SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 30

CHILDHOOD FEARS AND ANXIETIES

Fears are a normal part of growing children. They seem to be afraid of a lot of things.

From time to time, as they grow every child experiences fear.

Fears are a normal emotion.

Most of the children between ages 4 and 12 show many fears and concerns. Fear of darkness; particularly being left alone in the dark, is one of the most common fears in this age group. So is fear of animals, such as large barking dogs. Or cats or lizards. Some children are afraid of fires, high places or storms.

As parents, we have to keep in mind the children may or may not tell us what worries them. So we have to look for expressions or signs that give us a clue of any symptoms of their worries. Like:

Sleep disturbances: Difficulty to sleep alone. They find difficult to go to sleep.

Avoidance to go to school or taking exams, refusing to listen, too stubborn to move

Nervousness: Nail biting, falling ill frequently,

WHAT CAN PARENTS DO?

It is the parents’ responsibility to teach children the coping skills. These skills can help them deal with whatever troubling situation they may face. It would be better that we help our kids to practice these skills regularly. If they can convert these skills into helping habits, they can be used for their future lives.

Don’t ignore their fears. Pay attention to what they are saying that is troubling them. Don’t shoo away their fears. Try to understand fears through the eyes of their age. Once you understand the main cause of their anxieties, you can teach them ways and skills to help them cope.

Fears can be transmitted. Like when parents fear darkness, they can also find their child trembling along with them. Children always watch parents and whatever our dominant fears and anxieties could pass on to children.

Try to check, monitor and control TV consumption. Images from movies, music videos, and internet, and television news, stories can instill fear at disproportionate levels. It’s important to monitor the child’s TV watching habits, especially what they are watching before going to bed.

Recognize that your child’s fears are real. You shouldn’t ridicule, underplay, or trivialize, or ignore your child’s fears. Don’t lecture or use logic to silence them. All these wouldn’t help the child’s fears to disappear.

Support them. Help your child feel safe. Your words have enormous comforting power. Use them generously so that they feel safe and comfortable.

Encourage the child to speak about his worries. If he is encouraged to speak about his fears assuring good attention of adults allows him to feel that his fears are manageable. The fears never should grow out of proportion in your child.

Since fears are a normal part of life and often are a response to a real or an imagined threat in the child’s environment, parents should be reassuring and supportive

The simple, sensitive and straightforward parenting can help resolve or at least manage most childhood fears.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 29

OTHER THAN EXAMS WATCH FOR INTELLECTUAL BEHAVIOURS

Sunny a ten-year-old is a dainty little one who has all good intentions to work hard and watch for good grades on his progress report. The moment he sets eye on the question paper on the exam day he finds himself simply disturbed. He could see no questions he had worked very hard to remember and write. To his annoyance, he finds the paper filled with the questions that he has assumed ‘not so important.’

The wariness of his previous day’s sincere hard work is now staring back at him as the questions he learned by rote have simply not appeared on the test paper.

He is a sad boy now. He started to think about what might appear as low grades in his forthcoming progress report.

As a parent do we appreciate all his hard work and sincerity to do well in his exams? But the progress card doesn’t reflect the effort.

It’s an age-old academic custom for the parents to correlate grades and test scores to their child’s learning. The primary focus of any parent – well educated or otherwise, the number of A’s and B+’s that fill in the progress report of their kid. That is the bottom line of a child’s intellectual measurement. They worry consistently about how their child compares with the neighbor’s child.

Parents or teachers never think of any alternative behavior as criteria to assess the kid’s creative and intellectual development.

When we see the children become young adults and when they face the complex challenges of the world. The process demands all capabilities like intelligence, reasoning, creativity, intellectual perseverance and craftsmanship.

Parents’ can assess their kid’s growth in the following aspects:

1. PERSISTENCE   

2. LISTENING TO OTHERS

3. AWARENESS OF OWN THINKING

 1. PERSISTENCE

Whenever a school going child given a problem,  in the first instance, he doesn’t see a solution. He immediately gives up saying, ‘I can’t handle, and it is very difficult.’ If they don’t find an immediate solution, they are not taught to look for an alternative strategy.

What we find lacking in the children is the ability to handle a problem taking it head on until they come up with an acceptable solution. They lack persistence.

Persistence helps any child to search for alternative planning for problem-solving. It is the characteristic that has to be encouraged and practiced both by parents and teachers. This approach has to start from their early age.

A child who is persistent will enjoy the following advantages.

  • He develops a sense of confidence to solve a problem systematically
  • They try to understand how to begin and what orderly steps to follow
  • How information has to be collected and analyzed
  • How to keep progressing even though if they face any hardships until the problem is solved.

2. LISTENING TO OTHERS

Listening is one of the key social skills. It is the ability to listen to another person. Understanding others point of view and empathize with their feelings is one of the highest forms of human relationships.

Children with good listening abilities benefit in their social skills. It will also help them to give importance to others ideas. And it gives them an impression that not to take others point of view poorly.

It also helps the children to connect with their friends in the school and team activities.

3.AWARENESS OF OUR THINKING

This is being aware of our thinking process. If children are aware of their thinking process, they carry a special advantage. It enhances their learning process. The child with this realization will be able to put in definitive steps how he can solve many of school-related problems.

It is the knowledge about how we think, how we make decisions, how logical we are. The advantage of this skill enables us fairly aware of the direction of our thoughts and how strong and weak they are at the moment. It’s almost a self-directed learning.

 

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 28

PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL ABUSE

Children are among the most vulnerable groups in the country and around the world. A survey conducted by a humanitarian aid organization, World Vision India revealed in May this year that one in every two children is a victim of sexual abuse.

The survey was conducted across 26 states of the country and covered 12-18 years age-group. It is estimated that children below 12 may have a higher abuse rate. They are more vulnerable age group.

More than 48 percent of girls wished they were boys so that they could escape abuse. But, the study also found that boys (over 54 percent) were at equal risk of abuse as girls. And puzzlingly, persons in trust and authority, including parents, were identified as major child abusers.

Parents’ awareness is a necessary protective arm. The method is they should encourage the children to discuss any matter unusual that happens in the school or the neighborhood.

Parents can help protect their child from sexual abuse by teaching them the important facts and telltale gestures. This coaching must start as soon as they are admitted to the school.

The children should be aware of the following acts:

  1. They should know what parts are called as private parts and why. They should be aware that genital and buttocks are their private parts. No adult should touch them. If any adult ever touches them in these private places, you advise the children, to report to mummy and daddy immediately. Identify and label male/female private parts. Explain how private parts are different from public parts of the body and why.
  2. Explain to them that adults or older boys should never ask you to touch these private parts on them. They should know it is a very wrong thing. If an adult asks you to do like that, you should tell mummy and daddy right away.
  3. Tell them they should tell mommy and daddy immediately if an adult or an older child ever shows his or her private parts or asks to see yours.
  4. Make them clear that if someone is kissing you or hugging you in a way that feels uncomfortable or funny, or frightening, get away from that person, ask for help and tell mommy or daddy.

Please take your children’s comments about who touches them or makes them feel not so comfortable, very seriously.  The sad part is that a great many cases of child sexual abuse perpetrated by friends, closely known relatives or family members.

Please stay on guard and listen to what your children have to say.

Children who disclose their abuse within one month are at a reduced risk for depression.

If your child can talk about the abuse with you, then they are less likely to suffer from depression later in life-related to the abuse. Believe them when they talk to you and LISTEN.

Sexual abuse can be hard to think about and harder to discuss, but it’s important to address these issues and educate yourself so you can teach your child what to watch out.  Every step you take, every talk you have, every time you listen – you are protecting your child from sexual abuse.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 27

PARENT – TEACHER MEETINGS

I knew a parent who had never taken the time to speak to the administrators or teachers in the twelve years span of his two children in the school. He never bothered to attend any parents meetings at school.

Today after twenty years, his children grew as responsible adults; but I hear a complaint from that parent, “My children never listen to me, I see they don’t respect me or my words, and at home, I’m as an outsider.”

Naturally, the parent is now reaping what he had sown twenty years ago. He showed negligence and total disregard for his children’s learning progress. He is reaping the bad consequences of his attitude. He sees it as ‘rejection’ in the family.

I believe parents are the chief partners in their children’s learning. Children learn more; work harder when they see their parent’s participation in their regular academic activities – both at home and in the classroom.

In a classroom situation, the accepting relation between a teacher and parent is not well defined. It would never grow as encouragingly trustful as to help both the child and the teacher.

On any given day in a classroom, we can see a continuous flow of communication between the children and the teacher. They both listen to one other all the time based on which they form a certain impression thereupon.

The same process of dialogue occurs between the parents and children in the evenings and weekends. During which parents have a good scope of inferring how his child is coming about.

We can see in the whole circle of communication the weakest link is between the parent and the teacher. In an academic year, the parent meeting the teacher may barely happen once a quarter. Or it may occur through newsletters or a few phone calls or emails or phone messages.

But the real dynamic of whatever is operating in the classrooms – the knowledge of it is never shared effectively to a parent.

It would be academically apt if parents’realize the importance of parent-teacher conferences.  We observe one significant unconscious aspect of teaching and learning in every child and every classroom situation. That every teacher is animate and active and is prone to ups and downs in their moods. And accordingly, the children tend to behave, learn and mature. This angle of interplay playing within the four walls is completely not visible to parents’.

For children learning in the classroom is a team effort. The three participants – the teachers and the children and the parents work for the same purpose. To provide them the best teaching experience for the child. Set to teach to help them to achieve.

Each member of the team has unique knowledge and understanding of what another member may not have. Each equipped with a distinct way of attitude with which he or she behaves in his surroundings.  Like the teacher in his class, the parent at home and children everywhere else. And no one individual can call shots in any one situation. The significance of this sort of good functional understanding of the three patterns of practices, if taken by the parents earnestly; it would certainly favor the emotional health of the child.

THE QUESTIONS PARENTS CAN ASK THE TEACHERS:

How is my child’s behavior in the class?

How does my child interact with you and his other classmates?

What is his behavior in the playground?

How often does he stand and ask to clarify a point?

What are my child’s strengths and weaknesses?

What areas need improvement?

What are other areas of interests of my child?

Is he prompt, disciplined, organized in all his workings?

Children always need safe and nourishing places to improve and enlighten themselves. This can only be possible when there is a dialogue and exchange of information between the teachers, school administrators and the parents.

This collective can help the child in providing the comfort and security for a child to find his true energy and foster his inbuilt abilities.