Parents play an important role vis-à-vis their child’s ICTs.
- TICs are uncontrollable movements that repeat themselves.
- Stress, anxiety, fatigue, excitement or any form of emotion can trigger these manifestations in children.
- To help their child, parents must facilitate relaxation activities and avoid situations that trigger ICTs.
TICs are involuntary movements that can affect children between 5 and 8 years old. According to studies, 4% to 12% of school-age children have ICTs. Even if they generally disappear spontaneously, the reaction of the parents can influence their evolution.
Understanding your child’s ICTs
TICs are repetitive movements or sounds that are involuntary and often uncontrollable. They can be divided into two categories: motor TICs and vocal tics. Motor TICs can include head, shoulder, arm, or leg movements, while vocal TICs can include coughing, grunts, or repetitive words.
Various factors can cause ICTs, in particular stress, anxiety and fatigue, but also excitement, frustration, an emotion that is difficult to express or strong pressure felt.
The role of parents
To understand what ICTs are is to accept that your child cannot control them voluntarily. It is therefore completely useless to punish him, since that would only aggravate the situation.
On the contrary, the role of parents is to provide a safe and reassuring environment so that their child can feel safe enough to express their ICTs.
Emotional support not only helps the child to release the pressure and therefore to be able to express what he feels, but also to avoid reinforcing the ICTs with a feeling of shame. The idea here is to give tools to your child so that he can both express himself freely, but also learn relaxation techniques or activities that allow him to release his tension.
In practice what to do?
Although most TICs are benign and disappear over time, certain habits can help reduce their intensity and frequency:
- Encourage relaxing activities like meditation, yoga or deep breathing,
- Establishing a healthy routine by making sure her child gets enough sleep, eats well and exercises regularly,
- Look together for situations that trigger and can aggravate his TICs, such as stress, fatigue, screens, frustration or lack of physical activity.
If the ICTs persist for more than six months or if they interfere with the daily life of the child, it is time to consult a health professional such as a doctor or a psychologist to assess the situation and set up a follow-up if necessary.
Find out more: “My fears, friends or enemies?” by Isabelle Filliozat and Frédéric Benaglia.
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