Reconsidering your parenting style

JESPER Juul believes we should stop trying to "bring up" our children.

The family therapist and bestselling Danish author of Raising Competent Children believes that new approaches to parenting are needed to reflect changing times.

"The days of using dictatorial parenting techniques are no longer relevant in modern society," he said.

Juul believes that parents can, and should, learn from their children.

"Our children learn from our actions - therefore, we can see our own behaviour reflected in theirs," he said.

Juul's parenting manual, first published in Denmark in 1995, has achieved international success and was released this month in Australia.

While Juul wrote his parenting manual with Danish families in mind, he believes that the core of his work is relevant to all countries.

"My expertise is conflict resolution, and this can be applied to parent-child relationships worldwide."

Juul believes that many parents are still living in the past when it comes to interactions with the children.

"There is a different family dynamic present," he said.

"We need to recognise that children are individual beings with the capacity to tell us how they are feeling."

In Juul's experience as a family therapist, parents subconsciously try to fashion their children into the "ideal" version of themselves.

The pressure that the children feel from a very young age can lead to permanent emotional damage.

Juul's parenting manual offers practical solutions to communication problems, from infants to teenagers.

Raising Competent Children by Jesper Juul is published by Rockpool Publishing. RRP $24.99

 

JUUL'S TOP FIVE PARENTING TIPS

1. Don't copy other people's parenting styles

This will lead to a lack of leadership and ultimately to feelings of failure when things don't go perfectly. Children need parents to be real people who are realistic and supportive.

2. Eliminate reproach, regret and criticism from your tone of voice when talking to your child

Juul advises that whether they are a toddler or teenager, speaking to children with respect will encourage them to act with respect towards you and others.

3. Don't avoid conflict. Instead, manage conflict in a measured and calm manner

This will encourage children to take a healthy and communicative approach to conflict.

4. Recognise when your children are trying to express themselves

By acting 'difficult', a child or teenager is trying to tell you that something is not right. Support them to tell you what is bothering them.

5. Don't embarrass your child

When a parent talks down to their child, or makes them feel annoying or burdensome, they injure the child's dignity. If this is a common occurrence, it can damage their self-esteem.

 

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