SEVEN PARENTING RULES-26

MINIMUM CRITICISM AND MAXIMUM SUPPORT

Twelve-year-old Rahul showed a two-page essay to his father. “Dad I’m presenting this in the class today” beaming and confident he pushed the papers before him. His dad reluctantly turned his head from his newspaper, “What’s this handwriting, can you recognize any word what you have written. See the sentences; I see many spelling mistakes. You don’t have a chance that anyone would hear you”.

Rahul lost interest to check his essay for mistakes and enthusiasm to participate in the competition. He cursed his father’s judgment and mourned helplessly.

If we find parents, who are casual and discount their children active interests. Who never learn the right methods of how to encourage their learning attempts? Such parents’ distinct disregard may prove detrimental to the growth of healthy self-esteem in children.

Here in the above incident, the father thoughtlessly converted Rahul’s energies from positive to negative. Now he is thoroughly discouraged. He would never attempt to write, fearing he may commit more mistakes. And he would never approach his father for an opinion. We see the disastrous outcome of parents’ overemphasis on more negative sides of their children’s efforts – the children invisibly crushed – mentally.

“When we pay constant attention to their mistakes, we tend to discourage our children. Let’s remember that the foundation on which children robustly grow is on their strengths. Not on their weaknesses”. Negative remarks drain their fund of energies. And introduce a ‘fear factor’ within them of their abilities to perform well.

The common practice among parents is that they disturbingly hover over their children all the time. They are seen waiting if they are engaging in any faulty moves. Once they detect them, they jump into an elaborate preaching and training sessions. Go ahead and coach them at once out of their faults and into ‘acceptable safe manners.’

Parents’ misgivings perhaps based upon one invariably held assumption. “A natural fear that children move with a wrong peer group pick up wrong habits, or bad attitudes. They may be misled, or attempt the wrong things. I need to watch them constantly. And be cautious to see that they don’t stray the wrong way.”

In most instances the ways parents’ overzealously protect their children make one fact evident. “Parents lack faith in their children.” They assume children are capable of only one thing. “They always make mistakes.” This attitude among parents may turn out to be, in the long run, discouraging and humiliating to the children. Not allowing them to cultivate enough initiative to be imaginative.

Too much talk of “what you have done is not correct” strains too much of the inherent thinking skills of any child. It doesn’t give them enough energy to move forward or try anything new.

Many times we see the parents, bothering, behind their children to manipulate their attempts. And provide them discourses on how badly their efforts are. The resultant scenario would be that children are under constant pressure of fear. He may lose his ability; as a result, turn pessimistic to attempt anything willingly.

It is noted. However, the insistence always to do right and prove perfectness would never yield favorable results for parents. But, contrarily, the possibility is very high for the children, not presenting any improvement. They may end up, sooner or later living in despair.

If parents’ could take enough care of the children. And see that they learn from their mistakes. Seen that they can teach precisely how to learn and function and grow through their mistakes. There is a prospect that the child can progress with a sense of courage in his various academic and social activities. He may also focus more on positive outcomes of his struggles. Correctly, this is the right attitude a child should take into for his progress forward and move with courage.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 25

THE DIGNITY OF THE CHILD

Now and then, to keep my teaching tempo in good quality, I keep visiting some of the local schools. The purpose was to give a few tips to teachers on teaching and high school students on the importance of English speaking skills.

One of the commonest sights I come across in the classes will be the sounds of spanking the children. Or a teacher arrogantly scanning the restive children and yelling at the top of her voice “you stupid rascals, shut your mouths.”  Or some kids embarrassingly head down standing outside their respective classrooms enjoying a punishment.

Teachers have as many crude ideas in dispensing harsh punishments as many years of their experience could summon. More the experience more the amount of intolerance and severe the punishments they are ready to enforce.

Teachers’ and sometimes parents’ in a thoughtless moment have showered their children with countless ways to attack. That will tear down the dignity of the children. They call them dumb, stupid, foolish, idiot, empty, senseless, bore, cheat, bluff. We run short of words when it comes to encouraging our children. But for abusing them, our crooked jargon is a mouthful and on the tip of the sarcastic tongue.

With all these curse words we as teachers and parents say in countless more ways to our children “you are not worth very much” “you are not up to the mark.”

Parents and teachers must remember whatever you are cursing is an attack on the child’s dignity. You have to remember deeply; a child is a person with his dignity.

If once the children treated with such an abusive language. There is a likelihood that they try to live and prove to you that what you have said is correct. They may remember the rest of their lives the attack on their dignity in every detail. 

Many of the parents, teachers, and educators speak chiefly about curriculum, exams, ranks, tests, and teaching methods. They would, not once openly reflect about the safeguarding the dignity of a child.

But how many of them are aware of, “that each child has value and deserves respect. And that learning is tied to the child’s perception of the respect he receives. Further that it depends upon the self- estimate of his sense of worthiness”. How many parents and teachers keep this aspect ‘the dignity of a child” when they are coaching them.

These are some finer psychological and emotional and intellectual factors. That considered when recognizing and protecting the dignity of the children you are nurturing.

Children whose dignity upheld at all times seemed to succeed in the long run in his life.

“Every child has dignity built into them. It’s there already; we need not create one for him. Our job is to recognize its presence in him: to protect it and work with it”.

We have step back and see our children as with people with heart and feelings. They have a way to work, react, move, and process information. And never take a child for granted.

And finally, kids are always kids. They are no bad kids or good kids. There are just kids.

I believe that children are lovable and capable. It is our responsibility as parents and teachers to honor their dignity by seeing them as they are how they are, the way they are.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 24

TEACHING YOUR CHILD SOCIAL SKILLS

If you spend one hour in a play school looking at children, you would observe two categories of children. Some children are overly active, speak out loudly, and laugh heartily. They easily mingle with others, and they seem to carry a lot of energy with them.

The other lot are passive, withdrawn, and shy. We have to pull them to join the group. They seem to hide in the corners, not willing to laugh or speak out freely.

WHAT ARE SOCIAL SKILLS?

Social skills are what we use every day to interact and communicate with others. They include verbal and non-verbal communication: such as speech, gesture, facial expression and body language.

Good social or ‘people skills ‘are very important for success in life. A person can be very book smart and have impressive knowledge. But he probably will not get as far as someone with average intelligence. Like one with a keen sense of how to interact positively with people.

Today ‘social intelligence” is identified as a science which deals with the cluster of skills and abilities essential for making positive and effective contacts with people.

WHAT PARENTS CAN DO TO HELP THEIR CHILDREN

In a child, good social skills are a foundation for good interpersonal relationships. It is the fundamental responsibility of the parents to enhance these abilities in children.

A few important social skills are:

TEACHING CHILDREN HOW TO SAY ‘HELLO.’

Start by teaching your children how to approach and introduce themselves. It can be new friends at the school, or to relatives, or anyone whom he wants to approach and favor.

Tell him it’s ok by introducing, “Hello, my name is Ram.”

Introducing themselves is one stumbling block in many people. You have to make sure that your child doesn’t keep out due to this ‘shyness’ in social situations.

Not all children are born active and outgoing, and chatty. They should learn even the simple skills such as introducing themselves.

LEARNING HOW TO PUT PEOPLE AT EASE

Children need to know that they are many ways to communicate that they are happy to see someone. Some involve nonverbal gestures such as a handshake, a smile, or a pat on the arm or a hug. Others involve questions that show you are interested in the general well-being of the other person.

“How are you,” ‘How are you doing,” “Is everything fine,” “So nice to see you.”

Children should be well at ease to express when they meet their new friends.

Saying ‘hello’ with a warm smile is one of the remarkable ways to enhance a person’s popularity.

Children with good social skills have a pleasant personal style and know how to put people at ease.

 UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF LOYALTY

Loyalty is the feeling of faithfulness and affection we display to our friends or dear ones.  Loyalty is protecting those we love from harm or any negative forces around. Loyalty says, “I have cared about you, I care for you, and I will continue to care about you.”

The children between ages say five and ten usually form friendships based on usefulness or utility. It’s something like better toys, or something more interesting to do are enough reasons to bond with friends. When children grow older, however, loyalty and trustworthiness become the foundations for good and lasting relationships.

Loyalty is a quality that is very important in everyone’s life. As a parent, we have to ensure that our kids are loyal – to their friends, family, studies or for that matter any task they do!

Loyalty teaches children to commit and persevere.

HELPING TO UNDERSTAND BODY LANGUAGE

People, in general, use more body movements than words to convey their feelings. But children should be able to understand how different movements can convey various moods and emotions.

Children must understand how people convey their feelings through body language. Like how to recognize by looking at a face and posturing moods like happiness, irritation, sadness, angry, tired, etc.

Children who are aware of the body language are likely to show confidence in their walk, their smile, and with their gestures. They know how to protect their personal space. They know what type of touch is appropriate and what type of physical touch in not appropriate.

Teaching your child the appropriate body language is one top priority of the parents. To understand which manners of behavior are acceptable and which are not.

TEACHING HOW TO SAY “IM SORRY”

When a child has done wrong, the parent should be able to speak to the child, “what you have done is not correct” The child must be able to realize that it is “his bad behavior.”

Forgiveness and saying ‘sorry’ are important in maintaining good relationships with friends and also with all the family members.

Many children don’t know how to respond in a tricky or bad situation. They don’t know how to come out of it with a better response. In such situation, it’s important for parents to model good behavior.

Saying that we are sorry, whenever things go wrong if parents can use them as frequently and as freely as they can, children learn from their parents the correctness of using “I’m sorry and thank you.”

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 23

TEACHING YOUR CHILD THINKING SKILLS

Teach your children to develop good thinking skills. And this quick thinking habit can help your child to make fair decisions. This alertness of mindset would help them not to get into any problems: both at school and at home.

To explain this concept more clearly: A school going child must have an ‘awareness skill’ to understand between an action and its consequence. For example, he should be able to deduce for himself “If I don’t get to do my homework, I have to accept punishment for it.” Parents have to teach this logic in a very simple and clear manner to your children as they enter the school.

For every parent, it is a tough responsibility when they find their children, in many instances, when they don’t think before they act.

Encouraging thinking skills among the children from the early age helps you to guide an immature, childish behavior; to see that they become a matured and reasonable individual.

Because of your assistance and guidance, your child must able to learn the process. That involves thinking about the consequences first. He should able to understand when you say, “For every action of yours, it’s you who have to taste the reaction of that action.”

He should cultivate on his own, a method, something like a ‘self-talk,’ “I know I experience the consequences of my behavior. If I don’t control the urge on my own to do certain actions, I might be me in trouble”. Every action of his has to precede by this ‘self-talk,’ if he wants to succeed eventually.

Parents, you have to understand like this. It has to be for children, ‘learning from his experience”.  A parent needs to reinforce this concept in their children persistently.

Parents should realize the behavior traits of the kids. It usually takes more repetition to get them to understand. The connection between what they want to do versus what they should do.

Children generally tend to go about doing what gets into their head first. They do with confidence that parents would come to their rescue when something untoward happens.  Poor judgment by children might lead to many embarrassing situations to parents. It can happen not only in schools but also in public places and society.

Teaching children thinking before they act is a complicated psychological and imaginative exercise. It involves a three-step process:

  1. Have a self- talk about the urge to act or an inclination to do something in haste.
  2. Let him talk about his action plan with parents or close associates/friends
  3. Again think and self-talk about its possible consequences

Focus on the necessity of guidance and importance of‘self-talk’ with your children. It should act for them like a ‘traffic signal’ on a busy crossroad. Look, stop, pause and go. The action sequence is what any child should practice as frequently as he could. This thinking pattern should form a basis for all plans and strategies. It could apply to any individual.

Parents’ role here is being supportive and forgiving your child whenever he commits a mistake. Your role is to give him enough encouragement to learn from his mistakes. It’s up to the parents to help them to be cautious to learn from his mistakes on his own.