With the eyes of the child – The relationship in the family

Try and see the relationship in a family through the eyes of a child and we can look at some points and together we can reflect on them.

Try and see the relationship in a family through the eyes of a child and we can look at some points and together we can reflect on them.

  • Requisites for education: what do we mean by education.
  • “Children’s World”: what are the common characteristics of children through which they understand and relate with others and with the world.
  • Education for children: what are some of the relational channels (“places”) through which education takes place.
  • Children are“Unique” : each child is unique. A personal relationship lets you understand him as an individual, in his being a person.
  • Self-esteem: how to support a child so he becomes independent.
  • Educate to be pro-social: a family experience which opens up to others, to who is in need.

Requisite for education.
EDUCATE. What does educate mean? It would be nice to confront one another on this aspect which would be enriched by the various cultures which are present. In Europe and in many other countries, to educate means filling a child’s head with many things: notions, instructions, how they should be, what they should do, etc…but forgetting to free the potential which is already in every child (we will look into this later), through this potential the child can also build relationships which educate. In this way the child is an object of education, each child educated in the same way, and growing up is not an experience which involves others (mummy, daddy, brothers, sisters, teacher etc…)

The etymology of the word  educate invokes the art of maieutics in “bringing out”, “bring to light”.

To educate means to help others, our children, to become the person that they already are: that is, to be fulfilled and free to be themselves, to realise the plan that God has for them, not our plan. God has entrusted our children to us and invites us to collaborate in their education. “A child is not a vase to fill but a fire to light” (Francois Rabelais).

EDUCATIONAL COMMUNITY. The family is the first and most important educational laboratory. But it’s not enough, it’s not the only one. A famous African proverb says “ it takes a village to raise a child ”.The value of others in the “family community” must be brought out in the “community that educates”:  school, parish, sport. Only by recognising the role and the value of others can we reconstruct the educational pact which is unravelling in many countries. We need to work as a   squad , together. In this way it’s not just a signed educational pact but a educational pact being lived.

TO SOW. To do this we must start from small children. Right from the beginning, the relationship between us and our children, is taking care of the seed that God planted in them and which together , freely, we help to grow.

TAKE CARE OF. In what way? You already do this! Sometimes it’s enough to realise the importance of your taking care of your child. The mother who tucks in his covers before he goes to sleep, the father who comes home tired from work but still manages to play with his son, these are two small concrete examples of taking care of. These, with many others, are much more meaningful than they seem. Taking care of, is the most delicate form of love towards another, because it is concrete, attentive, free, kind, caring, loving, not intrusive, all at the same time. This is the basis of an educative relationship, which is weakening in this hasty society, full of stimulus and directed more to satisfy individual needs, rather than taking care of others. This even happens in our homes.
Heidegger claimed that “ human beings are the only ones who can take care of human beings”(of himself and others) We can’t delegate it to things (for example the TV), it’s up to us.

SOCIALITY. This is another requisite of education and of relationships which is weakening.
The proposals of society are more for individuals and less for groups. Television, video games, cell phones, social media, etc…are “activities” which occupy us as individuals and less, as part of a group. But sociality is a fundamental characteristic of our being a person and even more importantly for children. Just think of the capacity and need of children to be with other children, even when they speak a different language or have different ages. They have no limit which blocks this instinctive relational dimension. We as parents, as educators, need to go back to being “experts in being us” to contrast this tendency in society. Games, group activities, outings, parties, are much more than just light hearted moments during more serious matters.

BEAR WITNESS.  A fundamental educational requisite is to remember that children watch us, much more than it seems. We can’t ask them to do something when we do something else. The experience of growing up, is an experience of family life where everyone goes  in the same direction  with mutual support.