In child-rearing, it is very common for parents to reproduce the same education received from their own parents – so children are guided in similar ways for generations.
While many of the family lessons can be valuable, it is also possible to incorporate new ideas, behaviors, and ways of educating in child-rearing that may not be part of that standard style. There is always something new to be learned.
Psychotherapist Philippa Perry, who is launching the book (“The book you would like your parents to have read”), in free translation, explains how to give your children a good education without charging yourself too much.
Here are your top five tips for this.
- Set boundaries
It is difficult because you love your child and want to give everything to him. But in some moments, it is necessary to establish limits.
Even if you want to be an accessible and permissive parent, you need to do this.
And how to do it lovingly? A tip for this is to use phrases with “me” instead of “you”. So you are defining who you are, instead of labeling the child – after all, nobody likes to be labeled.
So you can try to say things like “I know you want to cross the city by bus at night, but I’m not prepared to let you do that”, instead of “no, you’re 13, it’s too young”.
Of course, parents want their children to be very happy, but it is impossible to be happy all the time.
It is almost as if we love each other so much that we cannot bear to see our children unhappy, so we say: “don’t be sad”.
But it is very important that parents allow their children to feel and express all their feelings, and to support them in those moments.
We need to accept all the emotions that children have so that they don’t feel bad about themselves in times of sadness or anger – after all, these are also legitimate feelings.
- Remember that you are like a mirror to your child
The way you react to your child is internalized and becomes part of his or her personality.
If you are always failing, saying phrases like “look at these dirty shoes”, the only thing he will see is your angry face.
So it is important to try to relieve the tension a little before talking about the shoes. Try for example to be happy to see him.
- All behavior is a matter of communication
If your child is having behavioral problems, remember the following: it’s all about communication.
What your child doing is trying to communicate something in the only way that he knows.
So, what we need to do is find the true meaning of that behavior and help him find the best way to express his feelings.
- We need to allow and recognize all emotions, even inconvenient ones
We need to help children to articulate their feelings, even if they are not the same as we would be feeling in that situation. Each person is different from the other.
And the most important question: your child is not a task to be done and crossed out from the list, nor a project that needs to be perfect and exactly as you want. He is one of the people with whom you can create an identification.
It doesn’t matter if you are a baby or an adult, your child is first of all a person. Do not forget that.