Far too often patens hear about what not to do but very rarely about they they can do , Source: Depositphotos

Salzburg’s 7 pieces of advice on how to deal with children in the holidays

Salzburg’s 7 pieces of advice on how to deal with children in the holidays

The city’s information campaign was developed by child protection authorities and works for the holiday season... or any other season

The Austrian city of Salzburg launched an information campaign for parents on how to speak with their children. The campaign features seven unique pieces of advice, developed by local child protection authorities. They want to address the fact that quite often parents hear advice on what not to say, but very rarely on what to say.

The campaign is called What Children like to hear (Was Kinderohren gerne hören) and since 19 December, the streets of Salzburg have been adorned with posters giving advice.

Although the winter holidays are usually about cosy get-togethers and family, children can often get agitated, bored and nervous. As parents, people can have varied and educated responses, while avoiding the worst of it by using the right words.

This year’s campaign was provoked by a city conference on child protection from last October. City Councillor Anja Hagenauer was quoted in a press statement, explaining: “Far too often parents hear how not to do it. We would like to encourage them to strengthen their children and tell them: You are doing great!”

Practical advice on dealing with kids on the holidays and beyond

Children want to be heard, though that does not mean that parents need to satisfy their every whim. Parents often think they know why a child is crying, but oftentimes they are wrong. Listening to a child’s concerns can go a long way.

Also, children need small gestures of affection, a hug, a kiss or asking a couple of questions here and there, things that do not cost money but can show the child you care and they are not alone.

Children want to feel that they belong and eating together is the ideal opportunity. This offers a calm space for dedicated quality time: talking about the day, eating together, having fun and discussing. This is how children perceive themselves as part of the family.

Children need security and that does not mean shielding your child from all danger. Instead, it means reliability, parents need to be there, react reliably and help and encourage kids through harder times. Children need to know that there is support at home when they want and need it and that there is nothing they cannot tell at home.

Children must be allowed to do it themselves - dress, eat, play - if you let your children do as much as possible themselves, you give them opportunities to learn in everyday life. Giving the children freedom and agency, letting them do it themselves, trusting them with something - that makes children strong, self-reliant and confident.

Children need other children - it does not matter whether it is siblings, neighbours or friends: through relationships with children, the little ones can practice their social skills. Argue, reconcile, agree.

Children also need arguments and conflict. Like a thunderstorm – this releases tension and ushers in the calm, bringing people closer together. Through arguments, kids can discover that they have different personalities yet still decide to stick together. It also lets them try things out in a safe family environment. Parents, in the meantime, can stand as role models for conflict resolution.



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