Written by: Leja Mahnič, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
How do we prepare for the arrival of an additional member of the family – a baby? A little human being that constantly requires all our attention during the first few years of its life. Children are tiny little beings that are open and completely vulnerable. We have to be very careful with their little brains, because they are still developing. But instead, we start filling their brains from the very beginning with all our ideas about how best to survive on this
It is time for us to start using and acknowledging upbringing and education methods that take into account both child development and the stages at which children are ready to accept different responsibilities. We must understand that we aren’t always the ones in charge and we don’t always know best: when bedtime is, when it’s time for food, how much a child should eat and so on. Very young children are already capable of accepting certain responsibilities. Jesper Juul, who has worked as a family therapist for nearly 40 years, is an icon of self-restrictive upbringing and explains this concept in his books.
When we let a child be responsible for his or her actions from a very young age, we give the child a great foundation for accepting personal responsibility throughout their adult life. This ability will impact his life, relationships, schooling, searching for employment and every personal interaction he or she will enter into. But of course, the most important thing we parents must be aware of is when the child is ready to make these decisions.
Just like young animals, young children know very early on what kind of food they enjoy and what they don’t like. How much they should eat to become full. How much sleep they need. All of these decisions are made completely intuitively, based on natural processes in the body. As parents, we should only be there to encourage our children. Sadly, society has forced us to abandon this and has made us follow fixed norms that rule us all. We subject our children to these norms too.
And so, we raise flocks of sheep, individuals who still need someone to tell them what to do and how to do it when they are 30 years old. But on the other hand, we expect them to be responsible and capable of self-initiative. How can we expect that of them? Where could they have learned these skills? Though which processes? Since birth, they have had to suppress themselves in favor of everyone else’s wishes – first their parents, then their kindergarten teachers and later their school teachers … How could they have ever developed their own will?
Children start learning very early on that it is important to comply with other people’s demands and wishes. When they do everything that is expected of them, they receive our love and attention. Because a child’s highest need is to feel loved by their parents, they will do everything to gain it. And slowly lose themselves in the process by gradually adopting their parents’ habits and behavior.
Is this really what you want for your children? Or would you like for them to grow up into independent, self-reliant individuals who will follow their own path?
Leja Mahnič, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
She grew up in the 70s. And with the education that was most common at the time. An apostolic education that did not allow the questioning, crying, opposition, and healthy development of human integrity. She had big dreams that she wasn't allowed to talk about, and of course, a very low self-esteem. She left home early, thinking that she would run away from all this. But you can't run away. The only way was to work on her personality, and that's how she got to know NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). Because she wanted to give her child, who later came into her life, a different basis, she started working and first healed a wounded child inside her. Later, the coaches encouraged her to make coaching her profession. She became a coach and then specialized also in coaching with children so that she could give a family full assistance. As an expert, she has been called on several occasions to participate in tv shows on learning and education. She has also written many expert articles on the subject. She worked with the well-known expert Jesper Juul. She was lucky to train with the biggest ones like Iris Komarek, John Grinder and Bostic St. Clair. And here she is. A Parenting coach. She loves to work with parents and kids, this is why she also trained in München and became an NLPaed Learning coach. She can really help the whole family to become an inspiring place to live in.