Need-based education – participation in everyday life with children


Modern educational methods are often needs-oriented. One speaks of the participation of children. But what exactly is behind the term and this type of education? And how can this be implemented in everyday life? Even small changes in one’s own upbringing ensure that participation and needs-oriented upbringing make up the largest part of everyday life. This enormously strengthens the bond between parents and child, as well as the children’s self-confidence.

What does participation mean for children

If children are allowed to make decisions on their own in their everyday life, one speaks in principle of participation. For children, this type of upbringing means enormous freedom and self-determination. A blessing for the self-confidence of the children. Another important aspect is the experience of the effects and consequences of your decisions. In this way you will get to know the positive, but also negative effects of your actions, and you can grow from these experiences.

Needs-based education doesn’t mean saying YES to everything

There are many opinions and diverse prejudices about needs-based education. Many parents consider this parenting method to be the new edition of the laissez-fairen Upbringing. But that’s not how it is. In the laissez-fairen Upbringing, parents give their children only minimal structures and rules. Most of the education is simply not happening (to put it simply). Rather, the children are left to their own devices.

But social scientists, education and attachment experts have long since established that children need structures and a certain framework in order to be able to develop healthily. And that’s where needs-based education comes in. Parents create a safe framework for their children in which they can make their own decisions. You are allowed to participate actively in shaping your everyday life. However, there are (very clearly) fixed rules and structures that are prescribed and exemplified by the parents. The needs of the children are therefore in the foreground – but not at any price.

Mother and little daughter smile happily.
By the way, children seldom make bad decisions if you let them participate on a regular basis. (Image: © ViDi Studio / Adobe Stock)

The implementation in everyday life – a give and take by the whole family

Many parents are already following the implementation in everyday life without consciously recognizing it as their chosen style of upbringing. Even the little things that children can decide with or for themselves are part of it. The choice of lunch, the clothes that are worn to daycare or school, or the new wall color in the children’s room. All the daily questions that arise in the family, and to be decided together, are already a real needs-based and participatory upbringing. The whole family focuses on the needs of each individual.

However, not all needs can always be met at the same time. If, for example, the daughter urgently wants to tell something, but the appointment at the dentist is due in 10 minutes, then compromises have to be found. By and large, this parenting method is about looking at the little things, the ability to meet as many needs as possible – and giving freedom to make your own decisions.

Participation strengthens character and bond

Participation also means satisfying children’s natural curiosity. Of course – as I said – everything has a framework and certain limits, which are drawn by adults. So it is often not about decisions, but about integration into everyday processes. Children love to be able to be of help through play. In this way, they make decisions for themselves, which they either reflect on the basis of the past actions of the adults, or they like to be creative when folding laundry. After all, a towel origami makes a difference.

Many parents feel a certain fear when it comes to letting children make practical decisions from time to time. Because one thing is certain: there can be a wrong decision. And failures hurt a child. However, if you bring up needs-based education, you will quickly find that children are determined to learn from their mistakes. Whoever catches his little darling carefully and honestly will see a motivated and balanced child grow up …


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