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The 5 qualities to encourage in children

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The responsibility

To assume a fault or a mistake, it is necessary that it does not cause guilt on the part of the parent, but that the child knows and experiences that he or she has the right to make mistakes and do wrong. This will allow him to learn from his mistakes or faults, but also to take responsibility for them without accusing circumstances or others. Some violations deserve punishment. The child must be notified in advance. Thus, placed in the position of subject, he will understand (at the height of his age and transgression) that he is responsible for his actions.

Children invent, conceal and transform facts, either to please their parents, or to escape punishment, or because they are convinced that they are telling the truth when they don’t understand the situation and its stakes. For the child to feel comfortable with the truth to be told, his little lies must not be demonized and presented as a breach of the trust contract, and therefore an immense source of disappointment for his parents. The meaning of a lie must be understood by the parent and its consequences explained to the child. For example: “It’s another innocent man who will be punished in your place and it’s not fair. I, too, make mistakes, I make mistakes, I am wrong (we cite an example), but I recognize it and I try to repair them. In difficult situations (divorce, illness, unemployment…), it is better to choose to tell him the truth, taking into account his age, maturity and character.

Fair Play

Acknowledging one’s wrongs or defeat, not to make low blows, to give compliments, to manage one’s aggressiveness… Moral elegance is learned early. This presupposes that the child does not feel as though he or she is falling down or passing through. The more he or she is strengthened in self-esteem, the more confident he or she will be in the love and support of his or her parents, and the more fair-minded he or she will be with others. And will be able to take his place in the groups without aggressiveness.

Solidarity

Sharing a snack with someone who doesn’t have one, helping a friend in difficulty, comforting someone who needs it are behaviours that help develop a sense of solidarity and empathy. But to express and show solidarity, however, a child must feel sufficiently comfortable with others and confident in his or her abilities and personal resources. In short, it means that he or she must benefit from the empathy, comfort and listening skills of his or her parents. They will then be able to tell him that helping someone else is what they would like us to do in this situation. By understanding that altruism is the best way to live together, the child will practice it not out of duty or charity, but out of conviction.

Civic citizenship

Living together is a learning experience. Very early. And this means integrating the frameworks and limits that make life in society possible, as well as the rules of politeness that make exchanges enjoyable. Not behaving as if you were alone in the world is probably the first rule to be respected. In practical terms, it is a question of making your child understand, by combining practice with theory, that his or her pleasure and comfort must stop where the discomfort and displeasure of the other begins.

Am I a good mother? This question, conscious or unconscious, lives in the heart and mind of each mother. For giving life and passing it on is both a great joy and a great responsibility (which is also incumbent on the fathers!). But we must not delude ourselves: there is no definitive answer to this question. On the other hand, there are many different profiles of mothers.

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