Caroline Goldman puts her foot in the dish of positive education

Caroline Goldman, doctor in child psychology is the author of several works, she defends a vertical education.


VS‘left. “Where is my schoolbag? » « I like Mielpops more in the morning » « Mom, my stomach hurts » « What if I’m not in Clara’s class? “Do you think my mistress will be nice?” » « I don’t want this dress, it sucks » « Daddy, I lost my mobile! » « I still want to sleep », « One last hug please… » Yes, the children have finally gotten out of our legs to find their way back to school, the perfect time to find our bearings or revise our fundamentals . Educational models are evolving, the advice of specialists is multiplying in literature, on social networks, blogs, in conversations. We all come out of it a little more lost: “must not be too strict” or “must tighten the bolts” “nothing beats a good old-fashioned spanking” To the poor fathers and mothers lost in the middle of this magma of smoky theories, emerges a woman, psychologist for children and adolescents, doctor in psychopathology, she has been consulting for 20 years in her practice in Paris. Caroline Goldman – yes yes, she is indeed Jean-Jacques’ daughter but that is not the point here – on the strength of her experience as a clinician and incidentally as a mother, since she has four children, delivers some keys to see clearer.

On the occasion of the start of the school year, parents question their educational principles. Too permissive, too severe, is there a middle ground?

Guilt is inherent in parenthood and no parent escapes it. Faced with this principle of reality which generates a form of concern, more and more gurus in the media are advancing a theory that is currently very fashionable: positive or benevolent education, the main idea of ​​which revolves around this sentence “it is forbidden to ‘to forbid “. As if to frustrate a child was to traumatize him. It’s quite the opposite, because to traumatize a child, he must suffer an emotional shock, in a family environment that does not support him and he does not know how to put words to this shock. To educate a child is to walk in paradise with them, carrying a fire extinguisher over your shoulder.

Why do you call these “education specialists” gurus?

Most of the people I denounce are well established on social networks, do not have the required training and call themselves “specialists”. These are parents like “Papapositive”, or Fanny Vella in particular, who have no qualification in child psychiatry. They have interpreted research data, adapting them according to their criteria, their fantasies and surfing on the parents’ guilt to sell methods that can be devastating for the child.

What are the risks if any?

By dint of handcuffing the authority of the parents, we find ourselves faced with children who have become tyrants, totally unsuited, since the word of adults is denied. At school they are unmanageable, they reproduce their tyranny since no one has forbidden them to break the toys of the little sister, to throw peas on her head, to scream to claim a toy at the supermarket. They are unbearable and suffer from their own savagery, because they are rejected. The suffering of teachers today is linked to this principle of positive education, their authority is denied and the irreverence of children is relayed by parents who support them.

These children were loved, seduced and no limits were placed on them, they legitimately abused their little sister and now find themselves caught in a socio-relational trap.

Do you see in your office the stigmata of this benevolent education, on children, adolescents?

Enormously. These children were loved, seduced and no limits were placed on them, they legitimately abused their little sister and now find themselves caught in a socio-relational trap which represents for them a tragedy, sometimes greater than children. who have experienced real emotional deficiencies. Why ? They experience rejection all the time, they have a solid intellectual structure and a keen awareness of missing out on their lives.

What do you propose instead of this pedagogy of renunciation?

Start early, around one year old, when the child throws objects, throws food on the ground, yells and cuts adults off… Without getting angry, we say no, we say why, and we bring the child in his room. The child quickly integrates the limits, and from 2 or 3 years old he is calm, knows that one does not bite his little brother for example, that one lets the adults talk to each other… It is by experiencing frustration that the rules will fit.

To educate a child is to walk in paradise with them, carrying a fire extinguisher over your shoulder.

Long live extracurricular activities!

How to set the famous limits?

It is important at certain key moments to break with our emotional empathy with our children. Let me explain: when a child has to be vaccinated and he begs us to exempt him, we don’t give in. Faced with certain situations, our heart must cool down for the good of the child in the long term. This rupture of empathy is necessary in everyday life, for the future of the child, parents must resist crocodile tears.

Back to school is also the period when children are enrolled in extracurricular activities, with this doubt: too much or not enough?

Never too much. The time of childhood is that of learning, I am passionate about extracurricular activities, it is about enriching experiences for children. It is better to multiply the activities than to hang around passively at home, the children have plenty of time to be bored during the school holidays. Activities, music, sports, drawing, dance bring them new skills, a different socialization than school and an additional opportunity for gratification. Great for self-esteem.

At what age can you give in to cell phone pressure? And should we give in anyway?

Demonizing the screens is useless because the relationship that the child has with the screen is revealing of what he lives. Clearly, excessive telephone use and addiction to social networks only cause symptoms when the child or teenager is in bad shape. I think a portable from the 6e, it’s good and in addition it makes the child happy, more independent. But before entrusting it to him, it is necessary to explain the dangers.

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