In detail

The most common mistakes in the education of children

The most common mistakes in the education of children


  • 1 Case example
  • 2 The beginning of the upbringing adventure
  • 3 What we unconsciously teach children
  • 4 What children can teach us
  • 5 A couple of rules to start the game of fatherhood
  • 6 The main errors related to attachment and socialization of children
  • 7 How to prepare to experience a change

Case example

  • Francisco is a seemingly safe person, this especially in his house, because outside it is different. At 30, for his mother and his sisters it is still Paquito, the baby, the adorable and precious little boy in the family they serve by preparing breakfast, washing his clothes and waking him up to go to work.
  • Alejandra and Edgar are a couple made for the upbringing of their children, they think absolutely everything based on their activities, which prevents them from going to the movies, going out to the theater or even taking time as a couple to go dancing, they left of being boyfriends and husbands. Since their first child was born they forgot about them as a couple.
  • Fernanda, starts his day from 6 in the morning, after school he goes to swimming lessons, which he combines with English, karate, crafts and piano classes, this just leaves him a short space to live with his friends from the School and neighborhood.
  • Miguel strives to be an exemplary father and reiterates to his teenage son, Miguelito, that he has confidence because he wants to be his best friend.
  • Victor does not have a precise time to do homework, eat, bathe, watch TV, go to sleep, brush his teeth and of course he has a hard time getting up, arriving on time anywhere and fulfilling his obligations at home and at home. school.
  • Nina naturally sees her taste for ballet, languages, Sunday afternoons in the theater and acting, her mother is proud of her, because she always dreamed of having a daughter who would reach higher than her in all these areas of the life, same where Nina's mother could not reach. Do you remember the movie the black swan of Darren Aronofsky ?.

Without realizing what in an act of love Francisco's relatives see as an attention, in psychology it is known as infantilization or regression propitiated by his family. Meanwhile Alejandra and Edgar unwittingly renounced their relationship and today they are full-time parents forgetting themselves. On the other hand, Fernanda is the victim of excessive activity imposed by her parents. While Miguel assumes that it is better to be friends with his son than his father and guide. Victor has a hard time adapting to the rules because there never were any in his house and therefore expects the places where he interacts to be exactly the same, "without rules." Finally, Nina's mother is proud of her daughter because she has been able to make it through her, regardless of Nina's personal decisions. All of them are some examples of the most frequent mistakes that parents make in the education of their children.

Parenting goes far beyond choosing a couple, decorating the children's room, reading many books about parenthood or asking a couple of tips from other much more experienced parents. Being a father is for life, but educating in parenthood will have a graduation date with the autonomy and independence of the children.

Below are some considerations to have from parents that can help us educate and graduate in fatherhood.

The beginning of the upbringing adventure

The arrival of the children is possibly one of the most important events in the lives of parents. However, this is not always the case, because although they are part of the continuity of life and our species on the planet, their arrival may not necessarily be due to planning and shared desire.

Humans orient our actions towards the pursuit of satisfaction and pleasure, and try to escape from what creates displeasure (Brain riddles 1a, 2012). The attraction we feel for someone, being in love, a kiss from the couple, eating a chocolate or hugging our children are sources of pleasure. These actions are part of the reward system that activates our brain and floods it with dopamine (pleasure hormone).

On the purely biological level they are activated to give continuity to the species, by joining a couple at least three programs related to love: passionate love, romantic love and filial or maternal love (Brain riddles 1st, 2012; Neurobiology of love, 2010). And, of course, we feel rewarded with them, when we want them.

The arrival of children is due to raising a series of multiple factors that can make the lives of parents and children relatively easy and natural or, on the contrary, painful and conflicting.

On the broad psychosocial level, some of the events that will mark the life of any person on this planet is the so-called process of socialization and attachment relationships established between parents and children.

Attachment is the affective relationship that unites two individuals through the valuation and importance that they grant each other. While socialization is the process of learning and social integration”(Fischer, 1990), mediated through the relationships that a person establishes with others.

Attachment has instinctive and acquired components through which parents meet the needs or physical care of their children and it helps to create between both emotional bonds and with it gives children emotional security, laying the foundations of their subsequent socio-affective relationships. Fischer (1990), indicates a correlation between the quality of the bonds lived in early childhood and the ability to establish intimate relationships in adulthood.

From the time of the sixties, Schutz's work showed that socialization depends on the sociability of the human being that is expressed around three fundamental needs: 1) the need for inclusion (is to exist and be someone in the eyes of others and seeks communication and contact), 2) the need for control (is the ability to feel safe, influence others and internalize social norms to be autonomous in society) and 3) the need for affection (are the links of attachment with the other) (Schutz, 1960).

What we unconsciously teach children

Without being exactly aware of it, we learn to be parents in various ways: by intuition, by guilt, by trial and error, by imitation of our own parents, by the advice of our friends, parents, neighbors and other people.

And, our children learn in many ways, an example of this was documented by the psychologist Albert Bandura, in his theory of cognitive social learning, it is also known as vicarious, observational or imitation learning. At least two people are involved in this learning: the model (the parents) and the one who observes the behavior (the children). Although imitation learning involves not only the model, but also the environment that surrounds the person, the self-control of the apprentice is of the utmost importance, since it is the one who can ultimately decide whether to carry out a functional or dysfunctional behavior. The funny thing is that we also learn from the models even when they are absent, that is, if my parents do not read but require me to read, “if they do not read, why should I?

This is, in the learning of behavior shown by the models with which we interact, children can learn how to: prepare their food, call on the phone, wash their clothes, move in transportation, exercise leadership in parenthood, be independent, collaborators, altruists, give way to other drivers, be patient, but also You can learn how to insult elders, smoke, litter in the street, use drugs, not take responsibility for household or school tasks and attack or hit another person. Thus, parents act as behavior reinforcers and a reinforcement is a stimulus that increases the likelihood of such behavior being repeated in the future.

Observation learning is one way we can learn behaviors without reinforcements, but reinforcements are still very important in determining if the person will truly perform that behavior. However, people carry out behaviors due to vicarious reinforcement, when we observe that another person is reinforced by performing a specific action. For example, if we see that one of our neighbors earns money from recycling bottles, we may do so (Santiago, 1989).

What children can teach us

All of us who have the joy of being parents, we are worried about the future of our childrenIf we could have an indicator to predict its future other than letters or reading snails it would be a blessing.

For the sixties the psychologist Walter Mischel of Stanford University, conducted an experiment that is still in force today on the ability to resist impulses v. Immediate gratification called it "delay of gratification" and it allows us to have an indicator to predict the future behavior of our children.

It was performed with four-year-old children, it is known as “the chocolate test”Where the eternal battle between impulse and restriction, self and ego, desire and self-control, gratification and postponement is tested (Goleman, 1997).

The experiment "of the chocolate", was to leave a little boy in a room, sitting in a chair, in front of a table with a plate containing a "chocolate". What child does not like sweets? The psychologist who carried out the work instructed the child not to eat it and wait for his return. And, if he didn't eat the candy, he would give it one more when he returned. Children who refrained from eating such an appetizing sweet received one more. Others did not succeed. The importance of this study is that the same boys were followed from the age of four until they reached high school.

The emotional and social difference between the children who took over the chocolate and their classmates who delayed gratification was remarkable. They were less likely to collapse, paralyze or experience a regression in stressful situations, or become nervous and disorganized when under pressure; they accepted challenges and tried to solve them instead of giving up, even in the face of difficulties; they trusted themselves and were reliable; They took initiatives and engaged in projects. And more than a decade later they were able to postpone gratification to achieve their goals. Those who stayed with the chocolate shared relatively more conflicting psychological traits and remained unable to postpone gratification (Goleman, 1997).

According to Walter Mischel, "there is no psychological ability more decisive than the ability to resist the impulse. The ability to control impulses and delay gratification, learned naturally from early childhood, is a fundamental faculty, both to pursue a career and to be an honest person or have good friends.”(Networks happiness and will, 2009).

A couple of rules to start the game of fatherhood

It is difficult to be a father and a child unless the rules are known and the roles of each family member. Then it is never too late to start establishing or modifying them if they do not work.

  • The education of children is like the system of a chemical formula: small changes in the formula produce great results.
  • The dysfunction of the system is at the extremes: overprotection or emotional abandonment.
  • You cannot change a behavior unless you make it conscious.
  • In any work, perseverance and effort are the basis of success (Friel & Friel, 1999).

The main errors related to attachment and socialization of children

  1. Treat children as if they were babies (Infantilizarlos). Provide them with comfort zones… .is also infantilize. If you have not grown please allow him / her to grow. They deserve it. Better to teach him to fish than to give him the fish (Barrera, 2009).
  2. First are my children and then my marriage. In raising children, your partner and you are a unit or work as a unit “each one imposes its rules”. Families centered on children cannot form children or healthy parents. In marriage, where is the passion? Sexologists and Psychologists agree that one of the best barometers to measure the health of a relationship is the quality of sexual life.
  3. Subject your children to excessive activity. I want my son to be the best in what he wants to be. Your children can be very good for school, but are they prepared to live life? Analyze your own values ​​and reflect, what are your decision and which ones will be your son's? (Barrier, 2009).
  4. Want to be your child's best friend. Parents are friends today because they don't have the guts ... to be parents (Jackson Brown). Are you so cool that you tell your children all your intimate things and ... they tell you too? When teachers demand homework ... They stop being cool. Friends hardly scold or demand you. Therefore it is better to be a leader than your child's friend.
  5. Do not offer an external structure. Psychologists like Jean Piaget, Erick Erikson and others have concluded that children cannot have an internal structure if they do not have an external structure. Lacking an external structure is like a ship with no direction. The way we speak internally is how we learned our external structure. The way your son speaks, will be the way they contemplate the world. Your child will have an internal structure only if you have it and provide it. Speeches for children hardly work to change behavior. What works is always demonstrate instead of saying. The more, more, but more difficult, of all is… “Preach by example.” Great works begin with small and constant changes.
  6. Wait for your son to make your dreams come true. Teach him to decide to learn to decide for himself. What are you ... and what would you like your son to be? What would he like to be ... If he decided freely, that is, without your influence? You should know ... that they behave very differently in your absence. We tell you: Your job is to go to school and study! But be careful your work is broader than that! (Friel & Friel, 2009).

How to prepare to experience a change

  • Only people who choose to change can change.
  • If you have already made the decision to make a change, consider that there are no actions or changes where no one leaves your comfort zone.
  • Whatever you do, respect your partner's decisions in front of your children, if you do not agree with that you need to discuss it with him / her and make a group decision.
  • Ask yourself what else you can learn in life to educate.
  • Never, never, but never, try two changes at once.
  • Reward your child objectively, according to the effort of his homework.