Currently, there are many educational methods available on the market. Never before has access to knowledge been so easy.
On the one hand, it has its advantages, because everyone who has access to the Internet can find answers to virtually every question and doubt. On the other hand, it is dangerous because publishing knowledge is as easy and accessible as acquiring it.
WHO IS A REAL EXPERT?
Anyone can be a self-proclaimed expert in a given field and publish what is considered to be scientific. And when a desperate person looks for an answer to their problem, they often forget to check if the author really knows what he is saying.
It can be very confusing and it is difficult to choose an effective solution with the certainty that the choice is the right one. Even if we already know that someone is an expert in a given field, again, e.g. in terms of educational methods, nowadays there are so many of them that it is difficult to decide on one.
WHAT TO DO THEN?
It is good if these methods are complementary and form one coherent whole. I believe it’s helpful if we know a lot of these methods and are able to consciously choose the values, ideas or techniques that are in tune with us. It’s very frustrating if we pick a method without studying it deeply and find out after a week that it doesn’t work as we expected. So we give it up and reach for another one. Over time, we feel that this approach is not in harmony with us, so we abandon it again and look for a new one. Over and over again. We, as parents, feel lost. Imagine how a child who is constantly subjected to such experiments may feel? How can safety, harmony and predictability be found in such circumstances?
My mission is to present the methods that I believe in, that I follow in my personal life and that I share with those who want to know them. I’m not going to advertise these methods as the only right ones, because I don’t believe that one perfect method exists. Personally, I draw on several trends and put into practice those elements that, firstly, are in line with me and what I want to give my children, and secondly, they are not contradicting each other, but are complementary and create a harmonious whole. These trends are:
- Positive Discipline,
- Nonviolent Communication (NVC),
- the approach of J. Juul, M. Montessori and T. Gordon.
Why am I a fan of these educational trends? For me, their mixture is the golden mean between authoritarian and stress-free education. And they are amazingly effective 😉
Authoritarian education is an approach in which the child has nothing to say. The parent tells what should be done and how it should be done. End of period. If the child does not comply, he will be punished in any form. It does not have to be physical punishment, it can be screaming, intimidating, insulting and punishing the child with silence or forbidding his pleasures.
No matter what form the punishment takes, its purpose is to show the child who is in charge. And train them to believe that it’s better to always listen to your parents, keep it nice and easy. Does this approach have any advantages? Yes – it is easier for a parent to execute what he wants, usually in such a house there is apparent peace (apparent, because no one will object to the parent, he will obey every command, but it boils under the skin. And one day it will explode).
Is it easy for a child? If he has been brought up this way from birth, then probably yes, because he does not know anything else and is very clear about what to do and what will happen to him for not following the orders. And clarity and predictability usually create a sense of security.
But does a child who does something for fear of spanking, shouting or other punishment feel safe? This is a rhetorical question of course.
The disadvantages of this approach are most visible in later years, when the young man is intimidated, without self-esteem, constantly looking for an authority who will say what to do and how to do it, because he has no opinion. Or the other way around, since he was a victim for so many years. now he will be the executioner himself.
Stress-free education was a fashion that fed all those brought up with the authoritarian method. If the authoritarian approach was so harmful, the next generation’s young parents wanted to give their children much more freedom, respect and much less stress. In stress-free education, a child is allowed to do a lot. All his whims, not only needs, are fulfilled by parents who mistakenly believe that by doing so, they make their child happy.
However, no extreme is good. Children who know no boundaries will unconsciously cross them over and over again. As a consequence, they will not be able to find social acceptance, because while a parent who has decided to raise a child without stress can endure a lot, other people do not have such an approach and do not tolerate a person who knows no boundaries and does not respect the needs of others. Moreover, a child who knows no boundaries does not feel happy at all because he does not feel safe.
Knowing the rules, expectations and predictability of the consequences of certain behavior helps your child navigate in a world that is complicated enough anyway. The rules and our boundaries clearly presented to the child are like signposts on the road. They help find oneself in the twists and turns of life.
SO IS THERE ANY PERFECT METHOD?
And now there is our generation that knows to a large extent that neither an authoritarian nor a stress-free approach is the only right one. We can see the long-term effects of both of these parenting methods and look for something in return. We search and check… Is there an ideal approach? One method that will ensure both child and parent peace of mind?
Which will shape a young person to be self-confident, with self-esteem, awareness of their goals and needs, and at the same time empathetic, respectful of others, caring for the environment and their surroundings? I do not know. We will probably find out in the next 20-30 years, when we see with our eyes what generation we have brought up. As always, history will judge …
What I can do is observe and check. Choose something that convinces me and what I believe (like I believe in Positive Discipline , Nonviolent Communication and the approaches of J. Juul, M. Montessori and T. Gordon) and not change the approach, like a flag in the wind, to give children a sense of predictability and safety, and to give the method a chance (remembering that many techniques work long-term and the effects will only be visible in the further future). I invite you to observe with me and take for yourself what you believe will be good for you, your child and your family. Because the only thing we really can do is to trust ourselves and our parental intuition.
Since you are on this page and you have reached the end, I know that you are a conscious, open-minded parent. And probably very self-demanding to be the perfect parent. But let’s be honest! There is no such thing as the perfect parent! Remember that you are the best version of yourself you can be. For your child, if you sincerely love him and want his good, you are already perfect! So I invite you to leave the dream of being perfect behind and learn the new methods with me. You can read more about Positive Discipline here and Nonviolent Communication here and follow my next articles where I describe them in more details.
And to get practical parenting tools which you can implement right away and which will strongly improve your family relationship download a free parenting guide here.