It is essential that family members keep in mind respect, listening, empathy or love as unwavering values. “An optimal and healthy coexistence at home is essential for the correct development of the child. In addition, it will determine identity and personal values and will facilitate the relationship process with others”, highlights Laura Sánchez von Bertrab, a psychologist specializing in children and adolescents. “Homes with environments of little interaction, without understanding, with little affectivity or low self-esteem can cause insecurity and even impact the school performance and personal relationships of children.”
The specialist says that it is common for her to communicate with families who live in homes where “rush, screens, fatigue or stress” prevail. “Therefore, this translates into zero communication and trust and when a serious situation arises with a child, no one had noticed,” Sánchez acknowledges.
Ana Isabel Gómez, pedagogue and university professor at La Salle Campus Madrid, explains that the educational models and styles that have been left aside over the years must be recovered in the family nucleus. “It is crucial, from the approach of being a father, to establish the correct bases in a solid way and work on it consistently. More and more parents are overwhelmed when the stage of adolescence arrives and the constant in all of them is that, indeed, they try to act when they perceive the problem. At that moment, the task is much more complex and difficult to tackle”, the professional emphasizes.
For Gómez, it is wrong and inappropriate to place parents in the assumption of a role of “friend” or “colleague” of their children: “It is not necessary to acquire a role that does not correspond. The best aspiration that can be reached is to have a confidence in which, necessarily, there are also some limits”. The education specialist emphasizes that the implementation of limits will favor an appropriate climate in which both parents and children feel reinforced as members of the group they make up.
According to Pedro García Aguado, former water polo champion and known for his role as an adviser to adolescents on the program Eldest brother, the sacrifice of being a father cannot be compared with another job: “No one has taught us how to do it. We continue using techniques that we saw in our parents and repeating patterns that are not the most appropriate for our children to grow up healthy and happy”. Aguado, who for five months was general director of Youth of the Community of Madrid, points out that parents must know how to find a balance, “know what to give in and what not, something that will enable them to establish the precise guidelines and transfer the corresponding delimitations, trying not to fall into authoritarianism”. In his experience, parents can realize that the way they thought was the right way to raise their children is actually not the right way and it can have negative effects on their development and deteriorate their relationship with them.
The child psychologist Laura Sánchez von Bertrab emphasizes that “love and communication are the foundations of a family relationship”, and provides five strategies to promote a healthy coexistence:
- Make at least one family meal: this creates a space where you can discuss and share moments that are stored in your mind and become a later value that will remain in the family. Of course, screens must be dispensed with during these moments.
- Fun communication: every day you can ask your child what was the best of his day and what he would change. That will generate issues of communication and interaction between parents and children and will remain in the family.
- Teaching to speak from the heart: the expression of emotions is something that is learned at home. Children and adolescents must answer with a feeling: sad, happy, bored, worried, excited, sad… giving the importance it has.
- Spend quality time with the family: where there is interrelation and connection. They can consider board games, movie nights at home, reading or cooking together.
- Each member of the family is different: comparisons between children must be avoided and their particularities must be respected.
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