, who children can relate to, is a way for them to live vicariously though the character and indirectly find way of dealing with their lives, learning to overcome emotions as well as to be thoughtful and sensible to others. That's why all stories present a conflict, there is no story without one. And presenting how that conflict distresses the character is what's going to make the reader identify and connect to him or her. Conflict is in the eye of the character and if it matters to the character it will matter to the reader.

Identification is born when two interlocutors find each other in a world of ideas.

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