A mother’s unusual plea: stop bringing up your children! Focus online

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With us there are no orders, no penalties, no time-outs. No "if then" and no "I count to three". Why my daughter is still not one of the much described "tyrants". And we should all change our view of children – you can read that here.

Children and education – that belongs together in our society. So that “something becomes of the little ones”. Desired behavior is reinforced with rewards or praise ("Great job!") And undesirable behavior is prevented ("It is enough!") Or punished ("TV ban!"). So it is in all the guides. And if everyone does it that way, it’s right … or?

Education is a constant counterpart rather than a coexistence

Not for me. Because education is a constant counter instead of one Together. I have often seen how parenting shames me: "Such a big child and then something like that!" As she threatens: "If you don’t tidy up, I’ll throw everything in the trash!" go without you! "

And the children hear all of this from the people who are closest to them – the parents. Where you should actually feel loved unconditionally. But instead of "You are good the way you are", parents with upbringing convey "You have to be different to please me."

I don’t understand why I should treat my child differently than everyone else. I don’t roughly pull my husband by the arm from the supermarket because he still wanted to choose cookies. I don’t paint my sister’s dessert because she didn’t like the main course. Even when my friend is bitchy to me, I ask her what’s going on and don’t send her out of the room: "I don’t want you here."

We would never do all this with adults. Because it would be hurtful and disparaging. That’s why I want to meet my child at eye level. And I now know that it can be done. “Relationship instead of education” means what I – and more and more others – live there.

I give my daughter as much freedom as possible

It is assumed that children do not have to be “shaped” in order to become part of society, but that they do their best from the start to belong. They want to cooperate (within the limits of their age). It is enough to accompany them closely and to set an example for them. More and more experts confirm this: "Children need nothing but the presence of adults who behave humanly and socially," writes the well-known family therapist Jesper Juul in "Your competent child".

But what does that mean for everyday life with my daughter? I don’t actively educate them to behave and be polite. With us there is no "What is the magic word?" Or "How do you say?" Nevertheless, my daughter has been saying "Please", "Thank you" and "Sorry" for many months. And only because I treat my fellow human beings in this way too.

I give my daughter as much freedom as possible – as long as she doesn’t endanger herself, others, or someone else’s property. "You don’t do that" doesn’t exist with us! Try the pasta in apple juice. Submerge towels in the full bath. Eat under the table. Yes why not? Children learn by experimenting. My daughter is allowed to take off her shoes outside even in autumn, because she shouldn’t even forget to listen to her body feeling.

And what do we do in the event of conflicts: my daughter wants to stay in the playground longer, I’m hungry and want to go? We find compromises: "Two more slides". Or we make the way back fun with dog breed rates. Or I buy a roll and we still stay. She wants to run the stairs alone in the morning? I plan more time. I am not interested in winning a power struggle, but in finding a solution.

"Relationship instead of education" is not "laissez faire"

Taking advantage of the fact that I am stronger is out of the question for me – except when there is an acute danger: I do not simply carry my daughter away from the playground and do not take her into the headlock while brushing my teeth. Sometimes you brush the cuddly toy your teeth, sometimes I chase "tooth monsters" in her mouth. If my daughter refuses, I’ll try again later or brush in stages. Brushing your teeth is important – but my child shouldn’t learn that it’s okay to be held and forced to do something.

And just as I respect my daughter’s personal limits, she also learns to do so with other people. "Relationship instead of education" is not "laissez faire". I never leave my daughter to myself. I explain to her that we cannot be loud in the library because other visitors want to read in peace. Or that she can walk around with food at home, but not with her grandma.

Our way of living together is also not "anti-authoritarian". Rather, it means constantly weighing the needs and wishes of all family members against each other. What is currently possible? Who can stick back? That is why my child naturally hears a "No". But I only say it if I really stand behind it and justify it: “I don’t want to play now. I’m tired. "" We can’t buy the teddy. It’s too expensive. ”Then I also show understanding for my child when it is angry or sad. All feelings are allowed with us.

We all want our children to critically question things and say no. That they recognize injustice and for himself and others stand up. But what if education does the opposite. If instead she teaches children that their opinion doesn’t count and that the stronger always wins?

Yes, “relationship instead of education” is sometimes exhausting and is not always easy for me. But my daughter and I are on the right track. I experience her as self-confident, cheerful and empathetic. She is not a bully who devastates the supermarket or knocks out other children. And when she recently ordered her roll from the baker in a friendly manner, the saleswoman said: "Well, she is well behaved!" If she knew …

The author: Silvia Risch (36) is an editor at the Hamburger Morgenpost and has dealt a lot with educational issues. She is the mother of a three-year-old daughter. This text first appeared in the Hamburger Morgenpost.

This article was written by Silvia Risch


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