Friday, 20 August 2010


1. Do parents care about how children are doing in school or about the rest of their lives? 
2. Do Moms and Dads get relationally connected to their child in different ways? 
3. How can Moms and Dads help their child to be a better and happier person?

As an employee who’s been working with a language school for 17 years I’ve been in touch with lots of parents and have often been asked many questions. Parents need a little advice every now and then and some even ask for help and support. There are solutions different sciences and experienced educators can offer to all the problems parents are faced with. Briefly, here are a couple of tips on handling everyday situations.

A really cool shot @lewishowes took of my daughter and I whil... on Twitpic1. Parents focus on their child’s well-doing from day one: his crawling, his saying the first words (how many and how well pronounced), his singing, drawing and the ability to recite poems. Later, school success matters most and the parents’ life becomes a struggle for the best kindergarten, best school, expensive language courses, dance and sports training. Everyday is a busy day. Does this mean that parents help their child become a better person? Not at all. Some children can’t sing or draw well. Few win competitions. Fewer have a chance to become Members of Mensa. Still, many of these children have a high chance to be successful in life. They are the children whose parents realize their job is to stay involved and use their capacities for companionship and communication; a year-round job, a job for a lifetime, not a day off work from infancy to adolescence.

2. Usually, mothers have no problem to stay connected to their children. The child is born connected to his mother, while a father must learn how to build this connection. Men are interested in how their children perform, and hate to admit emotions, to acknowledge and express them. Until recently, men have been blamed for that. Scientists consider that most Moms have a high level of empathy to care for and protect their baby. Their capacity to express love is innate, but most learn the art of communicating love, and are willing to develop it. This is what makes a child feel like a human being. Unlike women, men don’t do much effort to practice empathy.

Scientists seem to have found an answer to these two differences: mirror neurons. They are considered as the physiological basis for empathy. Although still a controversial aspect, recent research has proved a gender difference in the human mirror neuron system. Women seem to have a stronger activation of the mirror system for hand actions and emotions.
Another theory argues for personality and education not the sex of the parent. There is proof that both men and women can be overly performance-focused and the focus on fathering has increases over the years.
3. Ideally, both parents should be physically and psychologically there for their children to mentor and encourage. Otherwise, children of absent parents usually look for models and connections outside their family. This can be very harmful; strangers can become dominating and start influence children’s behaviour, morality and their plans for the future. To say nothing of other dangers some girls and boys will be faced with: to be sexually exploited or … However we are not discussing worst-case scenarios and their tragic consequences. We are interested in everyday normal situations that parents should focus upon if they want their children’s well-being, not only their well-doing. It’s possible and not hard to apply. 

There is one single rule – BE POSITIVE! Here are a couple of tips for parents to be relationally focused:

• start by controlling your anger 
• don’t be critical. Let the child try and fail.
• don’t be violent. Teach your child right from wrong, teach him appropriate behaviour and in case the child fails, find discipline alternatives to spanking. Don’t punish. 
• avoid conflicts. Treat such situations as a chance for your child to ask you questions, to discuss and understand what they’ve done wrong. 
• spend time with your child and expose them to different activities: read to them, play different kinds of music to them. 
• build something together, learn together, give them time alone, but watch them. 
• build character traits such as: responsibility, dedication, determination, diligence, enthusiasm. • ask “How are you doing?”, “How are you feeling?” as many times as you can. Say “I love you.” everyday.

Your child’s well-being depends on your ability to:

If you fail, who is to blame? Mirror neurons?

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