10 commandments of child rearing

1) Thou shalt not use violence
Never! Under no circumstance! The fact that you are stronger doesn’t mean you are right to use physical violence. Or do you want to hurt your relationship to your child? Shouting and debasing is also a form of violence.

2) Thou shalt love your child

Show your love. Express your love. How else should your child know? Whoever feels loved and cherished lives in a world of light, grows up to be strong and happy, loves back.

3) Thou shalt cuddle and hug your child

Hold your child in your arms. Often, again and again, but only if the child agrees. If she/he is crying it is enough to hold her/him. It doesn’t need to be more than that and talking doesn’t help when there is physical pain.

4) Thou shalt actively appreciate your child

Tell your child that he/she is great. Isn’t it true? Praise him/her if something is done well. Criticism is unnecessary; nagging especially so. Praise is encouraging.

5) Thou shalt set boundaries

Set clear boundaries. Reasonable boundaries. Children need these like the air they breathe and they need to test them. Be able to explain the boundaries in an age appropriate manner – this might also help you to set only reasonable boundaries. Be clear and stay friendly.

6) Thou shalt be a role model

Learning comes through imitation. Children learn from what you do, not from what you say. If you do otherwise than you talk, then they will take their clues from what you do and start asking uncomfortable questions.

7) Thou shalt respect your child

Give your child the respect you expect to receive. This is a wonderful being full of possibilities and it (still) needs you; a whole separate universe. Is this not an awe- inspiring miracle?

8) Thou shalt encourage independence

Your child has its own ideas, its own head and its own rhythm. Some things it carries out diverge from what you think is right. Like so many other people do. Some things can only be learned by experience and there are many ways to achieve one’s goals. Encourage him/her to try new things. But be there with all your heart if he/she needs support.

9) Thou shalt guide your child

Guide your child when he/she so desires but don’t impose yourself. Show how things
work but let the child perform the task himself/herself. Or do you know everything?

10) Thou shalt have trust and understanding

Trust yourself and your child. Sometimes things go wrong on both sides but there is
always the possibility of apology and that the relationship isn’t hurt. Try to understand
what motivates your child but stay calm if you still don’t understand. Time will tell.

Walter Hermann