What would the ideal "garden" for raising happy and balanced children look like?

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What would the ideal "garden" for raising happy and balanced children look like? / FOTO: freepik.com @EyeEm
What would the ideal "garden" for raising happy and balanced children look like? / FOTO: freepik.com @EyeEm

As part of the anniversary edition of "Present Parents", moderated by the editor-in-chief of PărințișiPitici.ro, primary school teacher Claudia Chiru, transformational coach for parents Alexandra Șerb, and psychologist Radu Leca showed what "flowers" parents should plant and what role the school should play in cultivating and nurturing these flowers so that little ones grow up happy and balanced. 

Since the theme of this anniversary edition is "How do we raise happy and balanced children?", we started "Present Parents" with a metaphor: how would you describe the ideal "garden" for raising a balanced and happy child? What "flowers" should parents plant, and what role should the school play in cultivating and nurturing these flowers?

Radu Leca: "We are dealing with three sabotaging elements!"

Psychologist Radu Leca provided us with an interesting perspective, but he emphasized that we are facing an alarming increase in certain conditions among children.

"We are working on the presumptive idea that this garden would be perfectly balanced. Then, we have an irrigation system, which consists of the concept of information and, of course, a person who thought of that information to put into the child's head. Later, we proceed with the idea of distributing the water, that is, the information, into the children's heads, minds, and souls.

However, we are dealing with three sabotaging elements, namely the education of the person who creates the educational system, the concrete purpose for which it is created, and the parents' completely dormant vigilance.

Therefore, nationally, we have an increase of more than 24% in the incidence of light autism, over 30% in Asperger's syndrome, and not to mention the concept of obesity, which is somewhere over 55%.

I swear I would love for us to create a wonderful garden together! Except, I don't know how, because we are very good at demonstrating the negative side.

I fondly remember the moment when I realized, being obese, how normal I seemed when I took my son to school. Of course, I realized my size because his classmates laughed at him due to my appearance. But when I saw a mother holding onto the fence, waving a handkerchief from her chest, making signs to her child saying, 'Come back, I'll be here, I won't leave you,' I realized and said, 'God, I am normal!'

These are the parents: profoundly detached from any form of reality. It's not difficult for us, therapists, with the children; it's with the parents. Woe to us if we don't listen to the parents, how they trample us from every possible angle and make 15,000 reproaches per second, saying that we are to blame for all the wonderful things their children say at home," said Radu Leca on "Present Parents," a show by PărințișiPitici.ro.

Claudia Chiru: "We are not raising happy children! It's an illusion!"

Primary school teacher Claudia Chiru claims, "We are not raising happy children! It's an illusion and an ideal that we cannot reach! Each person ensures and builds their happiness from various moments. We are educating children to be able to adapt and face life, but not with phones! If we leave them there, we won't succeed!

And at school, it is not the school's duty to make them happy. They do not come to school for me to make them happy, but to learn, to be in a community, to be in their micro-society, and to accumulate things, to surpass themselves, to evolve. I am not responsible for the children's happiness, just as parents are not responsible for their children's happiness!

A parent provides food, clothing, and love, and that's it! And they say: 'No,' 'Yes,' 'See, this is good,' 'See, this is not good,' but they must say it! Now they are afraid to tell their children when to stop and when not to.

I pay money every month for my son not to have a phone at school and to wear a uniform. I pay money every month for this. So, everything is upside down! (...) We are afraid of children! That is not why we brought them into the world!" says Claudia Chiru.

"Parents, as Claudia said, are afraid of children: 'I shouldn't say anything, I might upset them.' 'But why should I do that? Let me do it for them,'" added psychologist Radu Leca.

Alexandra Șerb: "The role of the parent resembles that of a gardener"

Alexandra Șerb detailed what she would plant in this "garden."

"I liked the analogy with the garden because I often use it to illustrate the role of the parent. It resembles that of a gardener, and we have the responsibility to provide children with the framework in which they can grow and develop.

If I were to plant in this garden, as you asked, I would put a safe framework in which the child feels secure and protected. When I say protected, it means that the parent should protect them from harm, but not become a source of pain for the child.

This safe framework means validation, support on one hand, and structure, boundaries, and the desire to expose the child to situations where they can learn, even if it means they might cry or find it difficult now, but I want to teach them to tolerate stress more easily.

The second ingredient is emotional regulation. We teach children to manage their emotions. It's not a problem to have emotions; the problem is how we express them. There's a big confusion between emotion and behavior. It's okay to feel anger, but it's not okay to harm those around me when I feel it. We need to send children out into life with such an ability: to express their emotions healthily.

And the third ingredient is building resilience to stress and frustration. Let's create those micro-moments for children where, together with us, they can face challenges. That's how we teach them!" clarified Alexandra Șerb.

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Autorul articolului: Loredana Iriciuc | Categorie: English

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