Expert explains: how parents raise strong children

Sibling quarrels, parental separation, corona crisis: children are also beset by a wide variety of problems. How can parents help their children successfully cope with everyday difficulties and crises and become self-confident? Viennese psychotherapist and book author ("Strong Children "*) Ingeborg Saval answers these and other questions in an interview with RTL.

"Children need someone to lean on"

The ability to master crises is called resilience. What do children need to develop this emotional strength?

Ingeborg Saval: "The resilience factor is only partly genetic. What children need in any case is reliability and people they can trust. They also need to feel accepted as they are. This creates the basic trust. Children need someone to lean on. Once you have all that, it’s also a matter of making sure they are encouraged and challenged appropriately."

Strong Children: Strategies for Confident and Balanced Children by Ingeborg Saval

Strong Children: Strategies for Confident and Balanced Children by Ingeborg Saval

How parents can challenge their child without overwhelming them?

"It is always a balancing act, how much you expect a child to do. You don’t want to under- or over-challenge them. Parents can build resilience by asking the child if they need advice and if they should help, or if they can handle it on their own. If the child says that he/she is able to do it on his/her own, let the child solve the problem on his/her own. Parents should only intervene when the child is at a loss. Only what you can do yourself makes you strong. There are parents who try to take everything away from their children, but this does not strengthen resilience, because the child does not gain self-confidence in this way. For resilience, however, the child needs the feeling that it can do it itself – in other words, self-confidence and self-efficacy. The ability to take care of oneself can also only be learned in this way."

Many parents praise their children very often, so that the child gets more self-confidence. What do you think about this strategy?

"Of course, praise is also important, but in the sense of appreciation. This does not mean cheerleading, i.e. applauding everything the child does. If a child is good at something, you don’t have to tell him every time how great he is, because that goes without saying. But if the child does perform, you should definitely be proud and praise them for it. Children sense very well when praise becomes inflationary. That is why praise should be as precise as possible. Instead of saying ‘I like your drawing’, you can say ‘I especially like the red flower’. That’s a beautiful color you’ve chosen.’ Differentiating praise really makes children feel their abilities are noticed and also spurs them on to do more."

Many children have a hard time starting school. How can parents help make the start of school easier?

"The start of school is often turned into a huge live event. There is no need for a big party or scaremongering in the sense of ‘from now on, the serious side of life begins’. For example, you can start a few weeks beforehand to adjust your child’s daily rhythm to that of school. This can be an earlier breakfast or practicing the way to school together. The rigid structures of school are often a problem if the child previously had no structure at all in everyday life. That’s why I always tell parents of school children not to come back from vacation just before school starts."

How should parents best deal with children performing poorly in school?

"You should ask what went wrong and where the child needs support. Should you help or does it need tutoring? What can the child already do well and where does he need support? Differentiating signals interest and is not crushing. There are always things you are good at and things you are not good at. If something goes wrong, it’s quite normal, because that’s why children go to school. Learning to deal with mistakes also means strengthening resilience. One should always be in contact with the teachers and pull together for the benefit of the child."

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: