The importance of the family.
The family has played a fundamental role throughout history. Not in vain, we can consider that the family is the oldest institution of humanity.
The role of the family is decisive, both for society and for the development of the individual. The family is a support system among members and th e ga an essential role in the emotional and psychological development of children.
“The family plays a fundamental role in the socialization of children and in their psychological development.”
Through the family, knowledge, roles, values, attitudes and habits are transmitted from one generation to another.
Parents and children: The pillars of the family.
The importance of the family lies in the following points:
- Covers basic needs: food, housing, care and affection.
- Provides the feeling of being part of a specific group.
- It helps to develop the personality and socialization of its members.
- Facilitates the free expression of feelings.
- Provides an outline of values and ethical codes of conduct.
- Help solve common problems.
- It favors communication and mutual knowledge between adults and children.
“Through the family, the child will acquire a whole series of ethical values of conduct.”
Rules to improve communication in the family.
Possibly, lack of communication is one of the biggest problems in our society. There is a communication deficit in the couple, but communication between parents and children is also scarce.
We live in a fast-paced society, with a frenetic pace, which prevents us from verbalizing our thoughts and feelings with those around us.
Parents must fight from the outset to keep communication channels open, both among themselves and with their children.
“We live in a fast-paced society where communication in the family is conspicuous by its absence.”
Getting good communication from the beginning helps improve knowledge and understanding between parents and children. Thus, the appearance of possible problems that hinder family life is avoided.
To achieve this important objective it is necessary to have clear ideas about children.
1.- You have to be open to dialogue at all times.
2.- Their concerns and problems should be listened to carefully, even if they seem unimportant to us.
3.- You have to show interest in the activities they carry out.
4.- We must respond to their curiosity and questions by answering honestly, avoiding deceiving them to get out of trouble.
5.- We have to avoid putting ourselves before them as role models (“I already did this with your years”) and try to understand their needs.
6.- We must recognize that we can make mistakes, and therefore, ask for forgiveness when necessary.
7.- You have to be reasonable and make constructive proposals, instead of arguing.
8.- We have to respect and encourage their independence and autonomy.
9.- It is important to avoid continuous comparisons with siblings or friends.
“Continual comparisons with siblings can lower your child’s self-esteem and be a source of conflict.”
10.- You have to avoid confusing messages (“You’re a stupid shot, I’ve told you a hundred times not to play with the ball in the living room!”).
Helping each child. Respect individuality.
1.- We must avoid generalizations at all costs (“You always do everything backwards”, “You never pay attention to me”).
2.- We must value the individual differences between our children and respond according to the needs they require at all times.
3.- Sharing our free time with them, doing common activities will be something that they will greatly value.
4.- You have to dedicate an exclusive time to be with each one of them.
Clear and consistent rules in the family.
It is important that parents give their children clear and consistent standards of behavior.
Clear rules to help children.
Clear and consistent rules give our children security, as they need, expect and want them. When there are no rules or they are arbitrary or absurd, the child will feel it by being nervous and insecure.
Parents must be in complete agreement with the standards we set for our children. Otherwise, it is important that the children do not notice these differences of opinion. Later we will have to try to agree.
“It is vitally important that both parents agree on the application of the rules and do not discuss them in front of the children.”
The rules that we propose to our children must be reasoned, not just “because I’m in charge here” or “because I say so and they don’t talk anymore.”
Reasoned and flexible rules.
If we explain the rules to our children, they will understand them and will be able to assume them as their own, thus being easier to comply with.
The rules cannot be rigid or immovable. They must be made flexible enough so that they can be changed, when there are compelling reasons that justify it.
If the rules are consistent and stable, we ensure that they are known and can be envisioned by the whole family. This way we will avoid useless discussions.
If, despite reasoning with our children, we cannot reach an agreement on a rule, we have the responsibility to ensure that it is complied with, as long as we consider it fair.
Day by day will put us to the test.
It is not the same, to know the theory of how to educate children, than to put that knowledge into practice. Countless situations and problems will put us to the test every day. We must also be prepared to face difficult moments, in which losing patience is the most common.
Arguments and rebellion in the family.
Rebellious situations and arguments occur in all families and ours is not going to be an exception. Our son needs to challenge and oppose us as a way to claim his autonomy and need for independence, especially when he is in adolescence.
It is important that we teach our children to know both their rights and their obligations.
We must earn the respect of our children by being their first role model. It is very important to address them with affection and education, but without ceasing to be firm in our attitude. Saying “thanks” or asking for something “please” will never hurt.
Knowing how to ask for forgiveness.
We have to know that there will be bad days for both us and them, but that those days will pass. If we have been unfair in those days, we can ask for forgiveness without our rings falling off, because then they will learn to do the same.
We cannot expect perfect behavior from our children. That is why it is important to value their efforts and their small achievements:
“We are realizing how much you are trying.”
This will motivate them to try to keep improving.
We must avoid using words that damage our children’s self-esteem:
“You are incapable, you are useless.”
Help express feelings.
We must help our children to understand and express certain feelings, but always setting limits:
“I know you are angry and enraged, but you can tell us without insulting anyone.”
It is convenient that we teach them to turn their complaints into appropriate requests (“I would like if you are going to take my things, first you ask my permission”).
It is very important that both parents agree on the rules, which must be reasoned and never capriciously applied.
It is always much better to use stimuli and rewards more often than threats and punishments.
“We must be realistic and promise only what we are sure we can deliver.”
We do not have to always use the same punishments or do it too much too often, because then they will stop being effective.
When our children adopt an attitude of provocation, which only seeks to attract our attention, it is better to take them to their room to help reduce the aggressiveness that is being generated in them as well as in us. Later, when that situation has passed, we can make an attempt to reach an agreement.
Never use physical punishment.
We should not use physical punishment. The discipline that is obtained through blows achieves the opposite effect, causes rejection and future aggressive behaviors in the child.
It is essential that we keep all the promises we have made to you. If on some occasion we cannot do it, we must explain to our children the reason for the non-compliance, to avoid generating mistrust in them.
When possible, it is important that our children learn about the consequences of their own behavior. If they haven’t done their homework, we should let them face their teacher’s anger.
“Children must know the consequences that their misbehavior can lead to and take responsibility for it.”
It is important to know that from the disagreements that appear in human relationships, we can obtain positive results if we use them to better understand our children and from that understanding establish certain rules of coexistence.
Always seek communication in the family.
It is important and necessary to have a fluid communication with our children, both for the important and for the most trivial things. If our children feel listened to with attention from a young age:
- They will raise the problems you have at that time.
- They will entrust us with their doubts and fears, because they will know in advance that they can count on us and that they will be heard and understood.
Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.