Children need boundaries – citykirche – the magazine of evang-luth

When young people become parents, the joy of the new earthly man prevails. But the parents first have to learn to find their way in their new role. Eva Rhode experiences this almost every day. The 64-year-old graduate psychologist and psychotherapist has been working in the educational and family counseling center of the city of Nuremberg for 30 years. She now heads the four advice centers in the city with 18 employees.
Citykirche: Ms. Rhode, when someone visits the educational counseling center, there are usually problems with the younger generation. How can you help mothers and fathers??
Eva Rhode: We are there for all families in Nuremberg. Both a father and a mother can register with us, but also foster parents. In the first meeting, which is confidential and can be conducted anonymously if requested, we agree on a consultation goal. It’s about how we can support the parents. The ages of children and adolescents range from zero to 21. We therefore also advise many young parents and underage pregnant women. Our goal is for the family to find their own solution to their problems.

What do you think of the upbringing style of not limiting children so that they can have their own life experiences – if possible without the influence of adults?
The education experts agree that good education is about imparting values. This presupposes that parents deal with boundaries and convey these boundaries according to their age. This is called "authoritative education". This means communicating the limits in a loving and supportive family atmosphere. This then differs from the authoritarian "black pedagogy", which conveyed many values ​​without explanation and intervened hard and physically. The educational style you describe was the counter-movement to authoritarian education in the 1970s.
We now know that authoritarian education is out of date. But how should parents set the right limits for their children?
First of all, a good family foundation is necessary. This foundation is a loving and mindful way of dealing with each other. The better the family climate, the more children and young people will accept the limits. Parents who also take care of their own needs have fewer problems setting limits and consistently demanding them than parents who have failed to create a good family atmosphere. Children should feel safe, loved and respected. Setting limits is always an issue. However, you have to set different limits for preschoolers than for schoolchildren. Young people always push their parents’ limits so that they can cut themselves off and develop their own world. Setting limits therefore depends on the age of the children.

With very young children, however, I might suspect that what parents are telling them has not yet been understood.
Even small children know when we are sitting at the table that the food is not thrown on the floor. You have to start very early to explain to the children how to behave in everyday life. These can be the first hygiene rules, how to eat bread or how to play with other children. Parents have to guide and guide their children. If you support your child, parents can teach him the first little rules very early on.
Children learn patiently when you teach them in small steps teaches them how to behave. Above all, it is important that parents praise their children. The children remember when mom and dad are happy about them. If young children have already practiced these everyday rules, then they will be able to group in the crib and the Insert daycare.

So it is important that parents are consistent and do not set these rules and limits today and tomorrow.
This is often very difficult for parents when they have their first child: what are your ideas about upbringing and which do I have? Mother and father first have to learn their role as parents. They weren’t born with that, like you child.

Small children eventually become teenagers who do what they want. How do parents deal with the situation that limits are sometimes exceeded in a very provocative way?
Puberty is the time of detachment from parents. The "pubescent animals" want to design the rules according to their feelings and needs. Parents should try to get away from the pure prohibition level and speak to the young people. Adults are worried because the young person comes home late from the party. I then recommend not simply putting a ban, but explaining that the parents are not doing well. Young people can learn from the fact that they do not live alone in their world. You should know that parents cannot sleep if they come home late. With the smartphone you could say that the subway has left and you will be home later. It’s all a matter of negotiation between parents and young people.

A particular difficulty is when there are siblings of different ages. One is allowed to do something that the other is not yet allowed to do. How can I deal with it as a father and mother??
A popular example is the television times. These should be designed based on age. It has to be clarified which television programs older children can watch. Then the younger ones have to go to bed. Of course this arouses feelings of envy. Parents can then say that the older person also has more duties. Upbringing means that I don’t take everything off my child, but that there are duties in everyday family life, be it just small errands. Smaller children do not have the same rights, but neither do they have quite as many obligations.
What do you recommend to parents who come to you because their child keeps pushing the boundaries and doesn’t follow the rules?
First, I ask exactly what limits the child does not meet. Sometimes the kids want a bit more flexibility when it comes to tidying up the room. Then there is a collision with the parents’ ideas of order. Maybe you can talk about when the kids will tidy up the room. The point is to reconcile the different ideas.

But what should be done when shoplifting or the like occurs and not just once, when parents find that they no longer have any influence on their offspring?
This is the complete loss of respect and respect in the family. Such a development usually has a longer history. The question is what has undermined the family system so much that there is no more trust. Education can only succeed if there is love and respect. There have often been dramatic family events, separation or divorce, illness or psychological stress. Then the question arises what support the family needs. Parents always want the best for their child, but they can’t do it. Some then tell me that they haven’t listened to their child in years and therefore don’t know how he is doing. They just find that it doesn’t follow the rules.
Then more closeness within the family has to be built up again.

Your advice center is part of the youth welfare office. Does anyone have to worry that the authority will intervene if you come here for educational advice?
No. We are subject to confidentiality. Nothing is passed on. There is an exception only if the parents allow us in writing to allow us to speak to the child’s family doctor or teacher.

Interview: Paul Schremser
Images: Madame Privé

Parents can sign up for free
Educational advice centers in the city
Nuremberg or the city mission

Advice center of the youth welfare office
Johannisstr. 58, Nuremberg
Telephone 0911 2313886

Advice center Mammut of the youth welfare office
Schoppershofstr. 58, Nuremberg
Telephone 0911 2312985


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