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Do the children come with an instruction manual?

This is the first article in the collection: ESCUELA DE FAMILIAS. A series of articles in which we give guidelines and resources to deal with everyday problems in education.

Being parents is a wonderful experience, one of the greatest gifts of life. However, this situation, initially idealized and bucolic, often becomes complicated if we do not know how to proceed. Surely you can identify everyday situations “that you didn't count on” before becoming a father or mother and in which you may feel disoriented. Although there are studies that indicate that people with children are happier than those who do not have them, this beautiful path of parenthood is not exempt from some difficulties, without being it less rewarding.

It is normal for some families to feel confused during one stage or another of raising their children: the first years of life, adolescence... are moments of great responsibility. It may be common for doubts to arise related to “are we doing it right?” Small problems may also appear that make us wonder “how do we…?”

To answer these and other questions, we have thought of this guide for parents prepared by psychologists. Because? Because psychology, as a science that studies behavior, is so far the best instruction manual for educating. We know that today there are many different educational trends. Unlimited access to information, social networks, the great parenting gurus... Parents can find numerous and diverse recommendations on how to educate, some widely disseminated, others sometimes poorly founded, contradictory or harmful. There are no master rules. And, although it is true that children do not come with an instruction manual, we believe that you can find great help in PSYCHOLOGY as an evidence-based science.

The ideas that we present here, far from being novel, are credible. Psychology is a scientific instruction manual. Here you will find concrete recommendations to understand and shape the behavior of children and adolescents. Our guidelines are prepared by psychology professionals and based on studies and research on attachment, evolutionary development, learning rules, communication... They are scientifically proven evidence > and that are far from the personal opinion of mothers or fathers who talk about their experiences but lack the necessary training.

Our concept of parenting conceives parenting and the influence of fathers and mothers on the development of children as the appropriate combination of love, rules and limits. Although at first glance it may seem that these terms are not very combinable, we firmly believe in discipline as a way of educating, since we believe that in no case should it be at odds with the love of children.

Do you dare to delve a little into the basic laws of human behavior? If the answer is affirmative, we suggest that we first analyze what the objectives and goals of children's education are.


We understand the process of educating as the project of “building a person”. During parenting, the family is not limited only to meeting the basic needs and care of children at different ages (food, sleep, basic care, school...). The education of children goes much further. Parents want their children to be able to achieve their goals and purposes and know how to function properly, becoming good citizens in the future, of whom we can be proud. Parents also strive to get their children to acquire personal values (generosity, honesty, humility...) and social values (solidarity, compassion...).

We consider three fundamental pillars to properly exercise the art of educating: 

  1. Be aware that for our children we are an example to follow. We assume a model in what we do and what we say. This gives us a fantastic advantage as attachment figures, since most of the time we educate more by doing than by saying.

  2. To have parenting based on our principles and values we have to always educate from a calm perspective. Influencing the behavior and learning of children is much more effective if we correct, congratulate, accompany, etc. away from anger, from a calm attitude.

  3. Transmitting a good education to your children requires the appropriate combination between love and discipline. This will sometimes inevitably lead us to having to address difficult situations as the only way to solve daily parenting problems. Accepting that educating is not always easy will encourage you to see the small problems of parenting as opportunities to improve. 

Have you ever considered how to do it in the best possible way? We parents usually transmit to our children our vision about society, about the importance of rules. We share our own values with them, revealing to them the keys that we consider most valuable for their personal development and growth.It is the family's mission to educate children for life, feeding them with their values and principles, guiding them to May they become good citizens.

Although this task in many aspects is shared with other institutions, such as the school or the church, your role as a father or mother in this entire process is fundamental and a priority.

Children and adolescents are very sensitive to all the information in their environment. During his development you will not be able to prevent your child from collecting “educational proposals” from his closest environment (friends, schoolmates) and from the media and social networks and that will probably worry you. The good news is that, if you want, the family can become the most powerful influencer during development. So feel like you are the protagonist of this entire process. Start as soon as possible and be ready to enjoy it responsibly.  

In our articles and guides on parenting you will find tools to understand and shape human behavior, especially that of the little ones, with the aim of influencing their personal and social growth through learning.

We will review key ideas for very everyday parenting situations such as:

  • Being able to anticipate uncomfortable situations with our children (behavioral problems, for example)

  • Praise them for their achievements

  • Get necessary changes

  • Acquire habits

  • Help them regulate themselves emotionally

  • Learn to communicate...

Surely the path will not be easy, unless we appreciate that every difficulty that appears in upbringing can be an opportunity to educate and acquire learning that helps them grow, to educate themselves in tolerance to frustration, strengthen the muscle of effort and become more resistant to adversity.

To the little tree, from a young age” Popular saying. Meaning: Children must be monitored and corrected from a young age since, otherwise, it will be late to start their education later and very difficult to change their inclination. (Cervantes Institute).


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