The basic goal of proper upbringing is to help a child develop into a healthy personality. This means that the child should be brought up with a natural, realistic and constructive attitude towards itself, towards other people and towards life’s tasks. Such an attitude leads a person to positive, socially acceptable, useful behavior for themselves and their environment.
Thus the individual becomes a productive member of the human community, which brings into their psyche pleasant emotions, such as joy, contentment, pride, a sense of security, calmness, and affective balance; in short, what is called happiness in life.
The natural attitude towards oneself consists in the fact that a person accepts themselves as they are without resentment, that they do not build illusions about themselves, that they do not overestimate themselves, but they also do not underestimate themselves. Having a realistic attitude towards oneself means properly assessing one’s abilities, gaining trust in them, developing them to the utmost and using them in a way that will bring life affirmation and happiness to their wearer and benefit the community.
A man is constructive in his attitude towards other people if he approaches them with confidence, with a desire to approach them, to understand them and to cooperate with them. Such an attitude includes the ability to adapt to the environment, empathize with it and harmonize their personal interests with the needs of the community and with the rules of harmonious interpersonal relationships. A healthy attitude towards the community is also manifested in the fact that the individual carries a sense of responsibility towards it, that he is emotionally connected to it, that he feels obliged to have a positive attitude towards other members. Such a relationship is manifested in the creation of healthy social ties, in friendship and love, in respect for other people, in consideration and tact towards them, in the ability to empathize with their problems and to empathize with them.
An individual’s attitude towards life’s tasks is realistic when a person sees the reality of life and their position in it as it is, and there is no need to beautify it in themselves or to look at it with a sense of pessimism. Then a man is able to openly look into the eyes of his life problems. He does not obscure his psychic view with illusions, he does not hide his difficulties from himself, but he does not overestimate them. So he does not run away from fighting them, but tries to solve them. A healthy person is not afraid of reality, they do not capitulate to obstacles and failures. A mentally balanced and sufficiently resilient man is courageous in the face of the tasks imposed on him by life in the human community. He is not afraid of responsibility, he does not run away from the burden, in a word – he does not carry in himself the fear of life. He acts towards life actively, relying on his own strength and not asking for other people’s help, as long as possible.
The development of such personality traits encounters a starting point, support and motivation in the innate needs of the child. Proper upbringing does not have to impose anything on the child by force, it does not have to suppress or even completely remove some of its natural aspirations, and build in it character traits that are alien to human nature. Proper upbringing of a child consists in fact of natural, real, for the individual and for society, useful satisfaction of the basic emotional needs of the child. Therefore, the educator must know the natural aspirations of the child, and its educational skills will be shown in the fact that at every opportunity he can assess what kind of procedure really satisfies a child’s need, which satisfies it only seemingly, or which harm it.
We have already emphasized at the beginning that all the life needs of a child arise from its basic life drive – from the drive for self-preservation. At the beginning of life, these needs are manifested only on the physical plane, but in parallel with mental development, there are more and more emotional manifestations of the urge for self-preservation. They are later joined by social needs that require the child to maintain and affirm not only as an individual but also as a social being. All these life needs of man are intertwined and pass into each other without a clear boundary. The more mentally and socially developed a man is, the richer and more versatile his personality is; at the same time, more and more different aspirations appear in his consciousness, which are more and more differentiated variants of the basic life instinct.
All the physical needs of the child – such as the need for food, water, oxygen, heat, etc., can be reduced to one common denominator, the need of every being, even man, for physical well-being. On the psychological level, the child’s need to find healthy objects of identification in the adult environment in which it will have full confidence and with which it will gain a sense of security, then the need for activity, both physical and intellectual and social, and the need to gain independence; there is also a tendency for the affirmation of personality, individuality, i.e. the need to experience the value and meaning of one’s “self”. At the same time, there is a need for the child to be accepted by the environment in an emotionally warm way, as a full-fledged person and an equal member. The child wants to be loved, but it also wants to love others. The pursuit of passive and active love is closely intertwined in a child’s personality.
When the educator in his procedure with the child proceeds from these basic needs of every developing person, and in doing so has in mind the stated goals of education, then the methods of proper upbringing of a young person are imposed by themselves. Although there are many of them, they are still reduced to three basic paths that lead to the goal of every natural attitude towards the child, to building a healthy, resilient and socially useful personality.
The first basic method of proper upbringing is to gain authority over the child.
The second is the systematic encouragement and uplifting of the child to be active and achieve independence.
The third is the development of a sense of community in the young person, their gradual socialization and productive inclusion in human society.
Educators often do not walk through these paths when dealing with a child. Sometimes they take a wrong turn, wander, lose more and more orientation, fall into more and more gross educational mistakes, and become more and more distant from the real goal of education. Instead of helping the child to form a healthy personality, they retaliate more and more, drive the child to neurotic reactions and cause deeper disorders in its mental life.