Any form of parenting Discipline does not have that very Power in a Child’s Life compared to this amazing Truth
In every bookstore, there is a big choice of books for raising kids. There are the famous ones, “everyone” buys, dependent on social / religious culture you live in. However, not many of them talk about this amazing truth.
In Switzerland we have “Babyjahre” (baby-years) from a Swiss Doctor called Remo Largo. Doing my education as a small children educator, this was our “Bible” as it was called, the book the teachers were referring to again and again.
That’s not a bad thing, even though not every “famous” book about how to raise kids is based on what the truth is about our role as a parent and the identity of a child – there will surely be an article on “how to choose your books wisely” later on.
However for now, there is something I see as more important, more life changing as every way of discipline, ways of parenting you can find in these books.
“without connection – no truly successful parenting”
Imagine you have a child, we are going to name the child Susan. Susan is just 8 (or 10,12,14, you put the number) years old, and until now, she was a very sweet girl, listening to you, being obedient. You thought you had done a good job raising your child.
However, over a period of time, everything changed. Susan is not listening to you any more. Susan does not care about you, her family. She only wants to be with her friends from School or neighbourhood . She doesn’t tell you about how she feels anymore, what she’s going through. Therefore, you are reading through all your parenting books, applying this, or that, or the other thing. Nothing works.
And you know what?
You are not the failing parent.
Most likely, the Problem is not your parenting. Neither is it a behaviour problem from Susan.
Most likely, the Problem is not your parenting. Neither is it a behaviour problem from your child.
It’s a connection problem.
In our western society we teach our kids independence from a very early age. We teach them to sooth themselves when they are just born. We teach them to be without us in the nursery, sometimes with only three months of age. We teach them that we don’t have time for them when they come back from School to hear their “little” problems because we have so much to do. We teach them that we’re going to punish them for their behaviour because we want them to behave properly… forgetting that it’s our unique role as a parent to give our child this connection and feeling of belonging.
It is just as a wife has an affair with an other man and her husband does not know that… trying to get his wife behaving nicely with different forms of discipline. Nothing will do it. Just because her “problem” is not a behaviour problem, it’s her connection with her husband that shifted to this other man.
It’s a relationship problem.
Susan needs connection. She needs a place to look for orientation, importance and belonging. Of course there comes the day when we are meant to let go. However, not before our task to bring the child to emotional maturity is done. And this is not with 8years, not even with 14years of age.
So I believe, that your focus, if you have “a Susan” at home should not be the books about parenting and discipline. But study your relationship with your child.
1. Do I know my child? Do I know what it feels, thinks, fears and hopes?
2. Do I have a trust based relationship? Does it come to me for help and guidance, when it’s sad, happy or doesn’t know what do?
3. Have there been circumstances where our relationship has been better? What happened?
Education is about relationship
Benny and I raise our children with that in mind. In daily life, we don’t always succeed. Sometimes I spend precious time on the phone or staring into my Iphone. Sometimes I’m so lost in my own thoughts that I forget that I have four children around me wanting to communicate and share life with me.
However, every time I applied this truth in a problem we had with our kids, we could see beautiful changes in the situation and the relationship we have with that child. I don’t say our children can get away with everything. We do have a high standard how we want them to be, what we want them to become..
What I am saying, is that:
any form of parenting discipline does not have that very power in a child’s life compared to the connection it has with you, the parents.
Books in English to dig deeper into that subject:
“Hold on to your kids” by Authors Neufeld/Maté
“The Habits 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families” by S.R.Covey
“Loving Our Kids on Purpose: Making a Heart-To-Heart Connection” by Danny Silk