“Now we struggle a lot with our little boy, he always has a tantrum and I really don t know what to do with him, dressing downs don t work, when I smack his bottom, he gets over that in a short while and is not worried about that at all. It really irritates me when somebody starts to tell me that I am too tender at him. I don t think so because I really try to keep him on a tight rein and I don t allow him anything for no special reason. However he really has a tantrum for no reason and screams and yells I am already helpless I feel like crying.”
We borrowed this story from public online discussion. Mother who knows this story let her be not angry with us. Internet is full of similar contributions. They differ only insignificantly and sound always the same: We struggle each other. Nothing doesn’t count for much with him. I am at a loss what to do next with him. Where do I make a mistake?
It is not always easy to be a parent. Especially when the two-year-old boy starts to have a tantrum and destroy all our present views about upbringing. So we sometimes search for a piece of advice where it is possible and try to know the score in vain.
“I don t want to make him shut up all day long, it is not upbringing in my view, it is drill. Do you think I make a mistake when I wait when it is more reasonable to understand my explanation?”
“My friend told me I should smack her bottom to make her feel the pain. I smack her bottom from time to time, but I don t know, if I do it right?”
(excerpts from discussions)
Which upbringing is the right upbringing?
Some people say: Spare the rod and spoil the child. Nobody caressed with them in their childhood. They survived and today they are decent people. Others warn, that strict upbringing balefully leave marks on the child. Obedience does not have to be a lucky choice, it will grow up one day and will go out into the world of grown ups.
Where is the happy medium and which upbringing is the right upbringing? And especially- which will work even for our child which is so idiosyncratic (wild, obstinate, non- assertive, quick, slow… substitute anything)? How non- upbringing can solve it?
Beg your pardon – Non-upbringing?!
Approach to children, which is spread in our country under the title of Non-upbringing, does not have anything in common with “american” free upbringing. It does not recommend directive way – I will set you hard and fast rules and you must stick to them, at the same time it is not too liberal- do what you think, child, I do not intervene.
“Non-upbringing is a partnership approach. Some parents are horrified, when they hear the word partnership – I will dance to his tunes? But when I say partnership, I mean mutual partnership. When the child is my partner, it does not mean, that he is the center of the universe and everything revolves around him. Also me, a parent, I am also a partner, and my peace of mind is equally important as satisfaction of a child. Mutual partnership looks like nobody has to rule here or live in reduced circumstances, we can agree on everything and we are both satisfied,” says Dr. Kate Krall, author of the principles of Non-upbringing.
Uncontrollable child? It is often a big misunderstanding
How to come to an agreement with a child, that is uncontrollable? I said it to him already hundred times. I tried everything, by hook or by crook. Nothing works. My child is really different. It is just itself, anything “verified” does not count for much with it.
Yes, reliable advice and instructions do not work every-time. That s precisely why your child is “different”. Equally as mother (or father) is different. And equally unique is situation, in which you found yourself with your child. Therefore Non-upbringing does not give parents “instructions for a child” and does not try to convince them, that there is only one right solution. It helps them to find their way in a child, in themselves and also in a situation- and find their own solution.
When somebody gives you advice, what exactly you should say to your child or what you should do with it, maybe it will work in 50% cases. And then there are the remaining 50% cases, where it does not have to work. Therefore we teach the parents to understand what happens with them, as a matter of fact. When I understand a child and situation, then I will solve the problem with him together easily. And I don t have to try without looking, what somebody gave me as a piece of advice, or to do something, I am not convinced about. For example, smack his bottom. Parents often assume somehow, it is not the right thing, but they are angry, helpless and so that they act against their feelings. And sometimes it starts as a vicious circle. I know from my personal experience, that most of the problems comes only from lack of understanding, I do not understand what the child wants and it does not understand me,” explains Kate Krall.
She worked with disabled children in the past, with talented children, as a boss of subsidiary of the Fund of imperiled children then with “problem” children and families in a difficult living situation. “It works everywhere and we can teach you that in Non-upbringing,” she dares to say. “We know how to agree on everything without problems with our little boy and also teenage young lady. No wild puberty or defiance are not necessary.”
Speech is silver but Silence is golden
“It is not enough to tell parents how they should do that. Therefore we do not give them instructions in similar interviews. Recall how many times somebody told you what you should do- those people around you always know best. You listened to him, maybe accepted he was right, nevertheless you did not change anything,” says Kate Krall and continues:
“One thing is to speak, the other thing is to live through it at your own skin and start to do that practically. Therefore we lead parents in our courses to their own experience. Simple, but efficient practical tasks are important part. When you experience some situation from child´s point of view, you will never slap his face in a similar situation. But maybe you will come to him and say: “Now I am very angry, I tremble all over my body, I need it to be different next time.” And then you will think up how.”
When children make crazy things
Let us get back now to the introductory contribution of a mother from internet discussion. “Even though your child makes the craziest thing, for example it has a tantrum, screams or bites you, it always has a reason to do that. Sure, it does something, you don t like, and you need to deal with that somehow. I don t mean to say at all- let it be. But the child tries to express something at that moment. When you smack him or you tell it, this is not good to do, you tell it in fact: “I don t understand you, but shut up.” And then you will never get at the understanding. You need to figure out together, what it wants to say. And then it is sufficient to change the style of communication,” explains Kate Krall.
Is it all a long distance run? You can change quickly to the Non-upbringing, within several days till weeks. You have to be firmly decided and go for it. As soon as the child gets used to the new style of communication, we are home and dry.It will stop have a tantrum, because nobody understands it and it will start to cooperate.
One story for all
And how does the whole “magic” look like in practice? Maybe like this:
“Mike (16 months of age) crawled into a cabin, his grandmother was of course close on his heels. He took a broom, and wanted to go out. Grandmother lamented that it is too big for him, he can knock his head against something, fall down, will cry.. and he said no and no! My grandmother shouts at me in despair: “Pete, tell him something, come and smack his bottom, he does not obey.” (I got the feeling he obeys and has fun on top of that.)
My bold sentence followed: “So try to agree with him on that somehow.” “Agree? Oh my god, it is a child! He does not understand me, he does not speak…”
I got up from the bench at rest, came to them into a cabin and knelt down in front of Mike: “Mike, my grandmother maybe does not want you to take the broom outside. Maybe she sweeps with that only inside- try asking her if you can really take it out.”
“Mike did his “Hm” at me, turned around with the broom at grandmother, raised it, did his “Hm” at grandmother and nodded his head at the same time. Grandmother stood and was stunned and nodded her head. Mike went out enthusiastically out and started to touch his springboard.”