I only repeat it once from our parents or grandparents to how many times do I have to tell you? or from there is soup for dinner to what do you want to eat? Parents, as long as their children are happy and family peace is maintained, they forget the principle of authority, which has nothing to do with authoritarianism, and they move away from common sense when dealing with their offspring.
The objective that the children respect and obey has become that they do not get angry, do not yell, do not get frustrated … there is an excess of overprotection and consent and the results can be disastrous.
Maribel Martínez, a psychologist specializing in strategic brief therapy, explains to EFEsalud how paradoxically the current generation of parents is incapable of dealing with the most basic things of the education of their offspring, despite the fact that they have become “professionalized”.
Professionalized means that they are parents “who care about everything that affects their children and are dedicated to them body and soul. They go to workshops, read books, get involved in mothers and fathers associations…. ”
They want to be excellent parents, that their children do not suffer, that they have a magnificent preparation for life and that they be happy.
“A priori, all this should be understood in a positive way, but the reality is that the most important objective is often neglected: educating in personal autonomy and values”.
Keys to dealing with children
In her book “How many times do I have to tell you? (Harp), Maribel Martínez summarizes her years of professional practice and provides very simple tips and advice, far removed from the theories that do not work and have made children dependent, insecure, with anxiety disorders, fears, phobias, low tolerance to frustration, addiction to screens, or rebellion….
For Maribel Martínez it is crucial that parents understand that there has to be a principle of authority, that they cannot be friends with their children, that they cannot be negotiated or explained or asked everything, and that they must rethink what does not work to address other strategies.
They explain to them with all the patience in the world the reasons why they have to do things: «We have to go home because I have to make dinner, and you will have to take a bath before going to sleep and if we don’t, we will leave now. It will be very late and everything will be delayed, you will sleep less and tomorrow you will be sleepy and tired ».
Parents want children to understand them, but children do not listen to these reasons.
Someone really imagines an answer of the type: “It’s true, let’s go because that way you won’t get stressed and you will have time for everything, I’ve already played a good time and we’ll be back another day.”
“Well no. That’s not gonna happen. So giving so many explanations doesn’t work. In childhood – the psychologist points out – people do not reason like this … “
In her book addressed to parents with children from 5 to 12 years old, the author affirms that it is clear that the first thing is common sense.
In her consultation, the first thing she advises couples is not to allow their children to do what they would never have done to their parents.
And she recommends going back to tell me well that I am your mother / father. A phrase that he defends must be said “in those situations in which the son crosses the red line, even slightly, with a” ho, uncle “,” heavy “, or when he leaves one of the parents”.
If they are older, she advocates that the phrase be accompanied by the corresponding attitude.
“That is, approaching the son a meter away (less would be invading her personal space, and more would not be effective) look him in the eye and say it with a firm voice and serious phrase. Turn around and go ”.
Keys to dealing with children
It also refers to how to get out of the vicious circles that always lead to the same unwanted result.
For example, in the case of fights between siblings, parents often intervene to bring peace and do justice with no result.
And if the result is null, he points out, it is time to change the strategy and try new methods or messages like: I am sure you will be able to resolve your differences.
In this way, responsibility is transferred to them and they are forced to think and reflect.
As these messages are unexpected, “the children will insist, they will increase the screams and accuse the other of aggression. The parents’ response must continue along the same lines, convey confidence that they will be able to solve it ”.
“Even some humor, something like: ‘Is there a broken arm?’, ‘Do I have to go to the hospital to put any stitches? Do not? Well, nothing, keep negotiating that you will be able to reach an agreement ».
Especially when the solutions of intervening to bring peace, punishing one or both of them, or trying to convince them that they should get along have not worked.
It is necessary to avoid the reproaches or the type punishments you will not see television in a month, which then are never fulfilled.
Neither, he points out, are the disqualifications effective: “you’re lazy”; neither the sermons, nor the threats: “as you suspend again” … or the emotional blackmail: What a disappointment!
Thus, in the face of failures, it suggests, among other guidelines, asking about the problem, How did you fail? and before the typical answers of the teacher, I am obsessed with asking how much he has studied, how he has studied …
He suggests at the same time inquiring about the solutions instead of imposing them, asking him what he can do differently, kind of, if you had studied more, would it have been better for you?
Mealtime also has a place in his book: children who eat little, who get up from the table, who do not like anything, or who spend hours playing with food.
To start, he advises setting a time of ten or fifteen minutes for each dish.
“When the scheduled times are over, the table will be cleared, even if the child has not finished, but no diet sermons that the child does not care about, and instead positive reinforcement of the type you will have five more minutes of television if you finish the vegetables” .
It is about preventing meals from becoming stressful moments and taking advantage of them to talk about things that interest the whole family.
Other daily aspects that cause family friction such as the use of screens and mobile phones, childhood fears, or going to sleep at the required time are also addressed in this book of keys to dealing with children, so that they listen and respect and that the education does not always become an uphill mountain
To achieve this, Maribel Martínez advocates for the values of respect for parents and siblings, for promoting personal autonomy: dressing and studying alone …, for fostering responsibility: punctuality, collaboration at home … and for educating emotional intelligence to overcome fears , frustration …