Thursday, May 26

“Our children have to learn to be bored, to manage alone”


Javier Urra is an institution in the field of psychology and the defense of the rights of minors. We publish the full paper he gave in Educar es Todo that we hope you enjoy and that it is a source of inspiration for you.

“You don’t manage your children, you educate yourself with them,” Urra began by saying. “The child has to be an end in himself and education is a means to achieve what is best for him and for others. Children are not the future, they are the present, they are already full citizens. Childhood is a present full of future. They are hope. Hope is an obligation.”

He also wanted to warn against an aspiration of many parents: “Educating so that tomorrow children are happy is not real, it is not true. Losses and misunderstandings are part of existence. Our children have to learn to be bored, to manage alone. I believe that this society demands much more from life than life can give it.” For Javier Urra, it is essential to provide our children with “a correct moral judgment so that they understand that the world is not here to serve them”. Perhaps because we do not pass on many moral judgments or because we insist on making our children happy, Urra tells us that “We have many young people who are like glass, hard on the outside but brittle on the inside. We have to educate our children to be adaptable, elastic, so that when they fall they get up again and have the ability to look life in the face”.

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Urra also spoke of “providing our children with ideals.” Commitment to others seems very important to Urra, who says that “I am not, we are: We see ourselves in the eyes of others. You have to know and accept what the other feels”. Urra, used to dealing with people who have committed very violent crimes and who do not regret it, does not give up: “Of course there is a vaccine against violence” and it is, he insists, education. To educate in solidarity, “Let us grant our children the right to give”: that one of the gifts from the Three Wise Men donate it unworn, that we involve teenagers in solidarity activities…

Warning against overprotection, Javier Urra wanted to underline something fundamental: “The children are not ours, they are from the future. The patria potestas obligates us before them, but it does not give us a right over them”. Before the question time, Urra left us a beautiful phrase: “Children should be rich, but rich in smiles.”

During question time, Urra warned against aspiring to be the perfect father or mother. “I think that parents today are deeply overwhelmed because you want to make it perfect and it is not possible. And finally, Urra left us this beautiful reflection:

“At the end of life, the only intelligent question will be who I have lived for, not what. You are already a mother, you already have the answer, it is a luxury”.

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