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Attention deficit and hyperactivity deficiency syndrome is a neuropsychic disorder that affects the development of the baby and the adolescent. This disturbance does not recognize a single specific cause; Origin seems to be multifactorial and depends on the interaction of environmental, social-behavioral, biochemical and genetic factors. Some studies, in particular, have highlighted the expression of genes that control the level of dopaminergic and noradrenergic neurotransmitters.
Attention deficit and hyperactivity syndrome, too, tends to re-appear within the same family. Environmental factors, on the other hand, seem to involve cigarette smoking and alcohol abuse in pregnancy, low birth weight (or premature birth), and neurological damage reported after obstetric or cranial traumas. It can also increase the risk of exposure to paints, pesticides, lead and certain food additives (dyes and preservatives).
Symptomatology of the disorder is inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, more obvious than expected for a child of equal development. Depending on the prevalence of one of these characters, in particular, it is possible to distinguish three variants of the disorder: inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive and combined form.
Children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder have difficulty concentrating on an activity, ignoring the details, and distracting easily. Inattention is also manifested in the inability to follow a conversation for a long time and in the difficulty of learning, following instructions, or completing a task that is required. The child forgets things, looks absent and gets bored quickly from one activity, then passes frequently to another.
In the attention deficit and hyperactivity syndrome, there are also a number of behaviors that indicate hyperactivity and impulsivity. Children are constantly moving, they can not sit, they touch everything they find, they are restless and do not reflect on the consequences of their gesture or their words. In addition, excessive anger, aggression, antisocial behavior, sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression, and mood swings can manifest themselves.
Attention deficit and hyperactivity syndrome influence school performance, ability to develop appropriate social behavior, and thinking and reasoning strategies. Difficulties in social and affective relationships can persist until adulthood. In some cases, non-specific neurological deficits, sensitive dysfunctions and motor debris may also be present.
The diagnosis is made through medical assessment and the satisfaction of some clinical criteria. To define the attention deficit and hyperactivity syndrome, the symptoms must occur for 6 consecutive months, in at least two different contexts of life (e.g. at home and at school).
The assessment of educational, psychic and developmental aspects aims at identifying potentially treatable conditions that contribute to symptomatology. ADHD treatment is based on the use of specific drugs (methylphenidate and atomoxetine) associated with behavioral therapies and psycho-educational interventions. Learning difficulties are expressed with concentration and attention deficit, combined with language development problems or the processing of visual and auditory information.
Mild disorders are generally found in school age, while the most severe symptoms tend to occur earlier. Affected subjects can show problems in understanding verbal or written language, in coordinating movements, in reading, in making math calculations, or in writing. Affected children may also have difficulty concentrating on a task, organizing an activity, or telling a story sequentially. Disturbances may also occur in reasoning and organization and in scheduling troubleshooting information.
An inadequate cognitive performance may result from sensory pathologies (hypoacusia or severe visual impairment), neurological, genetic and psychological. Learning difficulties may also represent the consequence of future mother’s behavior during pregnancy, such as cigarette smoking, alcohol and substance abuse, or complications during childbirth (e.g. obstetric traumas).
In other cases, they may depend on neonatal problems: low birth weight, premature or post-term birth, severe jaundice, and perinatal asphyxiation.
Other risk factors include exposure to environmental toxins (e.g. lead, paints and pesticides), central nervous system infections, malignant neoplasms, cranial traumas, malnutrition, severe social isolation or affective deprivation.
The following symptoms characterize ADHD
Amblyopia, fanconi anemia, autism, vascular dementia, dyslexia, dyspraxia, encephalitis, meningitis, neurofibromatosis, spasic parapares, tuberous sclerosis, attention deficit hyperactivity syndrome (ADHD), Asperger syndrome, Klinefelter’s syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Tourette syndrome, Turner’s syndrome, fetal-alcohol syndrome.
For those suffering from Attention Deficit Syndrome and Hyperactivity Syndrome (below, for convenience, we will shorten in ADHD) there is a diet that can relieve the symptoms? Are there foods that would be better to consume and others that should be avoided? This article aims to answer this kind of questions, offering you an overview of the link between ADHD and nutrition.
Natural remedies for AHDH: diet
ADHD is a condition that includes two components:
- Inability to pay attention
- Difficulty concentrating on assignments or assigned assignments
For those suffering from ADHD it is often difficult to remain calm. Many people who suffer from this condition, in fact, act impulsively, or act before thinking. Other ADHD-related symptoms include a feeling of anxiety or depression, the presence of negative thoughts, and the difficulty of sleeping. ADHD affects children, teenagers and adults. There is no ‘cure’ for ADHD. However, taking certain drugs and behavioral therapy can be of great help to people who suffer from this condition.
But what about nutrition? Can it be of help?
Ideally, an ADHD diet could help the brain ‘work’ better and could reduce the symptoms of this disorder, such as restlessness or lack of concentration. Such a diet might include both certain types of foods and the intake of dietary supplements.
There are various types of ADHD diet, including:
- General nutrition: This type of diet includes foods consumed daily. How can everyday nutrition help or worsen ADHD? The hypothesis is that some foods we eat can improve or worsen the symptoms associated with this condition. It is also possible that a diet is lacking in some foods that may help alleviate the symptoms.
- Integration diet: This type of diet involves the addition of vitamins, minerals or other nutrients to compensate for food deficiencies that can contribute to acute ADHD symptoms. The underlying assumption of this type of diet is that the body, in this case, needs substances that are lacking or absent within the diet regime followed.
- Eliminating diet: This type of diet involves the elimination of foods or ingredients suspected of contributing to the onset of ADHD symptoms. The hypothesis is that the dietary regime followed by the patient includes unhealthy food that causes or aggravates the symptoms of this condition.
General nutrition and ADHD
Scientific research on ADHD diets is limited and the results obtained are different. However, many experts believe that diet can play an important role in reducing ADHD symptoms. Dr. Richard Sogn, an ADHD expert, states that all that is good for the brain is also helpful for this condition.
Dr. Daniel Amen, an ADHD expert and brain researcher, recommends the following dietary supplements:
- Follow a diet rich in protein, including foods such as beans, cheese, eggs, meat and dried fruits. Consuming protein foods in the morning and after-school as a snack helps to improve concentration and increase the duration of drug use for ADHD.
- Consume less simple carbohydrates such as sweets, honey, sugar, white flour, fine rice and peeled potatoes.
- Consume more complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables and some types of fruit (including oranges, mandarins, pears, grapefruit, apples and kiwis). Eating complex evening carbohydrates can promote sleep.
- Consume more Omega 3 fatty acids, such as those found in tuna, salmon and other cold-frozen white fish, walnuts, Brazilian nuts and olive oils. Omega 3 fatty acids are also available in the form of supplements.
Food supplements and ADHD
Dr. Amen and Sogn, ADHD experts, suggest taking 100% vitamins and minerals daily dietary supplements. Many children, teenagers and adults do not follow a balanced diet, especially when their days are marked by the many commitments and various daily activities. Symptoms and causes of ADHD vary from person to person. Also, in some subjects some of these supplements may worsen the symptoms of this condition. So always consult your doctor before purchasing any supplements.
Eliminating diet and ADHD
In this type of diet, a particular food or ingredient is identified that is considered to be the trigger cause of ADHD symptoms. The patient is therefore advised not to consume any type of food containing the identified substance. If the symptoms disappear, then it will be necessary to continue to avoid that specific substance.
Eliminating dietary foods that you usually follow can help improve symptoms? Research is still conducting studies to provide further evidence of the truthfulness of this theory. The results, therefore, are not yet definitive and conclusive. Below we will list the topics on which the researchers are concentrating on their studies and tell you what the experts recommend.
Food allergies or additives
Beginning in 1975, Benjamin Feingold theorized that artificial colorings, aromas and preservatives could play a role in cases of hyperactivity in some children. Starting from its early theory, researchers and experts of child behavior have long debated this issue. A recent study has shown that some food dyes and a preservative increase hyperactivity in some children. However, the effects varied depending on the age and type of additive.
Based on this and other recent studies, the American Academy of Pediatrics agrees that the elimination of preservatives and dietary dyes is a reasonable choice for children with ADHD.
Dr. Amen, an ADHD expert, recommends those who suffer from this condition to avoid these substances:
- Artificial colorings, especially red and yellow
- Food additives such as aspartame, MSG (monosodium glutamate) and nitrites
- Sugars and ADHD
Some children become hyperactive after eating sweets or other sugary foods. However, there is no scientifically proven evidence indicating this phenomenon as a cause of ADHD. Generally, however, sugary foods should only be a small part of the diet of any individual, although most likely, the total elimination of this type of food by ADHD sufferers would not be a bad one . Indeed, it might be a further way to ascertain any symptoms improvement.
Caffeine and ADHD
Some studies have shown that small amounts of caffeine may help to counteract some ADHD symptoms in children. However, the side effects of caffeine may be greater than the potential benefits. Most ADHD experts do not recommend caffeine consumption.
How to create a custom ADHD diet
At this point, the spontaneous question is: ‘How can I design a personalized food program for me or my baby in ADHD?’ The first step to take is to contact your physician responsible for treating your condition. Because? Here are three good reasons:
The doctor is the most qualified person to assess whether the changes you want to put into effect can be effective in your specific case. Your doctor may consider it necessary to carry out special examinations that may help determine how the brain works. By doing so, you can then decide together what the most effective food changes can be for you. Your doctor will help you monitor the changes made to the diet regime to make sure they can actually help. Some dietary supplements are available only under medical prescription. Dosage related to any type of supplements should however be carefully monitored and monitored.
Once you consult your doctor, you are ready to take the next step. Whatever the type of diet course you take (daily dietary changes, supplementary supplements, or food supplements), here are some tips to ensure the success of your changes: changes must be made gradually (usually one at a time). This way you can check whether the change is helpful or not. Note the changes and effects of the changes you make. Do the same when you are taking any medicines you may have prescribed by your doctor. Include in the annotations what you have changed and the (positive and negative) effects you have noticed. Show your notes at each visit to the doctor.
How to make an ADHD diet even more effective
Other natural remedies for ADHD
Naturopathy has always insisted that the symptoms of mental turbidity are often associated with an alteration of blood, a state of toxemia due to insufficient elimination of cellular waste, a build up of toxins whose modern life is very prodigal (food, water, air poisining). These factors also include drugs and other ‘preventive’ interventions (vaccinations, radiation, etc.), designed to alleviate the evils of humanity but generate ever-more unequal imbalances in the environment and in the individual.
Hyperactivity (hyperkinesis) is generally a disorder for which there are no cures and many children have been placed in special classes so as not to disturb their ‘normal’ schoolmates. Known causes include heredity, birth trauma, smoking during pregnancy, artificial food additives, heavy metal poisoning and, as mentinoed before, environmental pollution. All foods, medicines, toothpastes and cosmetics that contain artificial dyes and aromas such as tartrazine or E 102 should be avoided. However, dietary treatment can help these children behave again in a normal way, with great parental relief.
The disorder manifests itself in different stages, and even in the most humid form the child is in motion for most of the time. In this case it is difficult to determine if the child is normal or not. The overactive baby may also have other health problems, such as allergies, eczema, cataract and otitis, and there may also be a history of similar disorders in the family.
Even as a kid, the person is never happy, complains and weeps very often, is dissatisfied, is disinterested in toys, moves from one to the other without really playing with anyone, or trampling them right without realizing what they are doing. You will not engage in anything for more than a minute, like listening to a fairytale or watching television.
If he is sitting for a while, he will be nervous and agitated, perhaps with his legs constantly in motion. Anyone around him will be involved and the parents will end up being completely exhausted. With punishment you will not get any effect or benefit. The baby never knows what she wants and much less how to get it.
When the child becomes bigger and stronger, parents also lose the little control they had until then. Many teenagers start smoking, drinking, behaving in a terribly asocial way, and if one does not deal with the problem appropriately, a party ends up in jail.
In rare cases when this hyperactivity runs out, subjects calm down but begin to suffer from acne, depression, migraine and other disorders, which are then considered a separate problem. Fortunately, not all overactive children are such a ruin.
For hyperactive children, medicine-based treatment is quite unique because substances such as barbiturates and tranquilizers have the opposite effect: they make the baby more overactive. It’s almost impossible to sedate an overactive baby with sleeping pills.
Lead is the most dangerous substance because it irritates and damages the brain of children. However, even cadmium (if parents smoke), copper and mercury play a negative role. Today, there are also suspicions about aluminum.
Certain hyperactive children react badly to chlorine inhaled or ‘drank’ during bathing in the pool. Clean the home bath can be a problem, so fill the tub with very hot water, open the bathroom window to let the chlorine out and bath the baby for about 10 minutes when the water gets cold. Drink bottled or filtered water rather than tap water.
Most of the hyperactive children lack some vitamins and minerals: zinc, magnesium, manganese and vitamin B6 are the most common. However, when you are sensitive to certain foods, more nutrients are needed, even when food allergies have been identified and eliminated, it is best to take a full supplement for at least two or three months to help the body recover its exhausted reserves.
Fish and wine-making oils have proved to be extremely beneficial. In hyperactive children, the levels of essential fatty acids are low, so the use of these oils can make a significant improvement. Herbal teas with stimulating properties of attention and mental performance are the best substitutes (along with a suitable diet) of medical care.
1. Ginkgo leaves (Ginkgo biloba)
Ginkgo leaves (Ginkgo biloba) contain extracts that help to increase local blood flow to brain and oxygen to tissues. Ginkgo is already known for its miraculous effects on the growth of attention and because it improves cognitive functions.
2. Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)
Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), also called ‘the miracle elixir of life,’ has antioxidant properties, has long been used as a cognitive enhancer in Indian medicine. It protects the brain from damaging free radicals, helps regulate blood flow to the brain and can stimulate an improvement in cognitive and learning function.
3. Centella Asiatica
Centella Asiatica reduces adrenaline levels in the blood during stress and has been used for nervous and vascular brain disorders.
4. Green Oat (Avena sativa)
Green Oat (Avena sativa) works as a nerve tonic and a mild antispasmodic and its use may have effects similar to caffeine if its administration is protracted over time.
5. Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) stimulates brain activity and helps the brain to be more efficient, strengthens and revitalizes the body by eliminating fatigue. It also has an anti-stress effect, thus counteracting both ADHD anxiety and lack of brain attention.
6. Scutellaria laterifolia
Scutellaria laterifolia is a nerve tonic and a restorative, it helps to support and strengthen the nervous system, calms and reduces stress, anxiety and depression and the treatment of ADHD acts as a painkiller.
7. Kawa kawa (a plant originally from Polynesia)
In addition to anxiety, kawa kawa (a plant originally from Polynesia) has been used as a natural remedy against insomnia and as a useful aid to combat hyperactivity in children and to reconcile night-time rest to unresponsive and unhealthy children.
Aids can also come from trace elements, substances without toxicity and side effects, with a reinforcing and re-balancing action. The manganese-sulfur trace elements associated with lithium can correct the excess energy that leads to excessive or unbalanced behavior.
Even in more complex and difficult cases, in the presence of a diagnosis of ADHD (hyperactivity disorder deficiency disorder) Bach or Australian flowers can be side by side with any other medical or psychological therapy as useful adjuvants.
8. Among Bach flowers the following are recommended:
Impatiens, Vervain, Cherry Plum, Agrimony, Holly are definitely a positive action on impatient, hasty, restless and always exaggerated children, while in case of distraction, lack of memory, leisure and tendency to stay with their heads The clouds are indicated Chestnut Bud + Clematis.
9. Australian flowers
Australian Flowers also offer very effective remedies for dealing with childish problems of liveliness, restlessness, memory problems and concentration: Bush Fuchsia + Sundew + Jacaranda + Paw Paw.
10. Considering Californian flowers: Madia + Shasta Daisy
For a more targeted intervention it is always necessary to deepen every specific case both in terms of the characteristics of the child and the environment in which it grows and the type of nutrition.
If your child has ADHA and eats little, it is necessary to carefully observe the refined carbohydrates, the trans-fats and other problematic foods he consumes, to identify what he misses and to provide him with a dedicated menu to calm him down. When it comes to nutrition, parents often say that their son only eats burgers, fries, sweet and chocolate, sodas, and adds that if they are deprived of these things it becomes unbearable. Although tasty and tempting, some orange juice is not suitable for hyperactive children, because the tartrazine that contains stimulates the brain too much. The principle is that the children’s brain is irritated by a variety of substances.
Nutrition is a very important factor and almost all overactive children are allergic to at least one category of foods and usually to more than one.
When you start your diet, explain to the baby what you are going to do. You child will probably not listen or will not understand, but you should insist. Repeat this from time to time and explain to her that the foods are causing illness and it is not her fault. At first the child could refuse anything, but do not give up.
The best way to start is to eliminate all possible ‘guilty’ from the beginning hoping to have eliminated all the harmful foods. Eliminate all the additives from the baby’s nutrition. Feingold diet, by the name of the doctor who thought it, is devoid of colorants, thickeners, preservatives and flavor enhancers. The easiest way to avoid them is to not buy any packaged food. Give the child only simple foods, raw vegetables, some types of fruit, whole grains, fish and meat.
Salicylates, too, in some children, can cause allergic reactions, such as asthma and eczema, and eliminating salicylates from their diet, you get a change in behavior as well as the disappearance of asthma symptoms.
How do sugars cause this state of agitation in children and adults?
When we are in hypoglycemia as a result of body response to hyperglycemia following the consumption of sugars, stress hormones are produced and stress hormones make us nervous. This is because the body cannot stay in hypoglycemia, and stress hormones command the liver to put blood sugar to try and restore the situation.
But meanwhile there are still active stress hormones and hence hypoglycaemia causes an increase in production of epinephrine and hence nervousness, agitation, anxiety in both children and adults. Several studies have also confirmed the important role of excess protein on nervousness and agitation. Other foods may also be involved. To find out the possible causes, you should have a very limited diet followed by the child, followed by experimental tests of particular foods.
If there are improvements, continue for at least a month, then re-enter the diet, one at a time, presumably less dangerous foods. If the behavior gets worse again, get rid of them immediately. Talk to the child, dance, sing and read together, make him feel loved and welcome! It’s very important!
ADHD cases should be distinguished from the case of the so-called enfant terrible. Enfant terrible, a French expression used for an unruly child, is not used to tolerating frustrations, does not know the desire because everything has the characteristics of the need, do not live the waiting because what he can imagine must be immediately available and quickly consumed. It is a child whose difficult temperament is confused by parents as a firmness of character, while it is nothing else but the symptom of its vulnerability, because if the magical and omnipotent world in which it lives is incurred, if it is not all that he wants, he tends to isolate or, more often, have a crisis of despair.
It is a child who does what he wants: he does not obey his parents, he is tyrannical and is reprimanded continually, provokes them always against rejecting their invitations or orders, with modalities ranging from simple tough denial (no is his favourite word), hysterical scenes in public: in stores, for example, she cries, stumps her feet, rolls on the floor so that her parents feel compelled to content her not to do be disgraced.
The same terrible child, at times, in the absence of parents, behaves according to the rules and limits imposed upon him and drawing everyone’s sympathies; on other occasions, however, she also behaves badly in the absence of parents, so that nobody wants to keep in touch with her and everyone tries to avoid her. With his companions, especially if they are younger than him, he always wants to be the leader, and if others do not follow him, he either attacks and does not participate in the game and social interaction. This type of behavior is particularly evident after two years, but in some cases it can be so severe that it can occur even before a year.
At school, an unruly child behaves as a negative presence, disturbing comrades, and disinterested in what is being taught. Everything is further complicated in pre-adolescence and beyond, because it becomes more asocial.
Parents say they have tried everything: from good to bad, but nothing has helped. The child acts delinquent and often come to consult the infant psychiatrist on school pressure, which repeatedly insists on the need to do something.
There are also less serious realities, but all have as common denominator the impotence of their parents in the face of a child or a child who is always insensitive to their recalls and which shows some sort of indifference to the rules, even the most trivial, accompanied by a certain propensity to constantly cause parents and sometimes teachers a lot of trouble.
The phenomenon is widespread, as the psychiatrist learn only about marginal cases that reach the threshold of intolerability, but all other cases that are, in one way or another, are tolerated or considered normal, remain unknown. These include those situations that are considered abnormal by any external observer but are tolerated by parents who find it more convenient to turn a blind eye or to justify their child by continually attributing to others, the environment, without wanting to see the truth and take the responsibility of what happens.
To try to explain the causes of this picture, we have to go back to the early childhood developmental periods (ontogenesis): he, just born, comes from a world, that of the uterus, where there was no need, where everything was automatically regulated and, precisely for this reason, there are even no thoughts.
At the end of pregnancy the child is expelled from this situation and enters another where the need is to prevail. This traumatic event, however, is indispensable to start the processes that will lead to the so-called ‘psychological birth’, when he will learn to exist and will be conscious of his own individuality. This route is termed ‘pregnancy outside the uterus’ because it lasts about the same time of pregnancy (8-9 months). Mother gratifies the needs of her son and in this way allows him to develop his identity.
The process takes place naturally, and is connected to the tune that occurs between the two: the child feels a discomfort, a lack, although he does not know what he needs exactly, his mother interprets it and provides adequate gratification. At this point, the child has experienced a positive experience and can begin to re-use it when he still needs it, but has also found a name for that discomfort (for example, if that discomfort comes with food, then its name is hunger).
Through this fundamental process, thought is born, and as it is repeated repeatedly, the feeling of self is formed little by little through the knowledge of her own needs, provided they are rewarding. From this moment on, she begins the real psychic life based on desire and no longer on need. A need has to be born, but to develop it, it takes the passage to desire, which is a creative act.
Therefore, in order to give birth to the psyche, the child should be satisfied in his primary needs; frustrations are therefore useless and damaging because they delay this process. Of course it is inevitable that they, too, come along the way, because no mother can always be so vigilant and careful to avoid all of them, but it is of the utmost importance that during the first 6-9 months the focus is shifted to gratification. At this point, self-consciousness is the solution of continuity between the world of gratification, where the satisfaction of pleasure is prevailed, and the world of balance between frustration and gratification, where reality prevails.
It is precisely here when the no gains a structuring value because it obliges the child to study and apply new tactics and strategies to get what he wants, and is also at this stage that often by no means comes from parents and the child continues to be content with a never-ending ban to meet the reality of frustration. The result is the non-evolution of desire because it has nothing to be desired anymore. There is no waiting space, and the terrible child becomes ever more omnipotent, enclosed within a protective shell.
What prevents some parents from being really there?
The fascinating paradox of education is that to help the child to develop, it is necessary to set limits for him. The child has more growth potential than the adult, but in order to become one, someone needs to address and limit his possibilities. If no one chooses for him, growth becomes anarchic.
Educating means choosing on behalf of those who cannot yet do it, and the task will be over when the child can do it on his own: only then will the first objective of education be achieved, that is, the ability to do without the educator. Those who are unable to play a role as a parent-educator (although all educators are involved here) are destined to failure because, instead of favoring their son’s autonomy, he will increase his dependence on parents, others, group.
What are the possible causes of educational distortion that leads to the ‘unruly child’?
The child needs a constant guide that knows how to contain, direct and order his positive, but disarming, thrusts. Unfortunately, sometimes it feels comfortable: it is much easier for an uneducated parent to ‘let the child do it’ rather than bear the responsibility of a choice or a displeasure of a no.
Sometimes, however, the guilty feelings of parents, especially mothers, are felt by their children as a result of social and labor commitments that take time away from them. When they are together they tend to recapture their child as if they are in debt for something and, of course, are more willing to tolerate wrong attitudes and calm the child with objects rather than an attitude.
Another important social aspect is the generalized crunch of values affecting all strata. It is understandable to think of a parent stricken by ‘categories’ within which they can no longer find any more valid principles to convey: ‘What do I teach a child if I as a parent no longer knowwhat to believe?’
Last but not least, the consistency of the educator is very important: even when the principles to be transmitted are, to do so, and why they remain stable, we need the example. Children have elemental but ironic logic: for example, if a parent runs the traffic lights, the child thinks: ‘The rules do not exist, or they exist only to others, and if others do not respect them I can get angry with them without analyzing my own behavior ‘.
The problem of the terrible child can be traced, psychologically speaking, to the so-called ‘experiences involved in the educational journey’, which in this case are three: the experience of ‘separation’, that of ‘creation’ and ‘gratitude’.
The experience of separation:
It has been said that educating means to ensure that the educated (the child), when the educational process has taken place, can do without the educator (parent). This passage is very difficult to handle internally to the parent’s psyche because it has to do with a separation.
It is possible therefore that the same parent interferes with the educational process because they run the risk of interpreting the child’s achievements, curiosities, attempts at autonomy, attacks, self-relieving and, more or less consciously, try to circumscribe them, limit them or even abolish them. The result is that, without the individual elaboration of these conflicts, it comes to education to dependency instead of autonomy, the true goal of any type of education.
Experience of creation:
Educating means extracting from the child what is already there, enhancing it and teaching the child to handle it; the temptation to ‘create a child in parent’s own image and likeness’ is very strong, especially for an insecure parent, less open, so less inclined to argue for not compromising their own certainty. The result is education to the intolerance of every novelty, which is always perceived as dangerous, rather than as an emotional and intellectual curiosity.
Living with gratitude:
To educate means not having the right to love for the whole duration of the educational process, since you cannot love what you need, but you just love what you choose by desire and not by need. The parent has the duty to love their child because he is presumed to have chosen him, while the child has the right to be loved but not the duty to love as it is not she who chooses her parents once educated.
A distortion of this concept involves the possibility of affective blackmail: ‘If you do not listen to me and do not do what I say it means you do not love me, and I do not know what to do because I love you so much’. The result of this conflict, if unresolved or confused, is education for affection as a commodity: ‘if you obey me, I give you something’ and, on the other hand, ‘I require a gift to do what I have to do.’ All this is called and traded for love.
What kind of an adult will he become? With the absence of ideals that will keep it from the simple material possession of things, it will tend to live in the dimension of having rather than in the being of being. He will be dominated by boredom because he will miss the mental space of desire and, convinced that everything is due, frequently the wait will be replaced by the concrete satisfaction of the need, no matter how and at whose expense.
He will be an adult unable to feel afflicted because he does not tolerate the responsibility that these activities involve; he will have little capacity for self-criticism and lack of autonomy, starting many things but, at the first failure, by denying and attributing the responsibility of the incident not to himself, but to environmental and other circumstances, to which he will accumulate resentment and feel himself constantly victimized.
Parents should share a mental space in which to situate their own son and future, must think together about how they want to make it, that is, to choose an educational line together. Together does not mean that one must passively accept the project of the other but that both must find a compromise between two different characters.
A good result does not depend on being rigid or permissive, but if you choose style, you apply it consistently with deep conviction. In addition, in front of the child, there can be no one of two rigid parents and the other permissive, because in this way it would be possible to avoid obstacles by taking refuge with the ‘best’ parent, or to allow something that until then was forbidden because it felt good, or vice versa, forbidding something that until then was lawful.
The child should never think that permits or prohibitions are the result of the parent’s current mood, but should think that they are laws that must be obeyed. If a measure taken by one of the parents is not shared on the other, it must be supported by the latter, because educational discrepancy is the worst of the evils.
The punishment or prize must always follow the promise and must be adapted to what has caused them; otherwise, for the child’s logic, you lose credibility, so you lose the trust, which is the basis of your affective safety. Finally, parents must actively participate in the child’s life and listen to them. Grandparents can make a difference in the style of their parents, provided they are not excessive, but they must never make the child think that parents are wrong.
What if the terrible child has already been set up?
The first attitude to keep is to never compete with him: whoever would do it would have already lost in advance, because the child would not escape the attempt to prove his superiority, and this is a weakness to get caught in the game. To be credible with a child, be sure to be superior, you do not have to try to prove it. If we do, we do it for us because we are not certain about it.
From this it follows that if he provokes us, we must always tolerate it or never tolerate it according to individual ability, but it must not be tolerated several times and then by followed by an explode when it cannot be taken anymore because at that time he has won, he feels strong, magical and omnipotent, even if he gets punished. It is not uncommon for you to say, ‘You did not hurt me’ without shedding a tear.
It is far more productive to intervene in cold, when we realize that if we continue to play the provocation we will end up exploding. In this case, we will not run the risk of being too heavy in punishment, and the weeping effect should not be due to physical pain but to the frustration, which has an educational value.
Secondly, you must know that if you want to start changing things, it is paradoxically better to start from those we are less involved in, because only then can we be coherent. It is pointless to try to change the behaviors of a child if at first parents are not convinced that they can insist and go through with their project.
For example, it is useless to try to accustom a child to sleep in his bed if he lives in a thin walled condo and, shortly after the child cries, he feels beat on the wall from his neighbors. The parent has to start from less engaging everyday things on which he is sure to be coherent: the good outcome of these tests will better understand the path to follow and strengthen himself in his role.