I am reading the book of Katharina Saalfrank – Das Ende der Erziehung (the end of education). She takes a new look on upringing of children.
In the book she favours a more systemic approach – where she advocates a move towards a more relationship (Beziehung) based upringing rather than on the assymetrical power relationship (education).
Lately there is a tendency towards a more traditional approach of punishment and disciplinating, which she demonstrates leads to unwanted results.
I took one of the stories and read it to my children (6 and 9 years of age) without telling them the context or the intention of the story:
It goes like this:
On the street
On a sunny spring day a mother is taking her one year old daughter to the playground. The girl is sitting in her baby carriage and is curiously observing the environment. The cap she is wearing is slipping and covers her eyes. So the girl takes the cap off her head. As the mother is concerned about the protection of her daughters ears she covers again the head of her daughter with the cap. This leads to a continuous struggle between the girl pulling off the cap and her mother putting it back on. With every second both become more and more unhappy with the situation. Finally the mother says: “If you do not stop pulling off your cap, I will have to hurt you. If you do not want to listen, you have to feel the consequences.” She hits one time with assertiveness the hand of her daughter and puts back the cap on her daughter’s head while the baby starts crying.
What were the first reaction when they heard the story:
6 year old: a one year old cannot understand why it should put the cap back on to cover her ears, too young
9 year: The mother should have immediately returned home or accept the daugher’s decision – this is horror what the mother did.
When I asked them if I should read another similar story they both immediately said, no not again such a horror story….