There are many parenting styles: respectful parenting, positive parenting, democratic parenting, authoritarian parenting, etc. This time we are going to focus on learning more about intensive parenting, since we hear more and more about it. Misused, it can cause overloading children (and with it, anxiety and stress problems), so we give you some keys to take advantage of the intensive breeding and benefit from all its advantages.
The parenting style is nothing other than the educational model that we carry out at home. How we educate our children, how we attend to their emotional demands, our behavior and attitude towards children ... The parenting style that we choose as parents influences how we relate to our children, and this way of relating to them will determine a good part of their social and emotional development in the present, and of course, in the future.
Parenting styles or modes are influenced by the personal history of the parents, but also by the social environment in which we operate. That is why they change over time and society and it seems that 'fads' are appearing on how to educate and raise children.
When we have a child and we think about how we are going to educate him, we think about how we want or would like him to be now (sensitive, educated, intelligent, decisive, autonomous ...) but we also think about the adult who will be in the future. And all these ideas or projections will influence or condition our day to day life and our way of educating our children.
As for intensive breeding, it is not something new. It is more typical of the United States, although it seems that it is gradually establishing itself in Europe and Latin America as well. This parenting style focuses on the future of the children at an academic and also work level, that is, there is the belief that everything that is done now, in childhood, will determine the type of work or education that they will have in the future.
The term intensive refers to the intensity with which parents dedicate themselves to their children and their education. We see parents in continuous training on how to stimulate their children, their intelligence, their emotional development, their aptitudes ... and as a consequence, children who participate in multiple activities of all kinds, sports, academic, artistic ... All of them with a end, which is to improve, be good and competitive.
Parents are fully involved and immersed in these tasks and are continually concerned with finding the best resource, the best activity, the best school, and the best way to develop the child's skills and abilities.
In principle, we want our children to have a good education, to be trained for the future, to develop emotional, artistic and sports skills, to be competent in an increasingly competitive world, etc. is not in itself negative.
This style of parenting has benefits for children, if practiced properly. The problem comes when this becomes overemphasize children, in asking for more than they can give or in asking for things that are out of the child's interest, and ultimately forgetting that they are children above all.
There are not a few parents who come to the clinic concerned about problems in their children such as: lack of sleep, irritability, children who are excessively demanding of themselves and with little tolerance for failure or frustration. And it is not strange to meet children with anxiety and stress in very early stages, sometimes generated by an excess of activities and with little time for play, leisure or boredom.
Does this mean that intensive parenting leads to anxiety or emotional problems in children? No, clearly not. But it is easy to fall into overload if we lose sight of the child in all these plans for a better future for them.
It is essential to have the child and take into account their interests and tastes. It is useless to point our son to a thousand extracurricular activities, if he does not enjoy any. And perhaps here is the crux of the matter: If we want to raise competitive children in the future (which will take time, and understanding by competitive to be a decisive person, with the ability to solve problems, make decisions, and with emotional skills that allow you to function in a healthy way in life), you have to think and count on the child.
We have to think that we do not know what our children will be in the future, but what is clear is that we want them to be happy (and this happens by knowing how to manage emotions properly), and that they are able to achieve or, at least, try to achieve their goals.
Therefore, if we choose this style of parenting, some keys that we have to take into account are:
1. Listen to our children and take into account their tastes and interests (not those of the parents).
2. Make them participate in the process, seeking not only intellectual development but also and especially emotional development.
3. Adapt and adapt expectations from parents to each child.
4. Leisure and play time is also learning time, as stated in the guide 'Learning through play' by The Lego Foundation and Unicef, which insists on the benefits of play for children to learn in a unique way. more relaxed and effective.
Therefore, children's play should not be out of the 'weekly agenda' of our children, understanding by leisure and play everything that is not regulated (that is, extracurricular activities are not leisure time).
In this line, and if we take these recommendations into account, some benefits may be:
- Develops the decision-making capacity of children.
- Helps them get to know themselves, know what are their strengths, their tastes and their most outstanding skills.
- Facilitates communication and the expression of their thoughts, to the extent that the adults around them count on them and take their opinion into account.
- They develop strong ties to parents if they have taken them into account and have focused on the tastes and interests of the child over their own.
You can read more articles similar to 4 keys to using intensive parenting without overloading children, in the category Limits - Discipline on site.