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I can't with my son, what can I do?

I can't with my son, what can I do?

I have heard this phrase tell many parents who come to school to address their children's difficulties. On many occasions the child was not more than 4 or 5 years old. Many education professionals also feel helpless and disoriented in certain situations with many children.

What is failing in our current education?

Our current education lacks clear principles and appropriate educational means. Confusion reigns. In a few decades we have gone from an authoritarian education in which the child was forced to obey blindly, to an antiauthoritarian where the child “decides” (he is free to decide for himself). Many of those who were educated in authoritarianism wanted something completely different for their children and thus fell into anti-authoritarianism. Now they feel helpless and see how the children get out of hand.

Parents and educators need clear principles and appropriate educational methods. According to the philosopher and deep psychologist Walter Odermatt, childhood education has as its main objective the promotion of independence in children. Education also has to be integral. This integral education has four objectives for the education of a child's character, as well as educational means to achieve each one of them.

The educational objectives in character formation are: gratitude, respect, taste and savings. We must teach children to be grateful. Thanks are not just to say thanks. Gratitude consists above all in appreciating the value of things, differentiating between the external or material value that something or someone has and its internal value. Thanks to respect, the child is considered first of all around him. Such a child behaves carefully and tactfully. Through education in taste, the child learns not only to appreciate the different flavors, but also to differentiate and value correctly between art, the valuable, the cursilería and garbage. Through saving, the child is taught to handle himself with little, to rejoice in what he has and to appreciate the value of getting things for himself.

To achieve these objectives, comprehensive education according to Walter Odermatt offers us four means: instruction, example, discipline and habit. Instruction is important already from the beginning. The little boy is explained things by always telling the truth, using short sentences in affirmative and using adult language. It may be that some of these explanations can only be understood over time. The example of adults, especially parents, is decisive for the child. Children imitate their parents first. Educators have to be a living example of what we want children to learn. Otherwise the child lives an internal conflict between what is said and what he sees. Discipline as an educational medium consists of both the deserved praise and, occasionally, the prize, as well as the timely disapproval and, if necessary, the appropriate punishment known in advance by the child. Habits are created through repetition. Children love repetition as we see it, for example, when they hear the same story over and over again. Let's take advantage of this and educate them in habits that lead to achieving educational purposes.

Parents and educators should aspire to educate children to be independent, grateful, respectful, economical and have good taste. Through the correct, consistent, rigorous and at the same time kind application of instruction, example, discipline and habit will achieve these educational objectives, as well as happy children and families.

Pilar Saldaña Duport
Teacher and deep psychologist