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The sooner we realize what is happening to our children, the better. There is no better past or worse future. There is a present, and it is what we have. Neither better nor worse, different. Before it was gang fights and threatening backpack notes. Now, the fights in the chat of a social network, even in private groups. Before, 'adult' magazines were hidden under the mattress. Now, they observe 'risque' scenes in music videos (sometimes on the sly).
We must understand what world we live in. In that regard, nothing is very different, but the environment and the vehicles for transmitting information have changed. Yes, now the avalanche of information is greater, and the parental controls more complex. But also, what is changing, unfortunately, is the use of the only tool that truly guides our children along an ethical and appropriate path: values. Yes, as much as it hurts to admit it, the problem for children today is the absence of values.
Bullies have always existed. Always victims. Shy children and others more launched. More innocent children and other more 'mature'. Children who at the age of 10 tried to see that film not suitable for minors that adults talked so much about ... or children who insulted each other on the street corner and even came to blows (many will say less ... perhaps it was because many cases were never known).
However, the children of before, those of us who now have children, we had something that is beginning to fail in our children: a scale of values. Some children don't even know what that is. What is perseverance? What is empathy? Respect? To who? We get lost in so many educational schools, so many theories, so much 'right of the child', so much freedom, so much demagoguery ... And besides, we don't have time. Time to really talk with them, to be interested in what they think, what they feel ... Time to play with them (yes, parents can and should play with their children).
'Clear things and thick chocolate', as my grandmother used to say. Values. Things clear. Someone with values, despite their stumbling blocks, their doubts, their curiosity towards some 'temptations', in the end, they will know how to continue on the right path. And so that there is no doubt, here is a list with the values that should always reign in the home:
- Respect. And here I am not talking about being afraid of parents. Respect, not fear. It is not about using physical punishment. Respect is achieved with bond, with example and with respect. But also with very clear rules and limits. No doubts. This is the norm and period. Children will see that their parents remain firm in their decisions and will not lose credibility. And of course, I respect others. Respect for their peers. That they finally understand that 'don't do to the other what you don't want them to do to you'. That simple And yes, parents of 'chinchones' children: constantly bugging or bothering the other is also a form of aggression and disrespect. Also insulting and belittling.
- Empathy. It is true that there are children who already have more empathy than others. They are more sensitive to their environment. Others, however, more introverted, are more closed in their world. But empathy can be fostered. Use communication a lot. But the communication of emotions. Perhaps, people with little empathy are because they have deep down a problem to recognize and channel emotions. Practice and exercise emotional intelligence. Yes, your child must face all emotions: you must let him be sad, angry, frustrated, afraid and of course, joy.
- Tolerance. Your child does not live alone in the world. He must learn from a young age to coexist with others. Tolerance and respect for differences (yes, opinions too) is essential. Surely many times your son left school complaining about a classmate for his way of being. Well, there you come in. If the complaint is not for aggressive behavior, if it is only because he does not like how he plays or how he talks ... if it is because he does not like his way of explaining things ... there you are to explain that it is a duty to respect the way of being of others. No more.
- Coherence. You cannot demand something of your children that you do not comply with. Or ask for one thing and the next day another totally different. Use common sense.
- Sincerity. If you are the first to lie to your child, he will understand that lying is acceptable. Above all, you must get him to understand that honesty makes you feel good about yourself and with others. It will also help you earn respect.
- Gratitude. Being grateful will help your child to strengthen friendship and to be valued more. And you already know that the best way to instill this value is by example. You can suggest to your child that he begins to thank his friends for what they do for them through drawings, thank you messages ... You will see the result he has.
- Humility. Many of the problems today, related to child violence, have to do with arrogance, lack of humility. They are children who either desperately want attention because of a tremendous lack of affection, or because they have been so overrated and overprotected that they truly believe they are above the rest. Watch out. No one is more or less. And we all make mistakes. The greatness lies in knowing how to recognize them, which has nothing to do with bowing your head in absolute submission. It's what your child should understand.
Definitely, there are many other important values: effort, perseverance, patience ... all are important. But perhaps, for coexistence with others, the ones we have highlighted are the most essential.
Don't expect the school to handle all of this. It is not them. It's you. You who must teach your child to respect, tolerate and show empathy towards others. When they are little, you can use the game. Play with him and teach him some values through games.
When they're older, take advantage of the bond you've created since you were little. They admire you, love you and don't want to disappoint you. Teach them by example and you will have a long way to go.
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