HomePoliticsIn 2023, parenting needs a little "relaxation"

In 2023, parenting needs a little “relaxation”

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Many people say that the past 2022 was a tense year, because of the epidemic and various unsatisfactory things, people have a sense of emotional and psychological tension. Now that we have finally entered 2023, it seems that everything is moving towards normalization, but the rapid infection rate of Omicron and high-risk groups such as the elderly are still worrying. So is it appropriate to talk about “relaxation” at this time? In fact, we all know that a rubber band will break if it is stretched too tightly, and the same is true of people’s mental state. We really need a little “relaxation” to rebuild our mental toughness so that we can better face uncertainties. future. Especially when it comes to the next generation, especially in parenting.

A sense of relaxation is calm and resilient

In daily life, we often use “relaxation” to describe a state of being calm and unhurried. Corresponding to the psychological state, I think it is more appropriate to use the word “resilience” to describe it. This kind of mental toughness refers to the ability to manage one’s emotions and stress well, and to recover quickly and regain strength when encountering difficulties and setbacks.

In September last year, someone shared on the Internet that he witnessed another family travel and encountered unexpected things, but the whole process was “relaxed”, which made the term “relaxation” popular. At that time, a child’s certificate probably expired, and the mother had to stay with the child, while other family members continued to board the plane. But the luggage was in the mother’s name, so the luggage was returned. But the family was not nervous or depressed at all, they were still talking and laughing, and dealt with the unexpected situation calmly. The person who witnessed the whole incident sat next to the family, saw the family continue to travel, and only talked about whether to buy some daily necessities before arriving at the destination. I know why I feel like crying. It turns out that there is such a loose family relationship in this world.” Not long ago, I also saw a video clip on the Internet. It’s a pity that I accidentally knocked the water glass halfway. At this time, the child calmly talked to himself while cleaning, then took another glass of water, told himself to take it well this time, and finally successfully put it on the small dining table. Netizens commented that this is the embodiment of “relaxation”, which shows that the family education behind it is also a state of “relaxation”. We envy this state of relaxation, probably because we are so tense about everything. This long-term state of tension makes us lose our psychological resilience, and we are prone to collapse when encountering difficulties and unsatisfactory situations.

So where did our tense state come from? When we were young, we were afraid of knocking over a water glass, no matter whether adults would really scold us or not? Are we afraid of making mistakes at home and at school? Are we covering up our mistakes by lying or trying to lie? Are we always blaming others and trying to absolve ourselves? Are we all too concerned about what the outside world thinks of us? Are we all better at judging others than understanding them? When we figure out these questions, we will naturally know where our tension comes from. So, if we don’t want our offspring to inherit our nervousness, we need to really introduce a sense of “relaxation” into our parenting lives, building resilience in ourselves and our children.

The basis of this “relaxation”, this psychological toughness is the inner “sense of security”. In his book “Psychological Toughness”, Chen Pinhao, a clinical psychologist in Taiwan, put forward the concept of “psychological starting point” in response to the myth that parents want their children to win at the starting point.He said that the core of the “psychological starting point” is the “sense of security” and “confidence”. What we need to care about is whether the child has enough sense of security inside?Only when you believe that the relationship between people is safe and you can give stable trust to people, under such conditions, can it be easy to develop a good interpersonal relationship and have some good interactions. And as parents and teachers, have we worked hard in these areas? This is a question worthy of our serious consideration.

Regarding “self-confidence”, Chen Pinhao said that it involves two aspects, one is whether there is “self-worth”, and the other is whether there is “self-efficacy”.He said, “Self-worth refers to the degree to which you value yourself and judges whether ‘I’ is worthwhile; self-efficacy refers to the degree to which you believe that you have the ability to complete a thing. For example, I want to take an exam, and I believe that I can do well in it.” I want to speak on stage, and I believe that I can perform well. Self-worth and self-efficacy together constitute the core of a child’s self-view, value, and belief in himself.”

Confidence, simply put, is how a person sees himself, including whether I am a valuable person and the degree to which I believe that I can do things well. Only when a person has enough sense of security and self-confidence in his heart can he behave calmly when difficulties and setbacks occur; only then can he control his emotions and resolve his pressure in an appropriate way. We may also wish to build children’s psychological toughness from the two aspects of “security” and “confidence”. This also requires us as adults to manage our emotions first. When you make a mistake, you can be calm and restrained, and you can understand more and criticize less.

In addition, to create a “sense of relaxation”, our acceptance of emotions is also very important. When a child has a certain emotion, such as breaking a cup, when this kind of thing happens for the first time, the child will definitely have corresponding emotions, such as fear, or depression, and so on. We need to let the children understand when things happen, what are the emotions now? What happened to make people feel this way? Young children can’t say it accurately, so we might as well say it for him. In addition, we need to pay attention to the fact that emotion itself does not matter whether it is good or bad. Any emotion that appears on a child is very important. Each emotion has different meanings and can give us different experiences. Understanding and accepting your child’s emotions is an important step in building a sense of security. On this basis, we will guide the children how to deal with the aftermath after expressing their emotions, so that the children will truly learn from setbacks how to face and deal with big and small dissatisfaction confidently and calmly.

Lin Wencai, a psychologist in Malaysia, also proposed the concept of “psychological nutrition”. Lin Wencai believes that just as we provide children with material nutrition, we also need to provide children with psychological nutrition. Sufficient psychological nutrition must be obtained for the growth of children’s hearts and the strength of their psychological strength. At different stages of growth, giving a child the proper psychological nutrition also gives him the underlying code of a lifetime of happiness. These include the ability to love, independence, a sense of worthiness, security, etc.

When a person has enough sense of security and self-confidence in his heart, it is easy to behave calmly and resiliently, which is what we call “relaxation”.

The relaxation of parenting requires us to be more humble

Our tension in parenting life often comes from the children’s “disobedience”, and the children do not do things according to our expectations.Sometimes, we feel that our expectations have obviously dropped to a very low level. Why can’t our children do it? We can’t help but blame, dislike, beat and scold, and can’t help nagging, acting bitter and frustrated.

Recently, Ms. Huang Fang, who has been engaged in early education teacher training in Singapore for a long time, reminded us in her latest book – what is the starting point for our children’s education? She said: “The child needs to do what he should do, the child needs to love and be loved, the child needs to learn to live independently, learn to use his own way to interact with the surrounding environment, and the child needs to realize the difference between himself and others. If If these needs of a child are not met, he will definitely be very discouraged, and how an adult blames him will be the opposite.”

She said that what we need to learn most is to maintain humility in front of children, and always remind ourselves not to impose our own experience on children. She said that she saw too many children who did not get the space to grow up under the power of adults. In the end, they couldn’t find their own position, couldn’t find their own path, and competed with countless individuals without personality. In some living spaces, I felt the pain in my heart.

In Huang Fang’s book “Building a Better Childhood”, there is a short article titled “Do we have the right to judge children?” The article says that we adults tend to live in a certain way, thinking that children should be It is good. But in fact, every child is an unknown. Do we really understand the full extent of the children’s situation? Do we really know why children behave badly? Do we really know if it’s the children’s fault, or are they immature and incompetent, or the effects of bad attitudes and demonstrations from adults? It is impossible for people to criticize others based on their own limited cognition, even if they are all well-intentioned. So she reminds people who are preschool teachers to be vigilant and realize that they don’t know the whole truth. Teachers don’t need to be “judges” in the classroom all the time. Although what she said was aimed at preschool teachers, after I read it, I felt that the same is true in family education. As parents, we don’t need to be “judges” all the time.

Huang Fang also quoted the myths in the Genesis of the Bible to explain that God is extremely disgusted with people who think they know good and evil. Once such human beings eat the fruit of the tree of life, they will become incurable and eternal. disaster.

A famous picture book writer in Japan, Chang Shinta, once said this sentence, “No matter how innovative people are, they become conservative after becoming parents.” This is true, but it also requires us to stand taller Let’s examine that point. As parents, who doesn’t want to give their children the best and most useful things? But in the face of the unpredictable future, what is really the best and most useful thing? It is better to provide children with sufficient “psychological nutrition” or create a “psychological starting point”! Let children have enough psychological toughness in the face of all unsatisfactory situations, have enough sense of security and self-confidence to face future challenges, and let children continue to have the ability to learn new things. This is probably what we mean when we talk about the “sense of relaxation” in parenting.

(This article only represents personal views. Responsible editor email: yilin.yuan@ftchinese.com)

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