We have always heard that educating is complicated. It is a difficult task but one that implies a great reward: an emotional connection within the family that will serve the child as a 'vehicle' for learning. There are different parenting styles that mark the relationship that parents have with their children. And, in certain cases, when the parenting is too strict or authoritarian, children may even become develop fear of their own parents.
Ultimately educating implies establishing solid rules to guide the child when exploring the environment around you. Thus, from the security that these decreed limits instill, the little ones can learn the skills and abilities necessary to navigate the world. How parents apply these limits and norms to children depends on what parenting style they use.
Each family establishes its own identity from its customs, values and rules of particular coexistence. From that starting point we can find many ways to educate children. Between them:
- The democratic style
Where parents are demanding but at the same time use sensitivity. So children can explore the environment freely.
- The negligent style
Where parents are more focused on themselves than on their children. They 'don't have time' to provide affection to their children and less to set limits. Thus, the little ones will not have a guide to explore the world and will be insecure.
- The authoritarian style
Where adults impose more than set rules and limits on their children. They do it from the shouts, the punishments and the unfounded threats in fear. Thus, the child learns to be withdrawn, fearful, shy, irritable and with little social interaction. It lacks spontaneity and internal control, among other consequences.
For many years in Spain it has been assumed the authoritarian model as the best style that families could use to educate the little ones 'well'. From this point of view, educating implies respect and therefore, the authoritarian style is necessary for children to have a 'good education' and 'know how to be'.
Many of those who are grandparents and parents today were raised in this way and continue to defend this way of educating their grandchildren and children respectively. According to his arguments, they were well educated like this, and it made them become strong people.
However, this method is based on yelling, threats and punishment. This brings with it many negative consequences:
1. Children raised in authoritarianism show insecurity and anxiety when they do not have the guidelines set by their parents. They experience submission.
2. Children are afraid of continuous scolding and therefore they will lie to avoid it.
3. They are distressed by situations in which they have to make their own decisions.
4. They lack their own criteria. They are dependent and lack autonomy.
5. They experiment feelings of guilt by failing to meet the expectations imposed by their parents.
6. Low self-esteem. The excess of punishment and yelling makes the little ones believe that they are not doing anything right. It can trigger a depression.
7. This type of parenting style generates fear and stress in the child. As for physical symptoms, this implies concentration problems, high tension, stomach pains, low defenses, etc.
Employing the authoritarian method will work once or twice. But in the medium to long term it is not the best way to educate children. Imposing, instead of listening, attracts fear and fear, in addition to the aforementioned negative consequences on the child's evolutionary development.
This does not imply that parents cannot set norms and limits. But they have to do it from tolerance. That is, parents have to set limits that are consistent, make sense and, above all, from a respect that should be far from the authoritarian style. Rejecting harmful attitudes such as: threats, constant punishment, humiliation, insults, etc. With which children are more likely to feel fear rather than admiration.
In addition, parents can use a very simple strategy:
- Be loving
The best way for children to learn is through affection. Feeling safe and secure is positive for their development.
- Be assertive
Putting a stop to power struggles or the invasion of intimate space, something that is achieved with assertiveness in communication.
Your opinion is important. Listening to him you will feel valued and want to continue exploring the environment around you.
- Use empathy
Putting yourself in the child's shoes makes it easier to understand what is wrong.
It is important to stop and think before what is done and said ... and be patient!
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