“Man can become human only through education” – Immanuel Kant.
Countless times I have noticed in my practice that parents do not understand the difference between raising and educating a child. Moreover, I saw how aggressive parents can become when I put into question their skills as parents and how they intend to spend their life with their children. To avoid being misunderstood, I have to start by saying that it is a huge difference between raising and educating a child.
Raising a child involves: feeding him, putting him to bed, sending him to school, allowing him to play, etc.
Educating a child means:
- Feeding him taking into consideration the quality and quantity of the food. Ensure he follows proper mealtimes and he is not doing other activities while he eats. Transform the family meals into a tradition.
- Putting him to sleep at special times, depending on his age. When he is very young read him stories; when he grows up to read together and discuss what he understood from the stories, to watch a movie, a show, caring for his cultural development.
- School. For the first years, is better to choose a school as close as possible to home to ensure that the distance to school is not an additional stress factor, allowing him to arrive rested to classes. Keep in touch with the teachers to understand how he is doing and what is expected from him at school, but also to understand his skills and abilities.
- Play. It is known that a child learns in the early years by imitation. Therefore it is better to spend as much time with him playing in as many ways as possible, from agility games to intelligence or memory games. This is how you ensure that your child develops more skills that will be absolutely necessary later.
- Environment. When the child grows ensure you know who his playing partners are and how they choose to spend their time. If not, you can discover, sometimes too late, that your child has learned to steal, lie, spit, swear, fight or is part of groups with ill reputation or antisocial activities.
- To demonstrate with your behavior whatever you ask from him. In this way he will have a model to imitate not only an authoritative parent who asks him to do things he does not.
- The partners must communicate using a calm, warm tone and beautiful words. So you and your child learn how to speak correctly, what love is and how to behave later when he will find a partner.
- The code of good manners. This should be the most important book, as it describes the relationships between family members, but also with the extended family, friends, and colleagues.
The parent role is not inherited at child’s birth, but is built day by day, with your partner and your child. Educating a child is a serious activity; therefore it is best to talk to a psychologist, even before deciding to become parents to learn what to do to raise the child in harmony. The child is in fact the reflection of the family he comes from, and if the family is absent, then it becomes the reflection of the external environment. A balanced family will create and educate a balanced child. And if this does not happen, think about where and how you did wrong.
Constantin Cornea, Psychotherapist and Life Coach