One day I observed my three-year-old grandson sketch pen in hand, scribbling aimlessly on a white paper, eyes excited, and little chubby fingers carelessly created patterns as mischievously as the three-year-old could manage.

The wholesome scene seemed complete with he lulling a rhyme; he sat in rapt expression in a way you find a young lad in an exam hall. 

Suddenly his mother enters, snatches away the paper and the pen, and starts writing the alphabets, calls strict instructions to stop doodling and trace the alphabets. As soon as the mother left, he threw the pen away, shoved the paper with his leg under the chair, and ran outside. His face assumed a hurtful look.

The mother’s eagerness to impose her agenda upset the kid and damaged his keenness to work independently. The kid delighted himself in a way that saw him in a jolly mood, deeply absorbed in work at hand, and he effectively derived satisfaction – seeking his strengths and interests.

Now the mother stepped in, interfered to cut short of what happily engaged him, and forced to attend a disinterested activity. It’s clear that he lost interest in attempting anything on his own. Here we see a recipe for disaster with discouragement. How we pay attention to impose, as parents, our line of order, our line of thinking. The result: we, over and over, discourage our kids. Kids joyfully take part and learn what they accept in their agreeable terms, and acts and words of discouragement never stimulate them.

If we offer the words of encouragement calmly, show acts of recognition; it’s surprising to know how much the kids derive pleasure in their work and claim evidence that parents support whatever they do. It allows a feeling of bonding and security that embraces him and provides an incentive to do more than he favors.

It goes as a routine procedure in many households, noticed among many parents, waiting to see the kids, all going wrong, whatever he attempts. And then they immediately jump on to correct them.  Urgency seemed displayed as a concern to better them, bring them back onto their line of correctness, always operating from an opinion that the kids commit mistakes and we are wise enough, alert enough, to train them out of faults and into virtues.

Surprisingly, we see the parents’ ignorance paying no attention to their kids’ abilities and interests and barely alert at what they do well. Parents often live in the sense of fear that kids commit mistakes, pick bad habits, lazy to learn, refuse to listen. And therefore, they take it as onerous responsibility to constantly correcting, habitually censuring, as if kids were a piece of clay to mold into any shape of their desire.

Parents never realize that their constant reproach affirms their lack of faith in their kids, and it humiliates and discourages them as they grow. It might erode their view on how they see themselves – as healthy, dependable individuals.

Parents need to know that constant discouragement, repeated hints at mistakes, highlighting the imperfections are never right as teaching tools. It never leads to improvement, and there lurks every chance that the kids may give up in despair, not attempting to do anything at all.

We have to see the kids’ attempts like this: Kids make mistakes for lack of understanding or inexperience, curiosity, or just for fun. If parents jump in to scold or humiliate, it only tears into their delicate behavior. Many of the kids’ mistaken behaviour, if parents consider such actions tolerantly, could skillfully be converted into a teaching opportunity. Thus a negative tendency can be purposed into a winning trait.

Our body requires lots of water for healthy make-up. Likewise, kids need encouragement and recognition to be happy and healthy, which helps them gain an optimistic frame of themselves as they grow up. Parents have to trust that kids are not bad, but only their doings are bad and deal with their mischief accordingly. If parents could realize this distinction, kids could gain trust and try to make corrections slowly. Parents have to encourage them to discover their skills, help overcome their difficulties, and set them on a self-learning path.


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