“Beware of the baby king”: OK but what do we do?

The cult of the child king is a threat to our democracy. This is the shocking conclusion of a study recently published by UCLouvain researchers. They call to find out “A New balance In the education of childrenIntegrate “.Strong and just discipline with grace “.

Okay but How? What is ‘or’? ? In this article, we try to give you some hints. Not a recipe, not a readymade solution, but TrackReflection or action.

First, a brief review of the study: What does it say? Although the child has been neglected or even despised for centuries, today he is cherished and protected. By itself, this is clearly a step forward, we acknowledge it Rights And he Less The victim Violence, But this development is also subject to deviation. Extremely secure, highly valued children whose every need is met instantly. “It is likely to suffer from problems Mental health (Depressive symptoms and anxiety) and physical (risk of obesity), exacerbation narcissists And develop less mature and less cognitive skills. The Adults Also risk Run out Children are always eager to get closer to their needs and interests. “

And finally, in short, it is these children who pose a threat to our democracy Individualist It will be difficult to prioritize General interest.

And, so, how to find a new, healthier balance?

Take a step back from positive parenting

Positive education is positive ! The main objectives of this stream (as illustrated by Isabel Filiozat, Katherine Gageun, etc.) are good: a less violent education, more respectful of the child, more attentive to his needs. The problem is that when it comes to a doctrine, a general guideline is valid in all situations.

Positive learning has its limits, like everything else. She doesn’t agree Not in all situations, To all the kidsIsabel Roscomm explains, Professor of Developmental Psychology at UCLouvain and co-author of the research quoted above. When a child clearly crosses the line, positive learning is not a good answer, because there is no positive behavior to strengthen, there is a frame to replace

Positive learning is not suitable for all children, in all situations.

Otherwise, Psychologist Continue, Some children More easily self-regulating Compared to others, will try less to cross the line. Is like others Magic bullets : When you drop them, it bounces everywhere. As loose as the frame is, they will bounce like crazy little balls. They will need a rigid frame. Kindness means being sensitive to the needs of each person.

Kids magic ball: When you throw them away, they bounce everywhere.

The best-selling textbooks often translate careful education into practical advice, e.g. Cooking recipe. And it instills in parents the idea that if they apply, everything will be fine, and as a result, the idea that if things don’t go well, it’s their fault.

Béatrice Kammerer, Journalist, Author of “True Positive Education” (Larousse, 2019)), Highlighting the hypocrisy of some positive education manuals. “There’s one The paradox : They sell recipes for kids to be wise, calm, compelling, He says But in fact they do not support this model. They rather support the child’s expression, considering his or her loneliness and not his or her obedience at all. We need to be clear about our motives. “

You should be clear about your motives.

Moreover, these are often based on manuals Neuroscience To give them advice. They can certainly shed some light, but they have limitations, Beatrice Camara noted. “There is a desire to rationalize at any cost that has given rise to this kind of argument.If you do this you will trigger Toxic reactions in his brain‘However, this is not the argument Is not always established Scientifically, popularization is sometimes confusing

The journalist gives an example of a scientific study to talk about the response of stress on the child. The study in question actually deals with the stress present Electroshake prey animals, Cold water bath, or starvation. “Abnormal condition Consistent with a child who is not a victim of abuse. “

However, do not throw the baby out with bath water. Isabel Roscomm invites you to use Positive education as a beacon : “A lighthouse shows a direction you can follow when you are in doubt, but the principle of a lighthouse is that you should approach it without risking breaking your boat.

Get rid of guilt : There is (almost) no parental determination

We come back, for a few more lines, to positive learning. He explained that if parents applied the recipe, their child would be happy. One of a kind Parental determinism Who keeps a Huge pressure On the parents.

In her office, psychologist Isabel Roscomm confirmed the parents’ guilt. Do I have a 15 year old friend? Because I had postpartum depression when she was 6 months old. “It may leave a trace, but to create a cause and effect link from there …

The future of a child is the result of a complex equation, Versatile. The education given by the parents is just one reason. Also involved are the child’s genes, his mood, his mental capacity, attention, his teacher, his friends, the media …

Mood (the genetic basis of personality) is responsible for 50% of behavior variabilityt. When we study the effects associated with parenting, we are at 10%.

Scientific research assumes that Temperament Account for (the genetic basis of personality) 50% A variation of behaviort, specifies the professor of psychology. When we study Parental influenceWe are 10%. So we do what we can with our kids. “

We need to replace this myth of the perfect child with its image Guardian who walks “ The expert on education adds the journalist, who points out the increasing pressure on parents. “It was before Everything is fine before the age of 6. Now we come ‘Everything is fine before birth’!

Practical Case 1: Anger

What to do with a child who is constantly angry, feeling frustrated? We said it: no miracle recipe, but leads.

The first rule is to follow Isabel Roskam Don’t go back to what provoked frustration. Otherwise the child will quickly realize that there is a way to end the anger. Hold the frame, in the long run, which will stop the anger.

In the baby’s head, be careful not to mix too much, Minor benefits To these hungry people: if we pay close attention to them, hug them, for example.

Then there are This is not a good way to do it. The Let it scream outsideReturning to community (“You can shout, but you can’t break other people’s ears. “) May be a solution.

OrIsolated in his roomWhy not, but Not if he’s worried, Or if the parents themselves are concerned when their child is not being cared for. You need to choose something that you can hold on to and that you are comfortable with.

Agree on what we are going to do every time this happens.

You need to feel comfortable with the decision that the parent has made.Professor of Developmental Psychology emphasizes. Of course, we must be biased towards something that is not Not violent. No need to push the baby out, scream. Just have Every time this happens we agree on what we are going to do

It is pointless to talk to a child when he is angry, he is not capable at that time. It is better to pass anger, and Come back laterUsing a history book such as “Big anger“(Ecole des Loisirs, 2000) for example.

Practical Case 2: Leaving the playground

How to deal with a child who does not want to leave the playground? Inside OutsideWe don’t have the same resources in our home, and children know it.

It could be better Withdraw frame (And repeat it to the child) Before Go to the playground (maximum 3 rules): Do not push others, for example, and leave at the appointed time.

An hour left.

These should be the rules NegotiableIsabel defends Roskam. But there is no obstacleSayOne-fourth of the scheduled departure time must be statedOne hour left. Children are not aware of time so this can help. We can do this for the screen too, keep a timer. “

Practical case 3: Conflict between brother and sister

Conflict is needed. The sole goal of parents is to ensure that disputes are resolved in a non-violent way. “But as long as the kids are fighting, we can let them have their way, find one of them Fix yourself. The Conflict is healthy. If we resolve every conflict for them, they will not be armed on the playground.

Conflict is healthy.

If it falls into disrespect to the other, the guardian can bringCompassionAwareness of each other’s needs, and the search for a solution that respects both desires and needs, or if it is not possible, a modus vivendi.

Do not refrain from being punished

For UCLouvain psychologists, punishment can help make the child aware that he or she has Exceeded a limitTo remind him of the rules.

It’s good, however, no Punishment was not invented at that time. It risks being exaggerated, incoherent, incompetent. And lifting the emotionally thrown punishment would be worse than anything. Often, the situation of transgression is repeated, so we can Say And tell the child: When you do this, the result is this.

The ideal entity to find a punishment Proportional, In connection. In this case, “You didn’t behave well during this activity, we won’t do it again this week“”At that point it just became a reminder of the frame”, Thinks psychologists.

Take the risk

Studies show that hypertension is associated with hyperpigmentation Decreased physical activity. “The youngsters ran 600 meters in three minutes forty years ago, today they are keeping One more minute, Serge Dupont is a guest lecturer at UCLouvain’s Faculty of Psychology, another co-author of research on child religion. It will be associated with the practice of parents, who Extra protectionDon’t send people, for example, to football because it’s too cold. “

There are reasonable risks that you need to be able to take.

We are not saying that we should face their danger, but we can ask ourselves if we are not going too far if we do not protect them too much. Fewer and fewer children go to primary school alone, for example. “

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