With children, not easy to practice authority without authoritarianism. Understanding the reasons for our difficulties can help us better assume our role as parents.Anne-Laure Gannac
Because ... we are sent back to our own childhood
"I love him, of course, but he often exasperates me ... I feel like he's trying to push me to the end! " Myriam, about her 2 year old son.
"To have a baby, then a child, is to become responsible twenty-four hours a day, and it is first of all this hyperresponsibility that weighs on us, says the psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist Lyliane Nemet-Pier. It is all the more cumbersome to assume that it is articulated with an aspiration to selfish freedom and immediate enjoyment. " Moreover, this responsibility and the authority that arises from it are more or less well assumed according to the history of each parent, she says explaining that what we "devour" most is less child that our own history: "Through their cries, their laughter or their whims, our children constantly challenge us, in our defending body, in what we have not settled from our own past. elsewhere, that they are both exciting and exhausting: they force us to bare and settle our accounts with our childhood. " Without necessarily embarking on a psychoanalysis, becoming aware of this mechanism of projection is fundamental to assume its role of parent with less guilt. Let us know that when the child pushes us to the end, it is also to test the resistance of the frame that is offered to him and, thus, to feel secure.
Because ... we are afraid of the conflict
"Every night after school, we have to negotiate for hours for her to do her homework!" Sophie and Pierre, about their 11 year old daughter.
"Today, parents are often in a relationship of seduction with their children because they have often wanted them so much," says Lyliane Nemet-Pier, "so they do not support the idea of 'to be in conflict with them.' However, if the verbal or physical violence does not bring anything positive, the conflict, which is to take a firm stand and to see the child to oppose it, is useful. "This allows him to find his place, of his to assert in his individuality, but especially to learn to say his anger with words, and not with gestures or cries, "says the psychoanalyst. The educational setting should allow him to channel his impulses, a primordial learning for his social life. "And then the conflict is an opportunity for the parent to recall that he is the captain of the ship, adds Lyliane Nemet-Pier.The child, including the teenager, needs to be told again that he is there to enjoy the childhood landscape from the deck, but he does not have to hold the rudder. "
Because ... we have violence in us
"When he starts to answer me, it makes me crazy; I sometimes insult him, and I struggle not to slap him ... "Sebastian, about his 15-year-old son.
" Our children have the gift to reveal to us in what we We have better: our patience, our sweetness ... But also in our fault lines, especially in the violence that we carry in us ", explains Lyliane Nemet-Pier. do a lot of it, when with our child it comes very quickly, why? " It is a function of our past, of our state of stress, but also of our unconscious "disappointment" with regard to this much desired child, which makes us feel guilty, makes us angry with ourselves " the psychoanalyst answers, trying to deny the violence that is in our lives is to risk seeing her explode.If necessary, Lyliane Nemet-Pier advises to put the child in his room for a moment to let the pressure drop. to "crack", the parent may decide to hand over to his or her spouse, so the child understands that there are limits to violence and conflict.