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All parents want the best for their child. Never before, however, have their insecurities as regards upbringing and education loomed as large as nowadays. Never before have parents been criticized as much as they are today: we hear talk of tyrannical children, tiger moms and helicopter parents. Most children regard the education they receive from their parents in a positive way. What does a good education consist of nowadays? And what really counts as important?

 

 

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We often discuss parenthood and this reveals an enormous range of opinions and views. All parents want their children to have happy childhood and teenage years! What counts as important in bringing up our children?

It is important for children to be able to talk to their parents about all their emotions (anger, sorrow, fear, joy, etc.). Sometimes that is exhausting for the parents, but it does show that the child feels safe and understood. There are children who are afraid to bother their parents with their emotional problems because they feel it would upset them.

If there are problems, it is important that children know that their parents will listen to them. That way a child knows that, if need be, he or she has a solid safety net to fall back on. Children need feedback from their parents that is not over-critical and does not come with pejorative labels attached such as “bad “ or “lazy”. Criticism should always refer to behaviour rather than to the child as such. Another important experience for a child is to have achieved something him or herself. That is a question of self-efficacy. Parents can help their children to remain concentrated on something, whilst encouraging them to discover what they like to do and their interests. It is also important for their education to set boundaries and rules. If no limits are set, children often feel lost. They help them to feel loved and appreciated, even though they sometimes kick against them. Even the best parents make mistakes, for example by overreacting. The most important thing is for parents to admit their mistakes. Parents must be able to apologise to their children whilst explaining their reasoning and their own feelings. Children love their parents unconditionally. That is very fortunate, but it is also entails a big responsibility not to disappoint their love. People who are bringing up children know that being a parent does not just mean making chocolate muffins decorated with Smarties for their birthday, or driving a 9-year old to soccer or a flute lesson in time, although these practical aspects are important as well. To be a parent means, first and foremost, being attentive, showing empathy, protecting the child yet being able to withdraw at the right moment to let the child choose his or her own way, while knowing that as a parent they must set an example.

Nevertheless, the challenges faced by parents are enormous: the results of a study of the well-being of children and youth in Luxembourg (HBSC-2014) show just how demanding parenting can be for parents. Children and youngsters are confronted with situations in their daily life that have a direct or indirect impact on their family life. These are situations where the child feels lonely, hurt and lost.

More than 25% of the pupils questioned stated that they had been a victim of bullying over the last months. Bullying is not only a risk factor for less than optimal school results, but also, in the long run, for anxiety disorders in adult life.

More or less 17% of the students questioned considered the quality of family communication to be weak, or moderate, older pupils giving it a lower rating than younger ones.

School and stress – The school occupies a lot of children and young people’s time. This can promote their social development and health, but, negative experiences can interfere with that development. Primary school children like school better than high-school students: the older pupils are, the more likely they are to suffer from school stress. This can be explained by the stress of schoolwork or cases where the teacher considers that a pupil is not performing well enough. The less pupils like their school the more likely they are to have health problems.

Health problems – According to the HBSC-2014 study, 41% of the respondents stated that they often had health problems, that is to say, they were affected by at least 2 of the 8 symptoms mentioned, several times a week or even every day (headache, stomach ache or back pain, sadness, irritability, restlessness, sleeping problems and dizziness).

These and many other problems worry their parents; they feel inadequate and, sometimes, out of their depth.
Asking for help and support is completely normal and logical.

Connect with ONLINE HELP! The offer is anonymous and confidential.

 

Parents, grandparents, professionals who work with children and youngsters and any other interested parties benefit directly from competent support in dealing with sometimes complex educational issues and other concerns.

Phone conversations are focussed on the concerns and questions of the callers. The consultant will try to help clarify the situation. Often, a conversation will make a complicated situation seem much clearer. It can bring to light the child’s resources, not just the negative aspects. Moreover, when the child’s own resources are activated, he or she can overcome feelings of failure and powerlessness. Consultants have a good knowledge of social networks.

The consultants working on “écoute parents” are well-trained volunteers. In addition to their work on the “écoute parents” line, they receive regular supervision and advanced training to ensure the quality of their input.

In 2018, more than 220 parents and adults responsible for a child or youngster contacted us. They used this direct means of obtaining advice in order to avoid pointless waiting time and in this way received initial guidance and support. The average duration of the calls was between 20 and 60 minutes. Family relationships and conflicts with daughters or sons were the main issues on the “écoute parents” line, followed by the category “psychological and mental health”. School issues advanced in the ranking. Parents questions with regard to school have multiplied by 5 as compared with the previous year. Many parents in difficulty sought advice in the context of separation or divorce. In addition, violence within the family or at school has always been an issue raised. Some parents were desperately worried because their children had express thoughts of suicide.

You can simply call us if:

  • You are worried about your children’s development
  • There are problems at the creche, nursery or at school
  • There is conflict in the family
  • You want to have a quiet and calm talk with someone
  • You have questions regarding “good” education/upbringing
  • You want to obtain specific information
  • You do not know who to turn to
  • You wish to re-establish a dialogue with your child, but don’t know how to do that.

 We are there for you, Connect with ONLINE HELP!