You have noticed that lately your child has a tendency to complain regularly and strongly feels injustice. A behavior that may surprise but rather classic in children, which is found under the term “Calimero syndrome”. What is it exactly? We take stock with Sacha Bachim, psychologist.
Does your toddler tend to complain often, show his feelings in case of injustice? A behavioral pattern that has nothing to worry about and even rather classic in children. It has even been given a name: Calimero Syndrome.
What is Calimero syndrome in children?
“The term “Calimero” refers to a 1960s Italian cartoon character, a black chick who always felt unfairly treated by others. The Calimero syndrome describes a behavior that is characterized by an attitude of victimization, complaint and feeling of injustice that is permanent and disproportionate to the real situation.“, explains Sacha Bachim, psychologist, before adding: ” it is important to note that Calimero syndrome is not a diagnosis of trouble mental, but rather a colloquialism to describe a particular pattern of behavior“. So, nothing to panic for young parents!
Manifestations of Calimero syndrome in practice
Children with Calimero syndrome tend to frequently complain of being treated unfairly, being pushed aside, or not receiving the same attention or opportunities as others. They may also tend to blame others for their failures, without taking personal responsibility. According to the psychologist,it is a pattern of behavior that can be influenced by different factors, such as previous experiences of actual victimization, family environment and self-esteem“.
Be aware that Calimero syndrome can manifest at different ages, usually from early childhood (around age 3) through adolescence.
All children may complain or feel unfairly treated at one time or another, which is part of their emotional and social development.
Calimero Syndrome, however, is characterized by a persistent pattern of victimization and complaining that goes beyond normal emotional responses to stressful situations and is not considered a classic stage of normal child development.
How to help your child with Calimero syndrome?
– Listen carefully to your child when he expresses his feelings of injustice; – Validate his emotions by showing him that you understand what he feels, even if you do not necessarily share his point of view; – Help your child to deal with difficult situations in a constructive way; – Encourage him to think about alternative solutions, to take other people’s perspectives into account and to seek compromises; – Help your toddler develop a sense of independence by giving him age-appropriate responsibilities. By showing him that he is capable of taking charge of certain things, you strengthen his self-confidence and his ability to solve problems; – Help him develop positive self-esteem by highlighting his talents and successes; – Encourage him to set realistic goals and recognize his progress; – Show encouragement and support while allowing him to learn from his mistakes.
Our expert’s advice : as parents, be positive and balanced role models. Avoid engaging in victimizing or excessively complaining behavior so as not to reinforce these patterns in your child.
How long does Calimero syndrome last?
It depends on different factors, such as the age of the child and the severity of the behaviors. Behaviors may be transient and disappear as the child develops appropriate social and emotional skills. “If the behaviors persist over a long period of time and significantly affect the child’s functioning more sustained intervention may be needed“, specifies the psychologist.
When should you worry, consult?
If you are concerned about your child’s emotional and social well-being because their behaviors persist for an extended period of time and/or interfere with their daily functioning, it is recommended to consult a mental health professional who specializes in the development of mental health. child, such as a psychologist or child psychiatrist. They will be able to assess the situation, make a possible diagnosis and recommend appropriate interventions to help your child develop positive emotional and social skills.