Knowing how to educate a child is one of the best skills that can be learned to build a healthy family, have well-being and quality of life, and raise an educated child with a promising future.
Sometimes we find in our children behavioral problems, lack of social skills, problems of self-esteem, poor relationship between parents and children, little emotional control, lack of routines …
There are many situations that put us to the test as parents and where we constantly ask ourselves if we are doing well or what we could improve.
How to Educate a Child
Many times we would like to find magical solutions to situations that overwhelm us and that we are not able to adequately address.
Or we would simply like to find tools that allow us to change or improve in some way the relationship we have with our children.
Why are there usually problems in educating children?
Being a father is not easy. Parents are the main models for their children and the family is the first agent of socialization in childhood.
The upbringing of a child and his education is a complicated task that often leads parents to difficult situations to cope with.
At other times, behaviors occur in children that parents do not know how to drive. The hectic pace of current life and the lack of work and family reconciliation has also had a significant impact on the education of the children.
Parents often ask themselves if they are doing well or how they should act before their children.
There are many factors that influence the development of children, but it is important to take into account the importance of the family, the parenting style of the parents and the guidelines they take part in during their education.
All this has a great relevance in their development and will accompany them throughout their lives.
Parenting patterns are the attitudes and behaviors that parents carry out in relation to the education of their children. Its socialization in childhood takes place through the practices of upbringing, the way in which the family guides the infant in its development and transmits some norms to join the social group.
Through parenting guidelines, parents respond to the needs and demands of their child.
Each family assumes the guidelines of upbringing according to its own characteristics, its dynamics of functioning, the resources it has, the supports or the context.
13 Tips to educate your child
1. Use acceptance communication
When it comes to relating with your child, show your love unconditionally. Demonstrate that it is important for us and that we want it above all implies not only what we say but how we say it.
Your child should know and understand that you will always love and accept him, that you can disapprove of his behavior but that he is valuable and that you esteem him above all else, even when they make mistakes or fail.
Acceptance communication is important because it is the basis for the development of a strong personality and a safe self-esteem.
Some authors have studied the relationship between parenting style and self-esteem in children between 3 and 5 years old. They observed that children with higher self-esteem coincided with those where there was a higher degree of self-esteem valued by their parents.
The child must know that he is loved and accepted for who he is and not for what he does. The child should not be guided by fear or your approval, because he should know that you love him above all else. Children need love without conditions to believe in a healthy and safe environment.
2. Be available and accessible to your child
In relationships that foster warm bonds, that show that they are available for their children and where there is support between both, an open climate is created towards the messages of the parents.
When they feel supported, their personal effectiveness increases and all of this influences their affective and behavioral functioning.
When in the first ages of life there has been little solidity in the education of children the consequences can be negative.
Little accessibility and availability to children together with little communication, can lead in adolescence to develop these with conflictive groups and to encourage risk behaviors.
Being sensitive to the needs of the child, attending and accepting their individuality and expressing affection are essential to regulate their behavior.
3. Set limits
Another important aspect in the education of children is the subject of positive discipline.
In the parental educational styles, we find the authoritarian, the permissive and the democratic style. These educational styles are related to disciplinary control and affective warmth.
A democratic father is one who has high warmth and high control. On the other hand, an authoritarian father would be the coldest emotionally and with a high control. An overprotective parent would have high warmth and low control, while a negligent parent would be low in both respects.
It is important to bear in mind that sometimes, because we try not to become authoritarian parents, we weaken in the control of our children and we can become more overprotective parents.
Children need limits, with positive authority, but we need to give them security. When setting limits, they must be objective and concrete. Sentences to children should be short, simple, reinforcing them one by one.
It is appropriate that we allow them to make frequent choices, which allow them to choose within the possibilities. For example, if the child has to put on his jacket we can give him the possibility to put it on his own or help us. Or if you have to take the syrup, you can do it in a glass or on a spoon.
It is important to be firm, children need consistency because that gives them security. And firmness is part of the positive limits.
4. Use the reinforcement
Reinforce your child for everything he does well and do not use punishment. Authoritarian and punishing parenting styles often generate a maladaptive emotional development and deficits in emotional strategies to adapt to different situations.
Children are more receptive to positive reinforcement. Punishment should not be used and, of course, physical punishment should never be used.
In addition, we are concerned that children grow up with a healthy self-esteem, which will also reflect the self-concept they have about themselves.
This will be based on self-efficacy, they believe they are capable of achieving their goals, of their personal worth.
Positive reinforcement can help us all. The key is in the good use, not to exceed the compliments, which are always real and not forced, because the child will perceive it.
It is better to leave the “NO” for situations where it is really necessary. We want the NO to have a reinforcing value, but if we use it indiscriminately, it will not be effective when we really need it.
Look at what the child does well and reinforce it. Always explain things to him, with clear and adapted phrases and try to give him alternatives to what he does not have to do. Instead of saying “do not paint on the table” offer the alternative “why do not you paint on this paper?”.
5. Fosters responsibility and autonomy
When children are adolescents, parents want their children to be autonomous, responsible, independent, to communicate with them in a fluid way and to trust them for everything.
However, in order for all of this to take place at this stage of life, the parenting guidelines must be directed to it from childhood.
Adapted to each age and the characteristics of the children, curiosity, responsibility and autonomy can be encouraged.
In families that educate with solid values, adolescent conflicts for freedom and the experimentation of new experiences occur transitorily.
When children are small, one of the most appropriate ways to foster responsibility and autonomy is to propose frequent choices. Given certain things that children must do day by day, many of them can be selected by them, even if it is between different alternatives.
This will respect their decisions, help them to be autonomous and often prevent family conflicts.
Establishing responsibilities for children according to their abilities and their evolutionary stage is also a very appropriate parenting guideline.
6. Keep in mind your emotions, emotional intelligence is important
Emotions are also important. Taking into account the emotions of our children and working them are part of an adequate education.
Different studies have shown the relationship between the expressiveness of the parents (to show verbal or non-verbal expressions ) and the empathic responses of the children.
The reactions that parents show to the emotions of their children play a role in terms of their socio-emotional development.
The emotional intelligence is learned, is formed by a series of skills or skills that can be learned.
We can work with our children on their emotions and we will be emotionally educating them when we help them identify the signs of emotions, to name them, understand them and know where they come from and finally when we help them to regulate them.
Helping you to understand and work on aspects such as self-motivation or the delay of gratifications, self-control, social skills, assertiveness, active listening or empathy also involves working on emotional intelligence.
It is important to validate your feelings. Many times, when we deal with our child, we try to make the negative emotions disappear . We do not like our son to cry, for example, and immediately we distract him with something else, we ignore him, and so on.
Children must have contact with emotions in order to know and regulate them. And our task as parents is to help them. We must understand that all emotions are valid and we must take advantage of everyday situations to work them.
When the child is sad or afraid, even if the problem seems insignificant, it is important for him, so he validates his feelings. What you feel is important.
7. Accept the individuality of your child
It is important to respect the individuality of the child. Each one of us is unique and peculiar, unique and different from the others.
You do not have to label children, because it ends up influencing our child and what he can do. In relation to the expectations we have for children, the ” Pygmalion Effect ” stands out.
It was an experiment conducted by Rosenthal and Jacobson (1968) where they found that, by randomly choosing children from one class and telling their teachers that they were more intelligent than the others, by the end of the year these children had advanced more than the rest.
This is due to the expectations we put on children and that as a self-fulfilling prophecy, it ends up happening.
Sometimes, we label the children even unconsciously: the one who behaves badly, the one who works less, the one who never stands still … and we must be very aware of it so that it does not affect the relationship with the child.
The personality and identity is developed with the child and childhood is a stage where our referents have a great importance in our self-esteem and self-concept.
Accepting the individuality of the child also implies not projecting our desires on the children and letting them be themselves. They have preferences, desires, needs … and sometimes these do not coincide with ours. We must respect it.
The upbringing must be based on respect for the individual, a safe and comfortable environment where you feel loved and can discover the world.
8. Actions have consequences, which does not escape responsibility
Responsibility is important in the education of children. We should not punish children, but it is important that they take into account the consequences of their actions.
If a child draws on the wall or table, we can offer the alternative to paint in a more appropriate place, we can explain why it is not appropriate to paint on the wall or table, without anger.
Subsequently, the consequence would be to clean up with us what has been soiled. We are not punishing the child and the way we handle the problem also says a lot about it.
It is a consequence. In a calm way, we explain why he should help us clean it and we hope that together with us, as much as possible, he will clean up what he has dirtied.
The consequences are part of life and is the way we learn and take responsibility for our actions.
9. Act with the example
Children’s learning goes, in large part, through observation. Parents are the main role models of our children and what we do will say much more about us than what we say.
Our words should be consistent with what we do. Children will learn through our example.
If you tell the child to be respectful, to be orderly, not to shout or to be quiet and we are showing him otherwise, our words will lose all meaning.
Children need security. They need to find a coherence between all of this in order to consider our teachings as valid and to generate and internalize our own.
10. Encourages communication and talks with him
The importance of communication and dialogue stands out in terms of parenting patterns. Dialogue must be the basis of the relationship between parents and children throughout their development.
Some studies suggest that communication problems are one of the risk factors in the psychological adjustment of adolescents.
Families with assertive styles promote adequate socio-emotional development in their children. In the face of depression or loneliness, they promote an adaptive coping , while those who are more authoritarian generate greater insecurity, problems are avoided and coping is more maladaptive.
11. Let him experiment, he has to learn
Childhood is the period of experimentation par excellence. Everything is new for them, so the experiences that live in these very early stages are going to be very important for the construction of their learning.
A fundamental way for children to discover the world is play, which includes the manipulation of objects and materials from the environment, the representation of everyday situations and the relationship with their peers and other adults in their environment. It is very important to let the children play freely and make available appropriate stimuli for them (for example, toys appropriate for their age, little structured to encourage their
Our role in the game must be secondary. This means that we must be present, but without taking control of the activity, letting the child explore his tastes, his limits, his objectives.
Errors are also necessary. It is important that we understand as parents that without conflict there is no learning. If our child is wrong during the performance of an activity, whether it is a game or an academic task, we must make an effort not to correct him immediately and leave room for him to explore the different possible solutions and find the one he considers most appropriate. Only then will we allow them to build a positive and meaningful learning .
12. Do not make comparisons
They always say that comparisons are odious and in the case of children we will not make an exception.
When we try to make our children change behavior we do not like, we sometimes tend to compare them with other children whose behavior seems more acceptable, with the intention of giving them a frame of reference.
However, this resource, besides being not very useful to improve their behavior, has undesirable effects on the child’s self-esteem and self-concept.
It makes them feel little accepted and understood, and indirectly teaches a model of development based on competitiveness, to “be like …” or “better than …”, instead of accepting their individuality. In addition, in the case of the brothers, it foments the rivalry between them and the appearance of jealousy.
We must bear in mind that each child has its own characteristics and strengths, which can be used to amend a negative behavior . When you feel tempted to compare your child with another child, stop for a moment and observe only him.
13. Consistency is the most important
Consistency is the most important key in the raising of a child. The child needs stable, solid and coherent environments.
The limits and norms that we establish with our children must be firm, because that is important so as not to create incoherence in the upbringing. Sometimes, with our behavior and without being aware, we are generating behavioral problems in our children due to this lack of coherence.
If we set contradictory rules, we can negatively affect the child’s behavior and development and self-esteem.
If you establish guidelines and contradict yourself, children do not know what will happen next, they can not foresee the consequences of the acts and they feel that they do not have control over what can happen.
Another important aspect is that as parents we agree with each other on the parenting patterns of our children and that he perceives that we are together in the face of the challenge of educating him.
Therefore, the family and the appropriate parenting patterns facilitate a good socio-emotional development of children, develop appropriate social skills , good self-esteem, prosocial behaviors … It is important to sensitize families and guide when difficulties arise.
The importance of parenting in children
Throughout the development, the human being absorbs values that will accompany him throughout the life cycle. In the transmission of these values and ways of acting influences the culture, society, their immediate environment, their peer group, the family …
In all this, the parenting patterns of the parents are fundamental because they inculcate values and norms that lead to the integration of the adult in society.
The socio-affective development of the child develops from the family, from the values, norms, skills that they learn in their childhood.
All this is related to conflict management, prosocial behavior, emotional regulation.
It is important the relationship of the child or adolescent with his father and with his mother, that both are available to care for their children, that they are equally involved in their upbringing and that communication and support with them is paramount in the relationship .
In addition, it is important to highlight also that in many occasions parents of teenagers want their children to be responsible, autonomous, to have a good communication with them …
However, as parents we must know that these things must be worked on from childhood, day by day and in a consistent manner to establish a good relationship with our children that is the basis for their safety and their exploration of the world.
If you want your child to be an autonomous and independent, sociable and cooperative child, you need to convey affection and affection, establish dialogue and communication as the basis of your relationship and use inductive reasoning in terms of discipline.
This is related, according to different authors, to the child’s moral maturity and competence, as well as prosocial behavior.
There are different ways of establishing discipline with children. Affection, control and involvement in raising children are the most important aspects when educating.
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These variables are those that predict an adequate educational style of parents and more effective relationships between parents and children.