SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 20

PARENTS STEP OUT. LET CHILDREN DO WHAT THEY ARE CAPABLE OF.

“I swear I’ll do whatever possible to my children”. They needn’t suffer as much I had suffered when I was of their age. They are everything that I have got”.

Of course, this is the sentiment repeated by nine out of ten parent groups. The convincing argument supporting their undivided attention would be like this. “We love our children very much; we do everything to show to our children how much we love them”?

If we observe closely our children, from early infancy, they would attempt to do things for themselves. Like to hold a cup to sip for themselves. Whenever the infant attempts to reach for food in the plate he wants to feed for himself.

On such instances, as parents, our swift response would be to gently say no to his attempts. We remove the plate or the glass from him.  We justify our actions in discouraging the children saying that they mess up everything. We behave hysterically as if a mini-disaster is going to ensue. One huge mistake a way a parents acts. If the little one shows his eagerness to test his abilities.

Let me make one truth clear to all parents. To bear in mind when they notice their siblings presenting the flair to be on their own. “It is very easy to clear the mess they create around; it is simple to clean the strained walls and floors. But it is not easy to restore his lost spirit or the damage it causes to his self-concept”.

Whenever a child demonstrates a desire to do things for himself. We as parents have to seize that opportunity.  Go ahead and let him do whatever way he is capable of helping himself. In the process, he may also help his family members. As parents, we have added to his efforts: help, supervision, encouragement, and training. For the eagerness, he is expressing to confirm himself as the part of the family.

This is the logic behind the parents’ first impulse. To jump in to help the little ones when we see the child attempt to do something or having trouble trying anything.  As parents, we always approach our children with an unconscious ego. That we are bigger than he: more knowledgeable, better experienced, more capable, more fit to help.

Indirectly, we demonstrate to our children how superior we are. And try to prove how imperfect they are. And later, when they grow up we keep wondering how dependent he is. How deficient he became as a person?

I advise all the parents to remember one principle while nurturing their children and as they are growing up. Don’t do anything for a child what he can do for himself. The important parenting function is providing him lot of encouragement. Whenever he tries to explore his own strengths. And get a sense of security as an individual.

As parents, we do an enormous disservice to their self-worth. And damage to their courage of self if we show complete lack of faith in his ability, courage, and self-concept. In the process of developing his own image of self-sufficiency. We as parents have to give him a chance to realize his own capacity. And try to be independent and solve his problems. Never should we show our superiority as an alternative to his supposed helplessness. In many tasks, he desires to do on his own.

Our aim must me in encouraging and assisting our children. In being independent and creating opportunities in which they can do as much as they can. We have to help our children grow independently. And when they emerge as grown-ups they must be able to solve their own problems. Parents have to step back and watch their children grow. And refuse to do what they can do for themselves. The fundamental parenting essence is to give them our understanding, our support, our encouragement and our guidance.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 19

TANTRUMS

Children, especially, one to three – year – old very sweetly work about in a manner demanding constant attention of their parents. Their behavior kept irritating you until quickly you pay attention to their needs – most of the time trivial. If he gets the required attention he presents few problems. Or else, the result, which we hate to accept: the tantrums, out-of-control crying, they kick, scream. Although he is a child he knows very well how to keep all of us busy with his attention seeking tactics.

To a parent how long a child continues to using outbursts to get his way depends on how you react the first time, he tries it. As you have to understand a tantrum is a method a child uses to get what he wants – here parents attention – whatever the purpose. Once the child learns that the tactic works – means – which he get what he wants. Now, he has learned a method to shout, cry, and roll over, to get the undue attention from the adults around.  He is likely to try it again and again – to the point of irritating and tipping the balance of our normal day.

The best answers the parents find in solving the tantrum kickoff is to identify the hidden goals of the child. The tantrums are most common among toddlers, but older kids and sometimes even adults choose the ‘outburst’ as a device to get what they want.

For the untimely temper attacks the reasons can be many, as parents we have to closely observe what reason may be behind our child’s outcry.

We as parents should be familiar with the general behavior pattern of the child. Some children are hyperactive, some are intense, and some are less than mild. The question is where does your child fit in? As parents, we need to be patient enough to change out parenting styles according to the sensitivities of your child. We have to be cautious enough not to create a situation where the child throws tantrum flares.

As parents, we have to watch how we are handling the requirements and demands of our kids. Are we really spending time understanding them, communicating in the way it represents we care for them? What type of model behavior we are demonstrating along with our partner. Children – whatever the age – keep watching, following and copying us. We have to be very honest before we label our child troublesome. Most of the times the defect lies in the parenting style than the child’s innocent demands.

As parents, we need to look into our expectations. Our children grow according to their own biological timetable, and certain capabilities. Expecting from them beyond the line of their capabilities – a caution we need to insert in our patenting rules.

Never over control them. We have to be careful not to be too strict in our approach in dealing with their edgy behavior.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 18

LEARNING DIFFICULTIES

Learning difficulties among children are quite common and also very complex to understand and very hard to pinpoint, therefore, make it difficult to offer children the needed clinical or professional help.

Children are always at the receiving end because of the fact that these learning difficulties with absolutely no understanding of its symptoms by both the parents and teachers tend to blame the children assuming, that they represent behavioral or academic problems.

Learning difficulties are categorized as

1. Input problems

2. Processing problems

3. Output problems.

Input problems interfere with getting information into the child’s brain – that is a problem with his hearing or vision

Processing problems come in the way when the child tries to perceive, organize and store information after it has entered his brain.

Output problems show up in the way the child expresses information – the problems with speaking and writing.

Input problems: Visual: Parents are not usually aware that children often suffer an inability to focus clearly.

A child who is ‘nearsighted’ could see things near to his face but objects in the distance he may see them blurry. The truth here is the child, perhaps, is not aware that he has an issue with his vision.

The child who is ‘nearsighted’ finds it a problem in the classroom not able to see the details on the blackboard. If the class-teacher does all the work standing near the blackboard, he may have trouble understanding the lessons. Parents should always check regularly if the child is suffering from any vision problems.

Hearing problems: Here we are not considering deaf or not deaf but besides there are several hearing problems a child encounters in a classroom. Some children are comfortable even the loudness is confusing but for some, they only can focus if they could find order in the classroom. With so many background noises, when the classroom is not properly maintained the child may find it very difficult to follow what a teacher is teaching. Most of the children prefer silent classrooms and equally quiet surrounding to concentrate on their classroom work.

Attention problems: In a classroom, the child has to simultaneously work with his eyes and his brain. When they are reading or listening to they usually find a thousand distractions that divert their attention. Some children have the ability to filter these distractions and focus on work at hand but for some children, this filtering system works little slowly and they may find it difficult in hearing and concentrating during the classroom tasks. This phenomenon is what the child psychologists term as attention deficit disorder (ADD).

Memory Problems: Children who don’t practice memorization techniques will be less skilled in memory tasks. Children often struggle with the fundamentals that must be memorized – the additions, the multiplications tables. To a large extent English vocabulary has to be memorized too: so a child with low memory skills has a limited memory that allows poor reading abilities in a child. Children memorize things they find interesting: so parents and teachers need to introduce interesting memory-based activities in the classroom.

The child normally doesn’t know or recognize that he is having a sort of academic problem. If he doesn’t do well in the school, naturally he will be devastated. And the child doesn’t have a clue or any remedial measure to improve his scores in the class. At this juncture, the child will need a lot of reassurance, support, and unconditional love from his parents.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 17

LETTING OFF THE PRESSURE

Schools at the present day have turned practically into ‘exam gyms’ in which the children are expected to sweat every day. With exams, it looks like he is fastened to a treadmill repeatedly. Not a day would pass when our child announces that he had to prepare for an assignment or take a weekend test. Exams, tests, assignments; surely are sources of anxiety, stress, and pressure for our children so long as they stay in schools or colleges.

Exams of any description were likely to generate distressing pressure on children. Schooling requires taking various tests is a fact known to any school going kid. Teachers keep telling them. Their friends keep telling them. Notice boards in the corridors of the school keep announcing them. The question I pose to parents: at this point do we need put another strain of pressure on children reminding them about their tests, exams or whatever. Too much pressure on them during exams can become counter-productive.

So, what should be the parents stand on this very critical recurring topic is what I want to discuss. As parents, we need to think how the children are stressed out with the whole exam business. Even without our involvement, there are under steady pressure absorbed in preparation for one or other assignments. At this point, regular reminders by the parents would add an extra bit of distress that may work more distracting than providing any comfort and concentration. Parents need to have a wider perspective about the whole scenario of exam anxiety and how the child is wedged in it all by himself. Accordingly, I advise you to provide a relaxing blanket around them.

Parents are never to give an impression to their child that the whole life’s success hangs on their exam results. Your job is to reassure him that they are very many important things in life other than good exam results. You can site him many living examples of people raising to higher levels of success and leading happier lives despite, the failures they had faced in their school and college days. If you can repeat to them if they do well in the exams it will be wonderful, but a single failure doesn’t shatter their gifted future.

If the overstressed child is already under too much pressure, your kind reassuring words at the right moment should take pressure away from him. This gesture of yours would actually give your child a comfortable mindset to succeed rather than entertaining negative views. This gesture of parents reassuring him that it’s ok no matter what happens is the right therapeutic attitude to maintain when the child is under stressed situation whatever may be the cause.

As a parent, it is good to realize that your child’s final success tally would depend on how he chooses to work hard on his own terms. No amount of parent’s pressure can bring about any remarkable result. The realization has to be the sole choice of the child himself. As a parent our job is to provide them a perspective beyond school or college teachings; guiding them to understand the significance of life skills – points like good communication, decision making, and emotional balance, gender equality; stuff like that. If you give them the confidence and skills they need when they face the competitive world they could turn any exam result, any adverse trouble into a better advantage that could bring happiness to them.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 16

TEACHING COURTESIES

Does your child has an impolite tone or raises his voice when giving a response to you? Do you find your child speak with disrespectful body language? Do you notice that your children’s discourtesy is causing friction in family relationships, disturbing the everyday harmony in the home? Are you receiving regular complaints from neighbors, teachers, friends, and relatives that your child is behaving discourteously most of the time?

For parents, these are some of the signs that indicate your child needs a thorough training in courtesies and gracious manners. Some fine tuning needed is these areas.

Dear Parents, it’s never too late to teach good manners. If you really want your child to be courteous you have to be serious enough, you have to be disciplined and fair enough in coaching courtesies to the children. Parent’s good intentions and the outcome in children’s attitudes are intimately correlated. Well-mannered children don’t happen by accident or an overnight development; it is the result of parent’s conscious efforts and investing a bit more energy into the mission – to watch them grow into civil, respectful, and courteous children.

Children learn new manners, skills and displaying them by seeing an example; how it is demonstrated by adults close to him. Parents, teachers have to be the example of what they want to see in their children. Many of the children learn new skills by imitating the adults or by observation. The more children are surrounded by responsible, courteous adults the more the children benefit from following them as examples of reference.

Parents have to support the child’s attempts to be polite by letting them know they are appreciated. They are aware of his good efforts.  Just make sure to point out what your child did that was polite so that it further encourages him to repeat the good manners again and again.

For parents, the best way to reinforce courteous skills is to take help of the teachers, caring adults, grandparents to assist in creating the courtesy improving ambiance at home and in school.

Some of the essential manners your child can learn from an early age are:

“Saying please, hello, thank you, excuse me, I’m sorry, you’re welcome, pleasant way of smiling, shaking hands with a firm grip, looking into person’s eye while speaking, listening without interruption, a pleasant tone of voice”

Parents need to see that the child follows the essential courtesies; if they are not quick to learn, slowly help them to cultivate them. The best practice is to encourage ‘a manner a week’; post the ‘manner to be followed’ on the refrigerator as a reminder so that everybody is practicing the same manner together.

Children learn any skill through repetition: give them as many opportunities to know and practice as many new manners he possibly can and provide him situations to apply them confidently.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 15

BUILDING LIFE SKILLS – CATCH THEM YOUNG

As children grow into teenagers and then into adults the type of environmental groundwork at home and the emotional support they get through communication is the foundation that has to be built by the parents from very early age on. The childhood is the preparation for the adolescence and rest of their adult lives.

As parents, we have about ten years to teach them all that is necessary: values, attitudes, confidence in them, and self-understanding of feelings of what they have and what they lack. This preparation and framework will help the children develop personalities robust with security, self-worth with which they can cope with any pressures and problems once they enter into the adulthood.

Children are used to confronting both at home and in schools, a host of damaging missiles: barbs of criticism attempts to control and manipulate, shaming humiliation and hatred in public, in front of friends and other adults. Further, they are let down by feelings of defeat, fewer marks, demeaning grades, negligence by teachers and curfew at home; unloved and uncared for:  The parent’s compassionate nurturing is demonstrated in being alert to these situations and promptly providing emotional protection to the children and rescue them from these abusive wicked webs.

As parents and educators, we need to teach the children when they are young the importance of responsibility: an important life skill. Making them involved in regular family duties allows them to see that their presence is acknowledged as a part of the family. It gives the needed lift in respect and individuality they look for and in turn, helps to build healthy self-esteem at a young age: giving them the confidence to face the bigger challenges. Parents can encourage them to participate in humble responsibilities like cleaning their rooms, helping the father to wash the car, mother in the kitchen, in schools the opportunities to take up respectable assignments are plenty for any age group.

To understand the benefits of getting to know about their strong values and a belief in them: is the guidance to be provided by the parents and at schools. The supportive coaching must involve making them appreciate the opinion, “I don’t have to be the best, the brightest, I need not always be the first, and I need not be every time smart, charming, and I’m happy I have done my best and I’m content with I have achieved” this reflects the self-worth of any young one’s prominently. This is precisely what the parents have to focus to cultivate in their children.

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think” – Margaret Mead.