Swedish psychiatrist: So we grow cocky brats, and when we get old and decrepit, they give us away to the nursing home.
The Swedish psychiatrist, author David Eberhard says that a liberal education is harmful to children and parents. Jeannette Otto talks to him in Stockholm.
"Die Zeit": When was the last time You were with your kids at the restaurant?
David Eberhard recently. Why are You asking?
"Die Zeit": Because the owners of the establishments in Stockholm are fed up with children with no manners. One cafe even forbade the entrance for families [with children]. And this in a loving Sweden.
Eberhard: I understand what was going on. There are always children who yell, spill a drink, running around the room or at a temperature of minus five degrees open the door wide open. Parents sit nearby and do not even think to intervene.
"Die Zeit": Why children do not reason with others?
Eberhard: this one is not solved. Parents it is very frustrating when people criticize their children. Before our society was a society of adults. Had common values regarding education. If the child is behaved indecently to him approached and said: stop! Such coherence is no more. We adults are now responsible not for each other, but only for their children.
"Die Zeit": Your new book "Children in power" a few weeks out of the German language. In it You argue that liberal education as a method has failed. Why?
Eberhard: Because parents no longer act like responsible adults. They believe that should be the best friends of their children. They put themselves on a level with the children, not daring to argue with them and set boundaries. They don't make any decisions, but I want to be as cool rebels advanced as their kids. Now our society is only one of the teenagers.
"Die Zeit": do You really think that German parents let their children dictate where to go on vacation, what to eat and what to watch on TV?
Eberhard: Many will recognize themselves in this portrait. Parents are reluctant to stand outside their own problems with education. They say: we have everything in order, it is not about us! However, they are constantly gnawing conscience, because they believe that many things are doing wrong. They come tired from work in the evening, and cook what you like baby, because I don't want to engage him in discussion. They allow him to sit at the TV longer than a specified time to be alone. They spend their holidays where the children will be busy, though without the kids feet would there was never. I'm not saying it's wrong. I'm just saying that parents ' lives should not revolve only around the child. There is no scientific evidence that it somehow has a positive effect on children's future that they become more successful or carefree in adult life.
Title: "Children in power. Monstrous fruits of a liberal education"
David Eberhard took me out for an interview in his apartment in Central Stockholm. The singing budgie, the kids are still in school and kindergarten. David pulls out of the bookcase four books written by him. His favorite topics — education, the desire of society to security and the insanity of adults for safety. In the Swedish edition of his new book captures his son in a vest made of reflective fabric, a helmet, strapped in the car seat. For conversation, he came directly from his clinic. He is a leading psychiatrist in the team of 150 staff, his third wife is a nurse.
"Die Zeit": You have six children. Who makes the rules in the family?
"Die Zeit": And there is no democratic family structures?
Eberhard: I do not find that the family generally must be a democratic institution. Relationships between adults and children is always asymmetrical. It's the relationship of master and disciple. One teaches, the other listens. Parents can better assess the circumstances, because they have more experience, they know more. They should set the rules.
"Die Zeit" How do You manage in the middle of the liberal Swedish society to raise their own children with a stern, authoritarian manner?
Eberhard: I can not be too different from other parents, otherwise my kids will get in trouble. And militant authoritarianism wouldn't let me.
"Die Zeit": That is, You must keep yourself in hand?
Eberhard: Oh, okay (laughs). And my other readers think I want to return to a military upbringing, back to corporal punishment. I never wrote like that. I never hit children.
"Die Zeit" In Germany now a lot of debating on the statement of the Pope about the acceptability of light slaps as a method of education. In your book You write that there is no evidence that schooled in the rigors of children, including those who have been beaten worse then live. How close You are to the opinion of the Pope?
Eberhard: totally disagree with him. My point is that for children it is important that they were raised to match the values and norms of the society in which they live. For children growing up in a society where such attacks are considered to be standard, they are not as [mentally] hurt. But parents in the West is now afraid of everything, believing that even the slightest criticism can hurt the child. They no longer think it necessary to tell your daughter in puberty: don't eat so much chocolate, or get fat, because I'm afraid that the girl will immediately go to the other extreme until of anorexia. In this case we can demand something from children, they will survive it. It is not necessary to treat them like porcelain dolls.
Eberhard detail in the book understands the fears of parents. Although today there is hardly a serious danger for young families, and there are also new fears. Eberhard in many examples, shows the contradictions of modern parents. He provokes them, wants to encourage them to reflect on their behavior. Conclusions he takes from many international studies. For example, to enhance the resilience of children, says Eberhard, it is necessary from an early age to teach them to cope with adversity.
"Die Zeit": Where does the fear to harm the child education and rigor?
Eberhard: I Have the impression that the parents owe it to specialists.
"Die Zeit":... I mean people like You?
Eberhard: I tell parents that they don't have to read too many advisers.
"Die Zeit": Only Your book, that's enough.
Eberhard: I can be accused of this. But, for example, John Bowlby, attachment theory, which is considered not cause doubt is often interpreted by specialists too freely. This leads to the fact that parents think will harm the children if too early will give them to the nursery, where they will spend more time with the teacher than with her mother. But I have not seen even a single child who would be more attached to the nanny than to her mother.
"Die Zeit": Danish Jesper Juul gathers in Germany for the whole rooms in their reports on the authenticity and partnership treatment of the child.
Eberhard: Oh, if I wanted to, that would soon be also with me!
"Die Zeit" How do You explain the success Juula?
Eberhard: It appeared at the right moment and went straight to educators, this vacuum. Authoritarian parenting does not want one, as well as the analogue of the "invisible hand of the market", which itself would raise the child. Their parents won't listen to no one and to rely only on intuition seems overly frivolous. Jesper Juul says very simple things. Some reasonable, others not so. His first book "the Competent child" without a single recommendation, the parents did not care. And suddenly everybody was talking about the fact that the child not only to punish but to praise.
"Die Zeit": it is Impossible to praise?
Eberhard: Yes, and this speaks not only Iuul. If my daughter wants to show me his drawing, the most I can do is to say: drawing! How interesting! You become happy by drawing a picture? But it's the wrong communication, I'm not, why should I pretend? Parents should be sure to pick up every word before uttering it to a child. If only not to shame him, not to deprive of confidence or subjected to oppression competition. The problem with the experts in their moralizing. They tell parents what to do and what not. Parents in search of guidance absorb dogma and ideology, which is not so easy then to get rid of.
Eberhard harshly judging the experts in the field of education, although it does not say that parents can't learn something from them. Expertise is too often based on their own beliefs and common sense, that there are things that parents can comprehend yourself. It is important that in your own home nobody can be an expert. Experts are the only parents without children.
"Die Zeit" German parents dream of Bullerby or Lennebergi.
Eberhard: and the Swedes are still in love to madness in the stories of Astrid Lindgren and all these idyllic pictures. But think about how grown children in these books. They spend all day just wandering around, unsupervised, without helmets and hats from the sun. Michael strapped his little sister Go on top of the flagpole. And Lotta street Krachmacher riding with his siblings on the roof of a Volkswagen"beetle". Now it became absolutely unthinkable. Today, parents and the office of juvenile (Yugendamt) mutually hold each other at gunpoint. In kindergarten my son all children should wear helmets is already riding a sled!
"Die Zeit": What's wrong with wanting to protect children?
Eberhard: Seropeco. If we want to get this competent child, he should be allowed to go to school alone. At the age of six years the child is already capable of this, even in a city with lots of traffic. Parents don't allow it, but at the same time, invite the child to make decisions or to discuss each question as adults. Many adults are conflicting, it is not about what motivates the child, promotes development, and that falls with excessive weight.
"Die Zeit": What are the implications?
Eberhard: We ill prepare children for adult life, by fooling them that they will never happen something bad that we are always there for them, that they are the navel of the earth. In his psychiatric clinic, I meet young people who came to me because, for example, done with them friend due to death of the dog. They have obvious difficulties to cope with everyday experiences.
"Something's wrong", which is a frequent expert opinion of Eberhard in practical work. Parents looking for medical answers to their helplessness. And diagnosis of attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity, they came as a relief because they had received an explanation for the behavior of the child, and could then not blame themselves. The parents amazed at what their children are tired, irritable, hyperactive, but they do not come up with the idea to send a child to bed early or forbid a teenager half the night stuck in front of a computer. Eberhard does not skimp on criticism.
"Die Zeit": Germany has long been focused on Sweden in the care of children and equality. Now tell me: stop, finally, to follow us!
Eberhard: Because we went too far. We have no control over liberalization, and the theme of equality has become one of public dogma. We give all children in the nursery at the age of one year. Further, mothers and fathers working in equal opportunities, the opportunities are equally many possible equivalent positions. No one should be someone in the tail. Work is the only way to become a man. We imbibe from childhood. Parenthood in itself is not value. Parents need to decide who stays home with the baby and for how long, and who continues to work.
The phone rings, it's his wife. He needs to hang the washing out. Bedding younger son should dry before evening. He interrupts the interview to attend to household chores.
"Die Zeit": what if the woman decides to stay home longer?
Eberhard: That can not afford have no one woman. The charge will be excessive. It will turn into a reactionary, old-fashioned cheater of your gender.
"Die Zeit": "Hyun", the personal pronoun of the neuter, became an official in the Swedish lexicon. Thus should avoid talking about the baby "he" or "she."
Eberhard: It is a cruel treatment of children, fortunately, practiced only in a few institutions. This egalitarianism ignores all scientific knowledge about the biological development of children. We have a huge problem with young men of adolescent age (teenagers). They handle themselves with school Affairs, because they no longer treat them as boys.
"Die Zeit": Therefore, the Swedish school has fallen in comparison with the international level?
Eberhard: it is Not the only reason. The problem is in our teachers. Their authority is null and void. Children do not consider it necessary to obey them, not obey their own parents. As a consequence, the results drop. According to the Pisa study, the Swedish students are the part of the truancy lessons, insults teachers and vandalism. And don't forget: part of self-confidence!
"Die Zeit": Typical for children residing at the centre of care and attention.
Eberhard: Yes, and these children-"navels of the earth" then be adults, and come, for example, on the Swedish TV show "Idol". There are looking for the talent that will be tomorrow's superstars. And here they come, and generally can't sing. But they don't even know it. The jury, after recovering from the surprise, asks: you've never said you can't sing?
"Die Zeit": His parents were too cowardly?
Eberhard: They didn't want to traumatize the poor child. Grow impudent brat, reaching into the world with a completely distorted picture of their own abilities. Focusing only on the child — not the best method of education in the world. If that were the case, our children would love us more than anyone anywhere anyone in the world. But it's not. Once we get old and decrepit, they give us away to the nursing home. In other countries, families live together, because parents and in old age are still appreciated. published