To raise self-confident, autonomous and sociable children, it is important that parents adopt a good educational system right from the start.
Rosanna Schiralli and Ulisse Mariani, psychologists and psychotherapists who have been working with parents and educators for years, in their book Our son (Mondadori) have developed a real manual that explains to parents how relating to children through the two fundamental principles of emotional education:
- l'hospitality: that is, the ability of parents to tune in and identify with the emotions of children;
- containment: that is the rules.
In this article
- Educating children about the rules is good
- How to develop your children's autonomy
- How to develop self-esteem
- How to increase the ability to build and maintain meaningful relationships
It's scientific: educating children about the rules is good
"Neuroscience confirms that parents, through education, are able to train a child's brain," says Schiralli. Suffice it to say that the human brain continues to develop up to 22/24 years.
Thanks to diagnostic imaging devices, such as functional magnetic resonance and positron emission tomography (PET), it has been seen that in children who grow up in families where there is good attunement (identification of feelings, principle of acceptance) with parents and a good system of rules (principle of containment), the brain works better: it produces the hormones of calm and well-being (oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine), substances that make children calm and serene.
While in the little ones grown up without rules and without tuning the frontal lobes of the brain, those that produce cortisol, the stress and anxiety hormone, are turned on. And too much cortisol is one of the causes of hyperactivity in children, a very frequent disorder in school age.
"Authoritative (non-authoritarian!) Educational behaviors based on rules and prohibitions, established in an opportune way, are good for children's brains, even increasing the number, size and functionality of neurons" says the expert.
Furthermore children accustomed from an early age to rules and commitments, to wait and respect, will become serene and safe adults. While an education based on permissiveness risks raising fragile children and adolescents at risk.
Furthermore, through emotional education, children develop autonomy, self-esteem, the ability to relate to others.
How to develop your children's autonomy
Here are some fundamental tools to live well and lay the foundations for the child to be fulfilled as an adult.
- First you have to empathize, feel empathy, with your child, which does not mean indulging him or granting what he wants but let him feel that you feel what he feels. For example, in front of screaming and crying against your prohibition, you can tell him in a calm and reassuring voice (never raise your voice otherwise you will increase anger) "I see that you are angry". Then tell him that you too got angry when you were little. In this way the little one is reassured about what he is feeling. Anger is a strong feeling and you have to convey to it the idea that it is not serious. "It is like when you are sick somewhere and you are afraid of having something bad and a relative tells us that he too has had the same illness and it was nothing serious. And we feel relieved". The child understood and reassured, will not be overwhelmed by negativity. Read also: How to get children to obey without screaming (and why it's better)
- Look for solutions to problems together. Having calmed him down by recognizing his emotional state, you must now resolve the situation. Leave room for his proposals too, you can say "Now that you understand that you just can't do that thing, what could we do instead?".
- Give him directions but don't take the place of him. By removing all difficulties from children, you risk not making them grow up confident, responsible and strong. For example, if she is of school age, avoid doing her homework for her. Don't get anxious that it might go wrong in school. You have to make an effort to let it try. If there are any difficulties, talk to the teacher. But letting him do his homework alone is key to becoming a self-contained adult. Read also: Homework, all the tips
- Be available but not available. It is necessary that you pay attention to the requests of the children. However, you don't have to make yourself completely available. For example, if you hear the baby crying in the crib, do not rush to attach it to the breast immediately, wait a moment, perhaps it is just a temporary discomfort that will resolve itself shortly. Or if a one or two-year-old child falls, before running worried, look at him, tell him you are there, and see what happens. He will likely get up on his own without crying. And when he is older, get him used to doing as much as possible on his own: for example, at the age of four he can start putting on his jacket by himself. Read also: 10 practical ways to educate children about autonomy
- Get your child used to getting bored. It is essential that children when they are small are a little alone and learn to manage boredom and empty times, in order to stimulate the imagination. Therefore, avoid filling their days with extracurricular commitments: without empty moments your child will not develop dreams, desires and passions.
How to develop self-esteem
Here are some ways to develop her self-esteem.
- Get him used to the rules and sanctions. "Our society is based on rules and sanctions. This is why it is important to get him used to this system right away. Obviously, we must not resort to corporal or humiliating punishment, but simple" fines "are enough. For example, if a five-year-old child refuses to tidy up the bedroom with a calm voice you can tell him: "What a pity, until everything is in order we will not be able to go to the park to play ..." a ride ... ". Blackmail disguised as prizes must be avoided: "If you eat soup I'll give you candy!". Rather simply say: "What a pity you don't eat such good soup, I'm sorry, but you'll have to stay at the table until we're done."
- Always show yourself strong and authoritative. It is not advisable to give in to his requests and his insistence to satisfy him. By maintaining firmness and authority you will be for him a model and a safe base to esteem and imitate, increasing his confidence.
- Don't be frightened by your child's emotional states. Don't be afraid if he screams and screams. You must teach your child to manage and modulate emotional states such as sadness, excessive enthusiasm, anger, without showing your anxiety, worry or worse still showing that you are afraid of him. If the little one perceives you to be calm, he will feel that it is possible for him to contain any mood without fear.
- Try to spend time with them. Playing with children is good for their self-esteem. "Instead of immersing the children in huge amounts of often useless games, it would be better to give some of your time to play together." Through play, mother and child tune in and the little ones develop emotional skills. In preschool, the games to be favored are: "let's pretend" and role-playing games ... which allow you to let your imagination fly, project situations and moods and then release tension. Other activities to do together and encourage are: drawing and reading books.
- Reward your child's efforts to achieve goals. Give motivated praise and don't overdo it with rewards, otherwise he will assume that everything is always super for you. Also avoid obvious phrases, for example in front of one of his drawings do not just say: "How beautiful", but better to use more specific phrases, such as: "I see that you have drawn many trees, and you have also added flowers", so the little one yes he will feel valued for the path he has made. And when he fails in an activity simply explain to him that with time and practice he will improve. Equally important to help him tolerate and accept the frustrations related to defeat, without feeling overwhelmed by disappointment and anger. "And when you play with him, don't think of him always winning! And if the defeat makes him angry, give him a rematch and encourage him to work harder!". Read also: Education: 9 phrases you should never say to your child
- Avoid ridiculing and minimizing emotions that your child is feeling would only add to his anger and disappointment. For example, if you are afraid of the dark (up to 5 years old children often have bad dreams), do not minimize, but resort to empathic listening: "Are you really afraid that a ghost will come in the dark? Do you want to tell me how it is done? Would I be so afraid of a ghost like the one you described to me? Now let's see what we can do together to fight this fear ... ".
How to increase the ability to build and maintain meaningful relationships with others
So you help him maintain and build meaningful relationships with others.
- Teach them to recognize their emotions. From an early age, get used to giving a name to what he feels: sadness, joy, anger. Also tell him your emotions. "This communicative exchange is a real training that will certainly bear fruit over time".
- Always favor direct dialogue. Also talk about what's wrong. Avoid silences, guilty atmospheres, dark faces, ambiguous and allusive attitudes.
- Turn whims or other negative situations into moments of intimacy. A whim or a disappointment is an opportunity to identify with your children and teach them something important and share deep feelings. Instead, avoid critical and judgmental attitudes.
- Encourage your child's ability to understand the mental states (points of view) and behaviors of others. "If your little friend doesn't want to play in the park with you today, it's probably just because he wants to spend more time with his mom this afternoon. You'll see that tomorrow he'll be more with you ...".
Questions and answers
Is it true that educating the rules is good for children?
Yes, it's true. In families where there is good attunement with parents and a good system of rules, the brain works better: it produces the hormones of calm and well-being.
How to help the child to develop autonomy?
First you have to empathize, feel empathy, with your child. This does not mean indulging him or granting what he wants, but making him feel that you feel what he feels.
- emotional education
- give rules to children
- how to raise autonomous children
- autorenol parents
- permissive parents
- importance of rules
- educate with empathy
- understand children's emotions
- 1-2 children years