Adlerian Parent Education aims to give children the skills to meet life challenges in a constructive, positive way and the courage to circumvent the many pitfalls and dangers that confront children in society. It supports parents by providing them with tools to ease and handle the stress of being a parent, and to raise children with courage and compassion.
This is why I am a parent educator and why I believe that raising children in a democratic family is the solution to not only the bullying crisis we currently face, but of arming the next generation of leaders capable of making the tough decisions, who will fight for what is right, will demand justice for those who can not fight, and will demonstrate the power of treating one’s self and others with dignity and respect.
The bottom line is this — children who feel good about themselves, who know that they belong and are important to their family do not feel threatened and do not need to control. Instead they look to create environments in which everyone feels good about themselves and knows there is a place in the group just for them.
It is my experience, that no child who feels good about themselves enjoys watching their peers struggle or get in trouble. This is a true sign that there is hope. This is a true sign that the cycle of bullying can indeed be broken when the number of children who feel good about themselves outnumber the children who doubt their importance and value.
I believe that if parents commit to better understanding the democratic family and the power it has to create and sustain respectful, cooperative, relationships, those parents will do whatever is necessary to implement the concepts and strategies available to them today.
I believe that if we are to truly impact the world in positive ways, we must take the cycle of bullying seriously and to do whatever is necessary to take responsibility for the way we raise our children who will either play the role of the bully, bullied, bystander or who will as Barbara Coloroso states in her book, The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander, “understand what to do, how to do it and have the Willingness to do it.”
This very short description of Democratic Parenting comes from Henry Stein’s work
The child is seen as equal, integrated part of the family, cooperative, and doing his share. He is loved and accepted. The child is offered reasonable progressive challenges and permitted to develop at his own pace.
Accepts child’s uniqueness. Provides love, respect, and feeling of equality. Encourages child to correct mistakes and develop capacities. Guides child to find significant in contribution.
Feels security and love and acceptance. Experiences own strength by conquering difficulties. Finds satisfaction in achievement and contribution. Not afraid to try and fail. Sees world as safe and friendly.
Before we conclude our series and I offer some specific ways you can begin to create a culture of dignity and respect, I invite you — no, I challenge you to take inventory over the next week and to evaluate your parenting style.
I challenge you to listen to yourself when you speak to your children, to watch your attitude and how it affects the relationship you have with your kids, to acknowledge the areas where change is needed and to get ready to commit to parenting in a way that supports the raising of healthy, strong and compassionate children.