How to raise a round child

How to raise a strong child instead of a good fellow traveler

I have never heard a father or mother say: “Our child should do what he is told without thinking about it! I want a child who follows the flock like a sheep and doesn't ask questions. "
Nobody wants to raise their child like that! We all want to make our children into self-confident, strong people who look for their own way in life!

You have to endure when your child has their own opinion

On the other hand, many parents are annoyed when their child does not hear or speak against it: "Why should I do this?" - “Well, because I say it! Not resist talking!". Children can be really exhausting!

Of course, we usually have a good reason when we ask our child to do something or forbid something: We want to protect them from danger, everyday family life has to be managed somehow, deadlines have to be met, etc.

But if we want to raise conscious children who have their own opinion, then we have to endure it when they express their opinion! We even have to ask them to give their opinion!

My child should by no means be “good”!

“Be good”, that's a term ... when I hear it, all my hair stands on end. Because "good" means unconditional obedience to me. Of course, it would be great if our children would always stick to the rules, always jump immediately when we tell them something and never piss off.

But to be honest: who wants such an adapted zombie child? This is how you raise a person who follows the herd and lets himself be controlled from the outside. How is a child who has been conditioned in this way supposed to develop and assert itself later in life?

This is how you educate followers and yes-men

And such an education can have unforeseen effects! Alfie Kohn, behavioral researcher and author of "Love and Independence: The Art of Unconditional Parenthood ..." * says: If a child is used to being controlled, then it will not only be controlled by the parents but also by other people, for example from friends. Such children grow up and become followers who cannot withstand peer pressure.

It doesn't hurt to give your child a little leeway. My children should learn that they can step out, that not everything an alleged authority figure says is set in stone. I make mistakes too! And I openly admit that to my children.

For example, I encourage my son to question what the kindergarten teacher said. I find this particularly important for girls, because our society still likes to shuffle and steer women.

At the latest when the children get into teenage years, they will rebel in some way anyway. But there are two different ways to rebel, and as a parent, you basically determine what kind of teenager you are bringing up:

The aggro teenager

This is the typical teenager who just wants to provoke. He only rises for the sake of rebellion. No matter what you say, this teenager is against it and says, for example: "You don't determine what I do!"

If you have an authoritative parenting style, then you will most likely have to deal with a teenager like that later. In a strict, authoritarian home, the children rebel more or less reflexively as they get older.

Often the parents react with even more severity and sentences like: "As long as you put your feet under our table, what we say will be done!" etc. Oh dear!

Neither has respect for the other, and with that, the parent-child relationship is likely to go down the drain pretty quickly. Everyone concentrates only on their own point of view and that creates a lot of anger and frustration on both sides.

In my opinion, what is not even possible is an upbringing based on the motto: "I will love you and treat you well, but only if you do what I say!"

This is manipulation, if not blackmail. This is not how you raise children who think for themselves and then make wise decisions later.

The reflective teenager

So we should encourage our children to rebel and form their own opinions? Yes, of course it sounds a bit contradictory to tell your child: “Hey, get up!”. But does that mean it shouldn't follow and do what it wants? Of course not.

It's a tightrope walk: the child needs space and freedom to form their own opinion and to question things. That is why I think it is so important to always take the children with you and explain to them why we are prohibiting something.

Reflective teens are nowhere near as angry and frustrated as the aggro teens. You have been raised to be caring and compassionate. Being strong doesn't mean that you just punch your way through without consideration. They stand up for their opinion and do what they think is right.

Independently thinking young people recognize when something goes wrong: injustice, intolerance, meanness, etc. make them prick up their ears. But they don't just go and hit it, but stop and think about how they can effectively influence a situation.

“Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it. "
(Augustine of Hippo)

Such children do not take the path of least resistance. They are ready to make uncomfortable decisions and stand up for their opinions. But how can I encourage my child to question things?

1. Don't tell them what to think, ask them what they think

Take your time and ask! If you say “I hate my teacher!” Then answer: “Wow, hating someone like that is really hard! Why do you hate him so much? "

Taking your stand and arguing is like a muscle that you can train. A child also needs space to form its opinion. Learn the children to have their own opinion and to formulate it.

When the children are older, you can ask them hypothetical questions: If you were in this situation, how would you behave? And what if the situation was one way or another?

2. Show the children how to see things from other people's perspectives

If the neighbor is unfriendly and unfriendly, then maybe there is a reason: “Look, your cat died yesterday. She is probably very sad and therefore reacts that way. " Teach the children that most of the time there is a reason for others to behave and that we should understand it.

3. Learn to question things critically, but to be compassionate

For example, if someone you know speaks badly about others, speak to your child about it. Is what the person is saying true? Is it allowed to say something like that? How do these statements affect others? What would you have done in this situation?

The child should deal critically with the situation and not just parrot what others are saying. Let us raise our children to be kind, compassionate people who courageously question things and make the right decisions.

As always, I am happy if you share this article 🥰

This article only reflects my personal opinion. Of course, everyone can raise their children as he or she sees fit.
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