Love and respect children: childhood does not last long and should not be wasted; avoid rewards and punishments, completely useless, but respect the little ones, explain to them with kindness how to behave and remember: sooner or later everyone learns. Here are some of the thoughts of the Spanish pediatrician Carlos Gonzàles, taken from his book “Parents and children together”.
“Every time a child is born, a father and a mother are born. And from that moment they grow together in wisdom and virtue.” With this premise , the Spanish pediatrician Carlos Gonzàles , author of the bestseller Besame mucho , deals with the education of children after early childhood in his new book Parents and children together (The Green Lion).
The Spanish author and pediatrician confirms Besame mucho ‘s approach , which is that children are essentially good (and not crafty, manipulative and capricious) and that their emotional needs are important. Parents have a clear task: to give them affection, attention and to treat them with respect and kindness. Here is the educational vision of him in 10 key concepts.
1 Children grow up fast. Enjoy their childhood and don’t worry about little problems
Parents must always keep in mind that what today seem insurmountable problems, tomorrow will be anecdotes (perhaps remembered with melancholy). “Rest assured parents, soon your baby will stop crying at night, will learn to go to the bathroom, will stop asking you to want to stay in your arms, asking endless why. Children grow up, and we with them. Childhood is fleeting. Let’s not let the obsession with correcting it stop us from enjoying it. “
2 Parents have natural authority over their children but should be exercised with respect and kindness
The little ones are very happy that their parents, who they consider very strong and intelligent, make decisions.
When a child is born, one must undertake to speak to them with respect, give them information or instructions with education, take them back when necessary, but without hatred or screams. For example, saying to a child: “Watch out, don’t touch it breaks!” to say it in a gentle tone and with a smile on your face is already taking it back, nothing more. Obviously, the kind and respectful tone should be extended to the whole family, partner, neighbors and strangers. ” We get into the habit of asking please, thanking and smiling: we will be happier and we will teach our children the correct way to behave in society.”
3 Don’t waste your authority on unimportant things
” Authority is like money: it serves to obtain many things, but the more you waste, the less of it remains . Many parents waste their authority on matters that don’t matter:” Don’t pick your nose, sit up straight, finish the vegetables etc … “
Sometimes it is a succession of orders and prohibitions that become the background of the child’s life. How will the child distinguish, in this avalanche of orders, the more important ones like “do your homework” or “don’t play with the lighter? If a child is used to being shouted” No! “Every moment, it will come to a point where he will no longer notice it, even when the parent yells at him not to cross the road when a car is coming.
4 Children experience right and wrong. Do not be angry but lovingly explain the correct behavior to them.
So the advice is to react calmly to yet another wrong behavior and explain with respect and love for the umpteenth time how to do it ‘; without going into a rage. To reassure yourself, keep in mind that over time the little one will learn, for example, think that no one at ten will throw food on the ground and almost no one will at five. And think back to point 1, that childhood is a fleeting moment. And if you find that you struggle to hold back before screaming and then regret it: leave the room and come back when you are calm.
5 Learn from advertisers and politicians
Advertisers do not express themselves violently, nor do they promise punishment or rewards. But only with simple patient and constant repetition will most people obey.
Another example is the diplomacy of politicians. When big powers have to deal with small countries they often give in on minor issues and insist on important ones, so that the small country can feel satisfied and retain dignity.
6 Children need rules, but they should not be taught as if they were a matter of life or death
Children need our guidance and help to learn how to do everything from playing to brushing their teeth. But the minor rules cannot be taught, those linked to the conventions of everyday life, as if they were matters of life and death. It is not the same if your child hits another child or if he puts his feet on the sofa. In the latter case, just tell him gently: “Take off your shoes before getting on the sofa because it gets dirty”. Say it, explain why, and repeat it with the same patience as often as necessary. You will find that you can stop this behavior without punishing, screaming or hitting, simply by asking politely, explaining it patiently, and repeating it without getting tired.
In the event that your child is beating another child, it will be necessary to intervene more vigorously, physically restraining him, pushing him away and apologizing to the beaten child. Finally, calmly explain to him that you do not hit other children.
7 If an adult does not eat, he is not punished. So why punish a child?
Punishment is completely unnecessary in the upbringing of children.
Also, if you go to see schools, the teachers who are the best and most respected by the students are not the ones who threaten punishment.
Parents have the right and duty to set reasonable rules, to teach good manners and to enforce them. But not to punish. Especially for behaviors that do not involve any crime. If a child doesn’t want to eat everything, maybe he isn’t hungry. No one would punish an adult for not eating. So let the little one not eat.
If a child does not want to put on his coat before going out, it is not out of spite, but it is because he is hot in the house and is not yet able to understand that it is cold outside. It would be absurd to punish him for this. Rather, you can take the baby out without a coat, so he will feel cold and will want to wear the coat right away.
8 If a child does something just because he expects a reward, he will not learn to do it well
Rewards are also useless and counterproductive. The explanation of the ineffectiveness of the rewards is based on the distinction between internal motivation and external motivation. When we perceive that we are doing something because they asked us for it, they forced us, they promised us a reward or put pressure on us, we do it little and badly. When we have the impression that we are doing something because we like it, we want it or because we have the idea, we do it more and better.
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9 Praise the result and the work done and not the child
Praise is not demotivating like rewards only if given to the outcome and the process and not to the person. For example, instead of saying: “You are very good at mathematics”, it is better to say: “You have studied a lot” (praise to the trial), or: “What a good grade you got in mathematics” (praise to the result).
The praise for the process and the outcome is motivating: the child who receives praise tries to keep between things well . Especially if the parent shows real interest. On the contrary, general praise to the person can be demotivating. The same goes for criticism. When it is necessary to do one, it is important to do it to the process or to the result, never to the person. Those who believe they have done something better are more willing to make new attempts to get better results. Those who have received personal criticism seem to think “I’m not good, better let it go, I’m not capable”.
So the parent has to abolish phrases like: “You are a mess” “You never pay attention”, “What patience I have to have with you”, and replace them with phrases: “You should finish putting away the toys”, “Can you redo this division? “,” Attention, the shoes are muddy, the sofa will get dirty. “
” Our children must learn from an early age that we evaluate them for the work done, even if they do not always reach the goal; that good results are the result of his commitment and not innate abilities; that in the face of difficulties it is possible to try again instead to give up. “
10 Nutrition: you parents lead the example by eating healthy foods and do not be nagging if you do not run out of vegetables
But to prevent these attitudes, parents should not be harassing their little ones insisting that they eat everything and run out of vegetables. ” When every meal becomes a battle, it is possible that as they grow up they will abhor certain foods forever. If, on the other hand, we respect children, over the years, as they grow up they will learn to eat a bit of everything.
It is also important for parents to set a good example, prepare healthy foods and eat them. “Eat your vegetables and stop pestering the child. If there is only healthy food in the house, the children will eat healthy food. And if they don’t want today’s dish, don’t insist, don’t promise, don’t threaten or offer alternatives. For example, if he doesn’t want chickpeas, don’t offer him a yogurt. If the child asks for it spontaneously, give it to him, otherwise don’t offer it. Offer him a good example of nutrition in the first years of life.