Happy Kids

In this episode, Ajda spoke to Marko Juhant – a special pedagogue, former principal, eternal educator, father, and author of many books on raising children - including the book 7 Recipes for raising happy and successful children.


Self-esteem in happy children

Happy children recognize themselves as happy because they experience life as such. They experience a touch of happiness every day and are aware that sometimes they fail at something, but also that often they succeed. This is satisfaction - a basic feeling that many children today do not experience.

Usually, a child who is given everything is unhappy because they want more and more. It’s a concept developed by economics that many parents don’t know how to abolish. It educates us to want more and more, and in doing so, what we have instantly becomes unworthy. Such children may have self-confidence and a brilliant appearance until something breaks down for them.

Children who don't have everything and work hard to earn what they get, however, get the feeling that they have succeeded in something. At the same time, they collect experience so that even when difficult tasks await them, they have experience with which they dare to take on challenges. We call this self-esteem.


Causes of bad behavior

Lack of information - Everyone can decide for themselves how they behave - but for this they need to know the criteria for good behavior. Sometimes kids just don’t know what good behavior is.

Educational errors - either because the parents raised the child in the wrong direction or in no direction

Severe situations in the child's environment - e.g. parents’ divorce

Organic defects - e.g. that the central nervous system functions differently than in other people.

Sometimes a child is especially tiring for the surroundings, like hyperactive children or children with autism, but there is a spectrum to all of these things. It is also difficult to say what proportion is genetically determined, and how much is derived from upbringing, from the environment, or from the hardships that, for example, can be caused by the school system.


What motivates children

Children have their own will very early on. They are brought up by copying actions they witness, which is why we are an example to them. It motivates children to think, co-decide and play a role. ‘‘Don’t tell them 4, tell them 2 + 2. Leave a part unanswered. The child deals with it and finds solutions on his own.’’