Parent-child relationship: Strong together

In order for children to be emotionally stable and competent in their lives, a positive educational attitude is required. A practical guide in nine chapters that makes clear what really matters in the relationship between parents and children.

Parents want to be relaxed, consistent and loving. It is equally clear that this is sometimes really difficult in the midst of tantrums and homework chaos. But it is important to stick to them. Because: A positive attitude is the core of every good upbringing. What else the relationship between parents and children needs to succeed can be summarized in these nine points:

I. Love and commitment

The intensive, loving relationship with the parents comes first. This does not mean that you have to be available around the clock. Even if small children demand this, parents must find a measure that is acceptable for everyone. If the need for closeness is sufficiently satisfied, a stable emotional connection develops. It acts like an elastic rope that children hold on to in the first few years. The more secure they feel, the more self-confident they will take their first, second and many further steps into the world.

In order for the tape to hold, parents should always take care of themselves. This means knowing and reflecting on one’s own limits. Yoga, cycling or jogging help to keep the inner balance. Some mothers and fathers also rely on exclusive times, for example an evening for two, an afternoon with only one child or a few hours that each can spend alone. The important message that should always reach the child is: “It’s great that you exist”.

II. empathy and patience

Once you’ve gotten involved, observing animals or shovel excavators together can become an intense community experience. According to current statistics from the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, more and more parents are willing to invest a lot of time in family life. That’s good! Because it needs many opportunities, in order to put itself into the thoughts and feelings of the children and to accompany them in their experience. By empathising with their children’s needs, parents also show them how to behave in order to understand others. Children can only do this when they begin to experience themselves as independent beings at the age of about three. Once they have reached this point, however, they also want to decide for themselves. If they then feel ignored or somehow powerless, this can trigger violent storms of defiance. Children suffer the most from such attacks, which is why it makes no sense to call them names. Rather put such events into words and formulate what was going on emotionally – and take the little Wüterich sympathetically in his arms.

Let it go!

III. consistency and clarity

For older children, the need for autonomy can also lead to a kind of pause in broadcasting. As with six-year-old Tobias. His mother, Christine Wellmann, tells us: “Tobi came home from school, peppered his jacket and bag in the corner and then ran into his room. He simply ignored her request to take care of things properly. As a result, her collar burst regularly. She screamed and became more and more excited. And now what? “Silence. I learned in a workshop that children don’t even notice you when they don’t see you. Instead, Tobias ratzfatz dived into his play world. What she learned was actually quite simple: “Go there, look for eye contact, give clear instructions”. Since then, according to her mother, the family climate has relaxed noticeably. In such situations it is all too easy for parents to talk too much. Educational advisor Hans Berwanger calls this “terrorist explanation failures”. You don’t want to punish, instead you say: “Look what I’m doing for you, you can do me a favor sometime.” Berwanger is not surprised about the ineffectiveness of such speeches: “Accepting rules, duties or limits is not a problem of understanding, but one of lust and unwillingness – so you have to proceed differently.

Children need clear words

IV. Orientation and safety

The educational expert emphasizes a parental question that is often asked him: “Why is our child so dissatisfied and naughty even though we allow him almost everything? Then he always answers: “Exactly because of that! Because: children who miss orientation feel insecure and lacking commitment. According to Michael Berwanger, they will challenge their parents until they finally have the strength not only to pronounce rules and limits, but also to enforce them. A real sticking point! Unfortunately, children immediately notice when parents don’t know how to behave in a particular situation – and reflect their version of that feeling. When they then get cocky in class and yell around or start dancing on their parents’ noses, it shows nothing but that they long for clarity. The sooner parents understand this, the sooner peace returns.

V. Freedom and trust

For children to be able to develop, they need free space. Tanja Pütz, Professor of Child Education at the Kiel University of Applied Sciences, sees the granting of freedom as an essential aspect of personality development: “Whether at home, in a day care centre or at school – children need choices and thus the opportunity to help shape their educational path. They should realize that they can make a difference by making choices. This strengthens their self-image and self-confidence.” Parental confidence in the abilities of their child inspires this and initiates further development steps. If trust is lacking, the children almost inevitably fall short of their possibilities. This is illustrated by the example of the five-year-old Rebekka: When the children in her group simply jumped over a small creek during a daycare excursion, she stopped. When the kindergarten teacher asked why, Rebekka answered quietly: “I can’t do that. It turned out that her mother had warned her on similar occasions: “Child, you can’t do that yet”. So well-intentioned protection turns into fear and discouragement.

Is our family a good team?

On the next page, read on to find out which four things are also important for a good parent-child relationship.

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Christina Cherry
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