Anguish, guilt and fear are feelings that accompany all parents in the education of their children. Óscar Gutiérrez, Primary Education teacher and director of Escuela de Padres 3.0, believes, however, that education can also be a source of enjoyment for both adults and children. González, Teacher Award in 2013 and author of the book ‘Familia y Escuela. School and Family ‘,’ The educational change ‘or’ 365 proposals to educate, among others, now publishes ‘Educate and be happy’ (Pocket B).
-Is it important for parents to know that education is not uniform, but that there are many ways to educate children?
-It is essential that they understand and understand that there is no single correct way of doing things. Each of us lives a different reality and for this reason neither we nor our children appear in a parenting manual. The important thing is that we become aware that all the tools that we have at our disposal must be adapted to our reality, so different from that of other parents.
-Is it common for parents to feel bad when comparing themselves to others?
-Unfortunately this is the case, we are compared to other parents because we live in a society that pushes us to be ‘the best’ in all areas: professional, work … and also family. We must avoid aspiring to become ‘super dads’ or ‘super moms’. It’s a mistake. We must focus on being and working (us) to grow and be a little better than we were yesterday. For us, for our children. If we want to compare ourselves, let it be with ourselves, observing if there has been an evolution, a growth. There is the key, eliminating guilt and assuming that we are going to make mistakes many times.
-What can parents do to combat the fear that often paralyzes them?
-Fearing, being afraid is something natural. The problem is when these fears paralyze us and rule our life. As parents we live a series of fears with great intensity because we focus a lot on what has to come (in the future) and we forget to live and enjoy the present of our children. These fears prevent us from educating with serenity. For this reason, I encourage parents to listen and become aware of the need to eliminate these fears, identifying those negative and catastrophic thoughts that are repeated in our heads. It is essential to ask yourself: Do these worrying thoughts help me to be happier, to feel better? Therefore, be very careful what you say to yourself. It is also necessary that we remember what our fears were when we were children. It will help us to empathize a lot with our children.
-Children learn more from what they see than from what their parents tell them. What can you do for parents to become a good example for them?
-In fact, children learn what they live and for this reason our example is fundamental. Parents should be an example of affection and joy of living … Let’s eliminate rejection, anger, frustration, etc. Our attitudes are what our children will imitate. Do you want your child to love life without being afraid of it? Express in your day to day how much you appreciate life. And so with everything … It is necessary that we develop a series of qualities that will allow them to walk through life and face the problems that arise in the best conditions. These are just some of them: optimism, confidence, love, humor, humility … and above all, knowing how to appreciate the little things of everyday life.
-Self-esteem is key to its development. What can parents do to reinforce it?
We can carry out multiple actions so that our children grow up with healthy self-esteem. These five keys can help us reinforce it: accept it as it is, focus on your real child; allow him to make mistakes, to make mistakes; projects a positive image of themselves; validate their emotions, don’t downplay what they’re feeling; and do not avoid conflicts.
-There is a current of parents who overprotect their children. What are the benefits of not overprotecting them and what can be done to avoid it?
-Overprotection is the most absolute lack of protection. Overprotection is the result of our fear that something bad will happen to us. And as a consequence, we put in place a whole mechanism that makes us overprotect the child, thus preventing him from doing things by himself (things that he is capable of doing without any problem). Therefore, the benefits of not overprotecting are basically: allowing you to gain autonomy; allow you to grow with limits but without limitations; Allowing him to do things for himself, even if he makes mistakes, even if he makes mistakes, is a part of the learning process. To avoid this overprotection we must become aware that they are going to fall many times in life and we are not there to anticipate their falls, but to accompany them, guide them and help them get up.
-Why is it important to banish any type of violence or punishment in the education of children?
-Because punishment is the resource we use when we no longer have more resources. And we are not aware of its negative repercussions. We think that it is effective, but if we understand education as a long-term process we see that it is not only not effective, but it is also harmful for the child. They generate anger, rage, frustration, lack of self-esteem, hatred and resentment, spirit of revenge, etc. In addition, it does not go to the root of the problem, but with punishment we only put the focus on the surface: on the behavior, without paying attention to how important the need or the feeling behind that behavior is. And as for physical punishment, it should be noted that putting a hand on a child is our failure as educators but, above all, as people.
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