As a young mother, Daniela Häusele would have liked her present self to be by her side. Because of course she was sometimes at a loss in difficult situations with her four children. As a child and youth coach, systemic pedagogue, mediator and school social worker at a primary school, the 55-year-old now knows several methods to support families. Six months ago she started her own business with “Coacherei” in Herrsching. Her phone hasn’t stopped ringing since school started for the past few weeks.
SZ: What concerns and problems do parents come to you with?
Daniela Häusele: There is great helplessness and uncertainty. Children worry about not being able to do what is expected of them. They wonder how they will do it and if and how they will make friends. The new impressions are often overwhelming, and the children are overwhelmed by the situation.
But apparently not only the children, but also the parents.
Parents notice when their children are suffering. And that they no longer come with comfort and understanding.
What do you think: Has the pressure on the children increased – or are the families less able to handle it?
It is simply a fact that there is a lot going on in our society at the moment, we are all under some kind of constant stress. Even children have the feeling that they must not miss anything. And all that needs to be addressed. I would say positively that parents are now taking a closer look.
Are parents really at a loss or is a coach simply doing well with the generally popular outsourcing of problems?
I don’t see it as outsourcing, rather as: Support is needed here, which I cannot provide at the moment. Parents just get nowhere sometimes, we all know that. In addition, as part of the family system, father and mother are sometimes not in the role of addressing and solving things. Because they are not only part of the solution, but also part of the problem.
To be very specific: What do you hear from children and young people in your practice room?
“I’m tired of my homework.” “I can not sleep.” “It’s so stressful.” Or “My classmates annoy me.” After the pandemic years, older people are worried that they have missed out on too much material. They don’t know how to do it all. Deeper beliefs often come to light, such as: I am not good enough.
Are we asking too much of our children?
It requires a certain challenge. But we usually don’t even realize that the pressure is on the children. We don’t talk about how we feel and what’s bothering us. For example, comments made unconsciously by children and young people, for example about their appearance or school performance, can be established. And it will stay in people’s heads for now, because who are children and young people going to talk about it with?
What is your advice to families to prevent this?
It is important to cultivate a culture in the family where everyone is allowed to say what they did not like. To question how each one feels in this togetherness. The key is to convey that mistakes are allowed – after all, this word also includes the word helper. Children should not feel compelled to compare themselves with others. Sometimes a five minute review of the day is enough to consciously appreciate the beautiful moments of the day. I also advise parents to experiment with their reactions. When you are angry or resentful, it can be incredibly beneficial to face the child in a different way consciously.
How different are the problems of children and young people?
The stress increases as the children get older. Our system is just how you should work. If you’re lovesick and can’t study for a day, no one cares. However, it is simply not possible to always deliver immediately. The younger ones struggle with their homework, the older ones with the increasing pressure.
Has the corona pandemic worsened the situation?
I think the problems were there before, the pandemic just made them clear. Above all, however, the pandemic has shown how important the school is as a living space for children and young people – not just as a learning space.
What methods do you use to provide assistance?
One area of the elderly is mind control. Thoughts don’t just happen to us, we can learn to manage them with mental techniques. Beliefs can be changed in this way. I give the younger ones certain breathing techniques, body positions or other tools with which they can act effectively in certain situations. The power pose or superman pose helps some, while others calm down by stimulating acupuncture points in stressful situations. This is how the children get out of the vicious circle and into the circle of angels on their own.
How long will it take?
The children notice very quickly what works. After three to five sessions on average, the right instruments are found.
But let’s be honest: Why can’t kids just be kids and now they have to be trained too?
It’s the other way around: We get these valuable tips and insights for our jobs, our sports and our dog if we don’t get any further – why should we withhold them from the kids. It is not about getting better and optimizing, but about gaining access to the existing potential.
You are not a doctor or therapist. Where does your area of responsibility end?
All children with a diagnosed mental illness should be treated. I can help to build a bridge or provide support in consultation with the therapists, but basically I work with healthy children. Either because something goes wrong – or as a preventive measure to have methods ready should problems arise.
What behaviors in their children should set alarm bells ringing for parents?
When you realize that you are no longer in contact with the child, or that the child withdraws insanely. But it also makes sense to get help if children are scared or have a stomach ache in the morning or can’t fall asleep at night, and the parents, despite their options, can’t get any further. Especially regarding early childhood reflexes that may not have been processed yet. These can be integrated with a specific body workout. Children never cause trouble on purpose, they simply have no other option at the moment and act like adults to the best of their knowledge and ability.
What is your most important advice for children and young people?
Trust yourself, you are right the way you are!
And for parents?
Be proud of your child!