To Adults About Children Part 2

The article of our reader concerns the majority of the theme of the upbringing of children. How distorted is this process today? How to help a child become a real person? In which cases and how to apply the methods “Do as I do” and “Attention shift”?

Part I

“The most urgent task is the education of children and youth. In all countries, this issue, on which all the well-being and power of people and the country rests, is now paid very little and, moreover, extremely miserable attention. Usually, it is common to mix education with upbringing, but it’s time to understand that school education, as it is done in most cases, not only does not contribute to the moral upbringing of young people, but even vice versa … The excessive sport interest leads to coarse morals, to mental degeneration and to new diseases. Of course, the situation of home education in the conditions of modern families is no better. Therefore, it is time to pay the most serious attention to the grave and unaccompanied situation of children and youth in the sense of moral development. Many high concepts completely emerged from everyday life and were replaced by everyday formulas of easy achievement of vulgar prosperity and the same fame.” (E.I. Roerich, 19.04.38).

“Do as I do”

The time has come for my little grandson to change from potty to the toilet, but even small people quickly develop habits and, often, undesirable stereotypes – the lion’s share of them, of course, through the improper actions of parents. In general, my grandson did not want to pee in the toilet, not to mention the more “difficult” needs. He cried and demanded his potty, and if the parents did not agree, he peed in his pants.

When the children once again came to visit, my son shared this problem with me. It was solved rather quickly, using the method “Do as I do”.

When the grandson asked to go pee, I said: “I want to go too. Come with me. I’ll show you something … “. We went to the toilet, and I showed how men and boys do it. The grandson watched with interest, and then, from a purely childish habit of imitation, easily did the same. Everyone was happy, especially, parents.

Almost in the same way, we then taught the kitten Manus to go to pee in the sink or in the bathtub (the toilet was not flat). More precisely, there was no need to really teach anything (except for regular encouragement), for the kitten was very curious and intelligent, and all the time watched what we do there in the bathroom. It was directly noticeable that the kitten was watching. Observed, observed and made conclusions. And it was not the instinct that had now worked, but the mind to some extent. Since then, we have forgotten about the fillers and cat’s urine smell.

In conclusion: animals and people, even those who are not developed, can easily be taught something by the method of showing “Do as I do”.

The simplest algorithm for teaching people something states:

1. Tell us what and how to do;

2. Show me how to do it;

3. Let the one you’re teaching try without interfering;

4. Observe the actions of the trainee;

5. Praise him for the implementation and provide feedback – do an analysis of the actions in order to affirm the comprehended. At the same time, show errors, but focus more on correct actions, rather than on incorrect ones.

So, firstly, for young children, the first item can be skipped. It is better to do it during the show of something, in some cases and at the end it is possible to explain. And in the fifth item, of course, you need to praise the child.

Secondly, sometimes the learning problem is not solved on the first attempt and in some cases the parents will have to repeat the algorithm one or two more times … (memorization should become something like a reflex). Much here depends both on the child (how much he is developed or underdeveloped), and on the parent (how can the parent choose the right words, show patience, finally – how much you, dad and mom, have contact with your child). But in general, children perfectly and willingly perceive the action “Do as I do” and learn so much faster. For one of the Universal Laws – the Law of Education states: “5. People do more not what they are told, but what the talking people do themselves, meaning, what they see. Hence, the best training is an example.” And, finally, here is what adults should think about after reading paragraph 5 of the Law of Learning: when you notice some faults in your child that you do not like or which irritate you, and your hand is about to move in for a slap, THINK: is it not your fault, have you not shown it through unconscious, and sometimes through uncontrollable behavior in the family circle? So who needs to be slapped in this case?

Another example of learning: a nephew came to visit – a very smart six-year-old. He was delighted with the freedom of will and space, but especially from the heap of tools lying on the bench. Of course, the need to saw and to nail something immediately awoke. But if the hammer is not so terrible (and sometimes it is useful in teaching a lesson of easy pain in order to remember how not to do), then the saw can easily chop off a finger …

Of course, everything can be forbidden, BUT! But that’s what is important: the child comes into this world with his program-purpose, his attitudes, his unresolved problems, etc. Since the birth, many parents in their ignorance are trying not to help the child to find his way and get rid of negative qualities, but to disfigure this purpose, suppressing it through own will and adding inextricable complexes and stereotypes to the child. Therefore, we will not forbid, but we will show the child how to saw, drawing his attention to the fact that the teeth of the saw are very sharp (we will show them). We’ll show how to hold the board firmly, so that it does not fly off, that it is not necessary to hold your hand close to the saw, so that the jib that has jumped off with sharp teeth does not cut your hand. For example, I deliberately showed on myself how the saw scratches the skin, and said: “See?”. Then the nephew sawed a couple of small planks with me (that is, I watched – see the learning algorithm), and we also nailed a pair of nails by using the same method. After which I said to him: “Well done!”, showed how he can build a simple boat and … for an hour and a half or two hours the child was not to be seen … he was selflessly building.

Throughout the day, however, he found more and more tools and brought them to me, asking: “What is this for?”. Sometimes we repeated the algorithm with him. It was noticeable that he liked to learn in such a way. And to me, of course, although the most dangerous tools: scythe, axes – I hid until the next lesson. Everything is good in moderation.

I also saw another example, when a mother in a somewhat similar situation did exactly the opposite. A young woman was paying for something with a bank card at the ATM and, of course, clicked on such beautiful buttons. Something did not work, but there were no people in line and there was no need to hurry. Her daughter of about four years, of course, was interested and “helped” her mother to press the buttons, respectively, inserting her fingers everywhere she could. Mom forbade it, but the girl persistently continued to help. The mother’s business was not progressing. Mom raised her voice, but her daughter did not listen and continued to press the buttons. Mom then pushed her daughter away – she began to cry …

Let’s think – would it not be wiser in such a situation, not to forbid, but, on the contrary, to take the child into her arms, and say: “Let’s do it together!” And press buttons … for example, with the daughter’s hand. The child would be definitely happy, and the mother would accomplish her tasks faster, and her nerves would be where they should be – in general, a mutual benefit.

“Attention Shift”

“Do not humiliate children.Remember that true science is always recruiting, concise, accurate and beautiful.Exorcised are the lies, rudeness and ridicule.It is necessary that in families there is at least a rudiment of understanding of education.After seven years, much has already been lost.”

There are few more disgusting spectacles than when a hysterical mother hits a crying child in the street (there are many of neurasthenics among young people in the cities). The situation is banal at first sight. The child wanted something or, on the contrary, does not want something – and begins to be capricious. The parent tries to clarify something to him (and often it looks like this: “Why are you shouting, stop fast!” or so: “Stop crying immediately, I told you!”), but the child cries more than before. Finally, the nerves of an adult give, and he uses force, thereby greatly exacerbating the situation in the present, and to the most irreparable consequences in the future (up to suicides). Someone, maybe, will say: “Nonsense, it’s okay, I, too, was stuck as a child, grew up to be normal.” But only those will speak, who were struck in their childhood. And as for the normality, the question is very controversial – if people carefully analyze some of their grievances and other negative character traits, where they come from. No wonder many psychologists and psychiatrists, analyzing the causes of various disruptions, conflicts, depressions, personal complexes, etc., often speak of psychological traumas that were received in the childhood. So sometimes they persecute us all of our lives. So, what to do?.. Switch the attention of the child to something more interesting/unusual/unclear, etc. with the help of your phrase, exclamation, behavior, etc. – in general, draw the child’s attention to something else. Not so long ago in a hospital I saw a young mother passing her baby to her grandmother by the elevator. Apparently, mother had to go to work. The child immediately began to cry (in the elevator), and so loudly that many of the passengers winced, by the grandmother, you see, was experienced. She quickly and with surprise, as if she had never seen herself, she cried softly: “Wow, look, how the buttons light up … do you want to press one?” Crying seemed to cut off. True, the grandmother had to travel an extra storey to fulfill her promise (to push a button), well, what a grandmother will not do for the heath of a grandchild. I repeatedly applied this method in a variety of situations with children 2-5 years old, and almost always it worked perfectly. I have often seen now the same method was used by experienced and caring educators in kindergartens. But the method of this has nuances …

Firstly, an adult needs to play a role, well, for example, to show his sincere surprise from the object that he wants to switch the child’s attention to.

Secondly, you need to somehow organize/provide some kind of contact of the child with the target object (so we’ll call it), so that he can touch it, hold it, or watch it. It is necessary that the object-target of the child is enthralled for a while, sufficient for the child to forget the subject of discord.

Thirdly, the object-target, I repeat, should not be trivial, but really interesting to the child. The way “Look, look, the bird flew … Oh, flew …” or “Oh, look, the car is going … “, etc. To sense will give a little, most likely, the child will continue to cry after a short switching of attention. Sometimes you will have to sort through a couple of such “images” – anything, but eventually it will work.

Fourth, the older the child, the better he begins to distinguish between openness, sincerity, reasonable expediency and our simplest manipulations – and is no longer “being led” on them. In this case, you need to connect other methods, for example: “I love you” (this method is universal), “Choice”, “Compromise”, “Rationalization”, working with the child is more and more like with an adult. This and more about the development of children – we’ll talk in the next issues. To be continued …

by Doc Stefan

translated by: Dmitriy Kushnir

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