How children become strong personalities

In order to be able to master our life independently and to live happily, need we have a strong personality. Psychotherapist Ingeborg Saval reveals how parents support their children in this way.

Facets and characteristics of a strong personality.

We parents want our children to grow up to be strong personalities who see challenges in difficulties and also cop well with setbacks. Resilience is the technical term for this "immune system of the soul". The most important cornerstones for this are laid in childhood. At the same time, the demands on upbringing and education increase from outside. It all means one whole lot of pressure, that rests on the shoulders of the parents.

Ingeborg Saval, psychotherapist and qualified educator, describes in her book “Planet Schule. Mastering everyday school life together and carefree ”, how families can reduce the stress between school, leisure and individual support. She talks to us about competences, to help the children get one strong personality to develop.

"If the little ones go through life openly, curiously and confidently, they learn to recognize their own strengths better and to use them correctly."

In summary – this is how children develop a strong personality:

1. Unconditional love

"I love you!" is the most important sentence a child should hear and feel. And this love must never be linked to a demand. There is no room for comparison here either, because every person is unique.

2. Rules and limits

Children want structures and rules that everyone adheres to. Parents are positive role models and can communicate a “no” calmly and consistently. Clear boundaries also convey stability, security and ethical values.

3. Responsibility and trust

Children want to feel that parents see them as unique personalities who can also learn from their own experiences and actions. They want to be able to have a say and feel that they are given responsibility.

4. Childhood and ease

In addition to support offers and experiences of success, children need playful ease and their own unique children’s world. There is room for imagination, movement and children’s communities. There they get strength for new challenges.

5. Optimism and humor

Laughing together is good for the whole family. It relieves emotional tension, negative attitudes and stress. It helps to change the direction of view and connects. Happy children are strong children!

With scoyo for more self-determination and trust when learning:

The whole interview:

How can parents strengthen their children’s personality without being overwhelmed?

scoyo: What are the cornerstones so that children can develop a strong personality?

Ingeborg Saval: Above all, children need a secure emotional base and adults they can count on. You need the feeling of Security and security, to be able to evaluate new situations and experiences not as a threat but as a challenge. Sustainable commitments from the start, success stories and the feeling of being valuable gradually give you confidence in your own strengths and abilities.

Neither adults nor children always have to do everything right. Mistakes are part of life. You can learn from them. Only real, honest people give children the strength for life and the strength to deal with setbacks. That too Showing feelings like anger, disappointment or grief is fine as long as you don’t blame the little ones. The maintenance of habits, e.g. B. family celebrations, rituals at bedtime or punctuality in the payment of pocket money provide security. But a too rigid, too regulated life that leaves little opportunity for your own considerations narrows. Children want to test themselves, grow beyond yourself and increase your play and freedom. With increasing age, they want to negotiate more and more rules with their parents. In doing so, they practice to discuss and argue.

The fair negotiation of compromises and solutions promotes social skills and a feeling of growing strength – this is how they continuously develop their personality.

scoyo: How much influence does the action of parents have on the personal development of children?

Ingeborg Saval: Every child is inquisitive from the ground up. The family is important in all areas and should be natural curiosity of the child support and never brake. If children are lovingly stimulated, they can easily and playfully develop skills because they can and want to learn constantly. Free play, but also social or role-playing games play an important role here: children learn social action and strategic thinking in play, they practice their creativity and ingenuity, expand their scope for action and learn through trial and error. And by the way, they practice dealing competently with mistakes. All of this provides the basis for growing into a strong personality.

Because young people principally learn most through imitation, it is especially important for us parents to check ourselves and To convey values ​​and competences through deeds. It’s not just words that make children smarter or more social. Whether they like to learn or prefer to withdraw passively, whether they dare to act strongly and independently and to pursue goals also depends on what we set out for them. Adults are role models and children like competent, reliable adults.

scoyo: There are now funding opportunities such as sand at the sea. How do parents make the right choice to promote their child’s potential and thus the development of a strong personality?

Ingeborg Saval: New experiences help a child the more they do to the idiosyncrasies and individual interests fit. When the expectations of parents or the norms of society come first, children learn above all to adapt and to follow the wishes of others. However, rarely does real joy and enthusiasm arise. The development of the brain depends not only on its use, but also on what feelings are there. Emotions affect memory, learning and performance. If a child feels comfortable, can pursue its special interests and receives support right there, it will build self-esteem. That is pure motivation!

But a child can only survive new experiences, even if difficulties arise, if he knows that he will be accepted and loved even without special services. This is important to develop a strong personality. However, we also expect our children to deal with annoying duties and to deal with unloved necessities. To a certain extent, this is also justified if, for. B. is about homework or practicing vocabulary. But is it really necessary for Hans to regularly play chess with his father, even though he is extremely interested in the garage around the corner? Tanja has to go on a language study trip during the holidays, although her passion belongs to handball?

To happy, strong and competent personalities become children, if they are allowed to expand their talents in a protected environment, without being forced or under pressure.

scoyo: The feeling creeps in that parents “overdo” their children and put them under pressure. It used to be different! Where does this funding madness come from??

Ingeborg Saval: Everything that a child can do well makes parents feel good and makes them proud. That is normal. Many families today stay much closer and closer to the children. They simply want the best for their offspring and the market responds to this wish. Society, politics and the media also show more interest in the optimal development of Children than in previous generations. The awareness of having to assert oneself in competition therefore tends to intervene in everyday children’s life earlier.

This is definitely positive and even brain research shows the importance of adequate support measures. However, caution is advised if a child feels constantly at the center of all observations and new attempts at support. Too much creates stress and leads to the child showing less interest in new offers.

scoyo: Children need recognition and encouragement. But what is too much, what is too little in terms of developing a strong personality?

Ingeborg Saval: You can compare the performance of a child with the metaphor of half-full or half-empty glass: We can especially be happy about successes and thus encourage further steps, or we can pay particular attention to mistakes.

If criticism and concern dominate in the relationship with the child, it is difficult to develop a sustainable self-esteem. The natural urge to know then withdraws and fear or self-doubt have free rein. This does not mean that we have to praise children for everything in principle. If, for example, you have no problem with adding, a quiet "okay" is sufficient. If we cheer a child up for every little thing and matter of course, they will no longer be happy about it. A helpful, honest criticism should always refer to the matter and never to the child: "You are sloppy in arithmetic" works differently than: "Look at the results again carefully and calmly, because inaccuracies have crept in."

Also Fears shouldn’t be transferred to the child become. When a child hears, "Papa was also not good at math", he switches very easily and thinks, "That’s why I’m not it either". A simple explanation is better: “Look, sometimes it takes a little longer to get along with a fabric. It’s the same with learning. Should I help you? ”It is part of life and learning that some things are easier and some are more difficult. The more parents show their children this attitude, the easier it is for children to deal with failures and breakdowns.

scoyo: The older children get, the more friends come to the fore. Sometimes parents find it difficult to let go. What makes children strong now? How should parents behave?

Ingeborg Saval: Parents have the difficult task of making themselves redundant step by step and then enjoying it. Because with increasing age, the next generation not only needs the family, but also other communities.

Children need friends to choose from and they want to be selected. These friendships are important to enable orientation in your own age group and to promote detachment from your parents’ home. Only with other children can they live out their imaginations according to their age and share their world. But parents are and remain important, they have to give support, show interest, form a safe haven, but also withdraw when things are going well. Some parents want to be their children’s best friends. I think this is not worth striving for, because friends can change, friendships sometimes break up. Mom and Dad, on the other hand, are unique and their love is indestructible. Out of this certainty, parents remain trustworthy contacts and make it easier for your child Way to independence. And that is exactly why they can grow into a strong personality.

About Ingeborg Saval:

© Ingeborg Saval Ingeborg Saval has been working as a pedagogue and psychotherapist for over 25 years, with her own practice in Vienna. Her focus is on systematic individual, couple and family therapy, mainly supporting parents and children in dealing with difficult situations and coping with them. With her two books "Strong kids" and "Planet school", both published by Trias Verlag, two guidebooks have been created that provide suggestions for harmonizing everyday family life with a few tricks.

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