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“Humanistic” model of family education (part 1)

One of the most well-known approaches to understanding parenting in the family was developed by A. Adler, the author of the individual theory of personality, which is sometimes considered as a precursor to humanistic psychology.

According to A. Adler, a person is a social being, and personal development is considered primarily through the prism of social relations. In the theory of personality developed by A. Adler, it is emphasized that each person has an innate sense of community, or social interest (i.e., a natural desire for cooperation), as well as a desire for perfection, in which the Uniqueness of the individual and the creative properties of the human “I”are realized.

The Foundation of the personality, or lifestyle, is laid and firmly established in childhood, based on efforts aimed at overcoming feelings of inferiority, compensation and development of superiority. Family atmosphere, attitudes, values, mutual respect of family members and healthy love (especially the mother) contribute to the development of a child’s broad social interest. A. Adler considers education not only from the point of view of benefits for the individual family and child, but also as the activity of parents, significantly affecting the state of society as a whole.

The main concepts of family education, according to Adler, are: equality, but not identity, between parents and children, both in the field of rights and in the field of responsibility; cooperation; natural results.

A follower of A. Adler was the teacher R. Dreykurs, who shared and concretized the views of the scientist, introduced the practice of consultations and lectures for parents. He saw the tasks of educating parents and their children in:

respect for the uniqueness, individuality and integrity of children from an early age;
understanding children, getting into their way of thinking, being able to understand the motives and meaning of their actions;
developing constructive relationships with the child;
finding their own methods of education for the purpose of further development of the child as a person.
The parenting methods formulated by the Course are still of interest to parents. Parents should build their relationships with their children on their sincere support, but they should not allow unlimited freedom. In cooperation with the child, it is necessary to determine the responsibilities of each person and their responsibility. The established restrictions create a sense of security for the child and give confidence in the correctness of their actions. Children should not be punished, because punishment generates the same bitterness as coercion; you can not offend with words. Rejecting punishment as a disciplinary measure that includes the superiority of one person over another, parents can use other corrective techniques: the development of logical consequences, the use of incentives.

When solving specific tasks, the psychologist suggests following the following principles: non-interference of parents in conflicts between children; equal participation of all family members in household chores; understanding by each family member that he is responsible for the order in his room and his belongings.

The Course pays special attention to the interpretation of negative behavior of children directed at parents and teachers. At the same time, forms of improper behavior are considered as erroneous approaches, using which children try to find a place for themselves within the family or group and provide a sense of belonging, security and recognition.

Negative behavior has very specific goals.

Demanding attention in various ways, including causing anxiety, causing irritation, especially if this is the only way that children see their parents notice them, engaged in them.

Demonstrative disobedience is the result of children’s false conclusion that they can assert themselves by insisting on the fulfillment of their desires, proving their strength in confrontation with an adult.

Revenge, retribution, the desire to hurt others sometimes seem to children the only way to feel “important”, significant.

Asserting one’s own inadequacy or inferiority, demonstrating genuine or imagined impotence, helps to refuse communication, assignments, and responsibility.

Many defective behaviors – poor performance, laziness, bedwetting, lying, stealing-can be an expression of a desire for one of these goals. When an adult makes a suggestion about the causes of bad behavior to a child, he should pay attention to its emotional manifestations, focus on a spontaneous reaction, a special smile or glint in the eyes, and a recognition reflex. Then, at the appropriate time, you can try to reveal the meaning of the act in a hypothetical, non-judgmental manner. With this approach, children can become aware of their actions in a new way, based on the logical reasoning of an adult.

In order to change the defective goals of children, parents need to overcome the usual desire to increase pressure on the child and creatively approach the search for adequate methods for establishing new, constructive relationships.

In line with the ideas of Adler and Dreikurs is a program for developing positive discipline for children, which was developed by teachers D. Nelsen, L. Lott and H. S. Glenn. The main ideas of education, in their opinion, are as follows:

parents ‘ control of their own behavior (including acceptance of duties, responsibilities, regime, and established order);
recognition of the right to their own lives – for both the parent and the child;
maintaining a sense of dignity and respect for yourself and your child;
the long-term goal of education is to form a healthy self-esteem and life skills of children so that they are full members of society and happy people. This goal should always guide parents in finding answers to countless problematic situations.

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