15 December, 2021
Every child is the same when they are born, growing up to be loving and kind or rude and harsh totally depends on how they are treated while they grow up and what they see around them when they group up. So let’s not blame the child, it’s you and I who influence them and we play a major role in shaping their future. Let’s go through some quick case studies and understand how we go about reacting to scenarios.
Walking into your home, you are already tired and exhausted for the day. Your son/daughter comes running to you full of excitement to express his/her achievement for the day. You have no energy to sit through and listen to it. How would you handle this?
Do’s: Smile at your child, that is considered half work done. Tell the child that you have just come home and you will need 10 minutes to refresh and settle down and then you have all the time to listen to what the child has to say. This way you are not demotivating the child yet you are making time for yourself to settle down and get refreshed.
Don’ts: It’s understood that you have had a long day and you need your space, but the child has been waiting all day just for you to come home so that he/she can share the excitement. So please do not shout, this will kill the excitement in the child. Do not push the child away saying you’re tired, instead just buy in some time so that you can settle down and then get back to the child.
During this pandemic, every industry has found a way to work from home. You have logged into a call and you are presenting to the team. Your child comes running asking for some snacks because he/she is hungry. What would you do?
Do’s: There is no harm in excusing yourself for a minute, mute yourself and calmly tell your child where the snack box is so that he/she can help themselves or if you can quickly get it for them please do so. Post which we can get back to your meeting. Please understand your child is your top priority.
Don’ts: Do not show faces and force the child out of the room. Your child believes that my parents are there for me whenever I want them. The child does not know how important that meeting is so don’t blame the child. It’s your work that has taken over your child’s time, so learn to prioritize things.
You are out in a shopping mall, your son/daughter is super excited and suddenly he/she spots an ice-cream shop. The child is constantly asking for it, the voice is getting louder and louder that people around are starting to notice. What will you do?
Do’s: First calm the child and do not shout at them or show faces, this will only make things worse. Make the child understand what you think is right. Make the child understand why you don’t recommend ice creams. See if there is anything else that you think is a better option that you wish to propose. Or else if the child insists only on the ice cream, save it for your cheat diet days.
Don’ts: Avoid shouting at the child, the child might listen to you at that instance but it will disturb the child from within. Shouting is not the solution all the time, it’s also a kind of abuse. So when the pattern repeats the child grows up with mental ailments that would lead to complications in the long run.
On a weekend when your child has no business to go to school or attend online classes, he/she wakes up to a day where there are less activities. There is a lot of free time and the child sits for a long time in front of the laptop, tab, desktop playing games or watching some violent videos. How will you react to it?
Do’s: Weekends are the time that you go out to play with friends and get exhausted. Unfortunately these times that the child is forced to sit at home, but screen time is not the best solution. Not that I recommend not to have screen time at all, have timelines. 30 mins a day should be good enough, but again please do monitor the content that the child is choosing to watch. Engage them in small household jobs where they get to work with you and engage in meaningful conversations. Make time to take your child for a small walk, cycling could also be a good take. Plan a weekend drive where you get to bond well with your child. Let them understand the values of a happy family. Its important that every child stays happy and it’s up to the family to ensure the same.
Don’ts: Again do not scream at the child, do not punish the child. Fear is always not the way out. If the child is scared they will start hiding things from us. This will lead to a lot of complications and I am sure you would have heard many such stories.
You have just bought a new decorative item for your living room, you liked it so much that you didn’t mind paying a lot for the product. You place it at home and in a day’s time your child happens to break it. How are you going to react to it?
Do’s: I understand how much you liked the product, but wait before you react just breathe. Understand that it was not intentional and it was only an accident. If you choose to stay quiet and not react at that moment it’s totally fine, do not throw your anger on your child. The child is already scared so let’s not worsen the situation. But later please
do make the child sit and explain things in detail. Tell the child how much you liked the product and how hard you had to work to save that kinda money. It’s important for the child to understand your point of view and the emotions that you go through. This will help the child be careful the next time.
Don’ts: Do not shout loud or hit the child. The child does not know what to do and how to react. Most importantly don’t hold that anger against the child for long. Do not take revenge on your child. It’s ok to let go and forgive. Remember you love your child more than you loved that decorative piece.
Childhood is the time your child learns values that he/she will inculcate all life long. Let’s not start on a wrong foot. Lets pause and analyse before we react. When we don’t like our family members or bosses raising their voice at us how can we expect our child to be ok when we shout at them? Lets have one rule for all. Please understand that scolding the child or punishing the child is not a solution to all problems, it’s just a beginning to unsaid problems that are being created.
Credits: Chief Paediatric Intensivist Dr. Sanjay D Swamy
Category: Women & Children