Raising Emotionally Healthy Children
To educate is to communicate, guide, show and teach our children what we consider important for life. Through this kind of education, we present our values, our ideas and expectations, our habits, our ways of living and how we see life. Parents always intend to give the best to their children, but we also have to know how to transmit these teachings and guidance.
Commanding or sharing?
There are many ways to educate, and one of them is through authority, imposition, punishment and obedience. Through this form of education, we “train our” children through fear and authority. In most cases, children obey, without learning and without thinking, just to avoid the negative consequences of not doing so.
However, there is another approach to education that involves respecting and supporting a child’s development. This approach emphasizes learning the reason for things, and parents accompany the child through the process. Children learn through experience, by coming to agreements and negotiating with their parents, and enhancing their autonomy; they are held accountable for their small decisions and know the consequences.
Rules and limits
Respecting and supporting the growth and maturation of our children does not mean that they are in charge of their own education. It is important to remember that parents are always the engine and guide for the education of their children, and therefore, it is the parents who create the educational path they want for their children.
Thus, it is important to clearly articulate the rules and limits that define the boundaries of what we teach because it is clear that not everything is suitable for our way of living and we should make it clear to our little ones.
It is important to be clear about what we want to teach, and that’s why it is essential to know our values. In this way, educating becomes the transmission of values through rules and habits of our daily life, making clear what we do not want to pass down.
Teaching values is natural and spontaneous. They are transmitted from generation to generation through observation, imitation, and most of all with non-verbal language.
This means that in addition to explaining what we want, don’t want and expect from our children, we let them know by our attitudes, emotions and feelings, approval or disapproval, and the resulting consequences.
Raising confident children
Children grow up emotionally healthy when they have learned to live life based on their own experience and with the support and protection of their elders by understanding, resolving conflicts and facing difficulties.
When the child becomes an adolescent and then an adult, he or she will decide what to do with everything learned, but there is no doubt that a good education is the best luggage for the journey through life.
Children who are confident in themselves are those that have grown up with communication and trust of their elders. Their parents accompanied them in their maturation and autonomy, teaching them to manage their emotions such as frustration, rage, anger, envy and jealousy.
The best thing we can do as parents is reinforce our children’s progress, achievements, success, skills, abilities and potential, always showing them the love, care and affection we feel for them.