If you want your children to grow into responsible beings and live life happily. A simple practice would take you closer to the values that you want to see in them.
And the below two different situations are strong anecdotes of today’s stressful living where connections between the parent and the child are fragile and often disoriented.
Meena was sharing her worries with her friend saying, “I’m so concerned that my son is always playing on the mobile or watching television whenever he finds free time”.
Her friend, Sharmila asked, “Then how do you think he should be utilizing his time?”
Meena – “I think he should go out to play with his friends, you know, he doesn’t even help us at home with any errands. He could also study or finish his homework, but nah, all day he is just either busy with the TV or with his mobile.”
Sharmila – “Your worry seems so reasonable. I’m sure everything will fall in place. By the way, what will you be doing tomorrow after finishing your household chores?”
Meena – “I usually watch my favorite TV shows or call my family and talk to them. But why, have you got any plans?”
Sharmila’s lips spread in a sly smile and she replied, “I was thinking if I could bring my son over to your place tomorrow to play.
But Meena do you think it’s fair that we watch TV and use mobiles to keep scorlling our FB or whatsapp during lesiure time and it’s unfair when our children do the same?”
Meena was quick to get the message that her friend was hinting at and realized that if she wanted her child to be more responsible for using the free time, then she will have to be an example of how to use time productively.
You can also involve your kids in daily activities like hanging wet clothes after wash, pick up toys and books, grocery shopping, cleaning a section of the house etc, to ensure that both of you make constructive use of time.
In addition, you could play games together, or spend time sharing each other’s goals and the list depends on how long and creative you want to make it.
But it’s important for parents to realize that children mostly learn things by watching them and not by listening to them.
And so if there is something that you are doing and want your kids not to do, the first thing to do is to stop advising them and the second thing is, to change yourself – be an example.
Karthik’s 6-year old son, Arun and his 3-year old sister, Priya were playing in the room. Karthik was walking into the room to meet his children after a long tiring day at work. It was then that he heard it.
As Karthik approached the room he heard Arun’s voice shoot with immense displeasure, “What’s wrong with you Priya, how many times do I have to tell you that you are stacking the rings wrong. Anyone with a brain will know how to do it, can’t you ever do anything right?”
Along with unkind words, it was also the condescending tone that bothered Karthik. And he was sure that he wouldn’t accept such behavior and let his son get away with it.
So he stepped into the room and sternly said, “Arun, this is the last time I’m hearing you talk to your sister or to anybody like that. Hope you understand.”
Without even looking up at his dad Arun retorted, “Why shouldn’t I dad, you also always talk to mama like that”.
All Karthik could do now was stand there in disbelief to what he had just heard from his six-year-old son.
Kids often serve as an honest mirror reflecting the action and attitude of the adults in the house. And parents easily complain that their children are short-tempered, rude and disrespectful without realizing that they are constantly absorbing the behavior and attitude by witnessing their parents at home or people outside their world.
Before you criticize your child for unacceptable behavior, it’s important to find out where did he absorb it from.
In the above case, Karthik now started fearing that his kids were witnessing everything including the interactions between him and his wife.
So the couple decided to be more careful and conscious of their behavior and interaction so as to be a good example of the values that they wanted to give them.
You need to mull over the following questions to be able to ascertain the reason for your child’s unruly behavior.
Has he been short-tempered since he was a toddler? Is anyone in the family able to display composure and stay calm during bad and tough times? When you want him to spend time with you are you able to discuss or talk about things that your child is interested in? Do you stay cool when your stressed or when things go out of control?
If the answer to all of the above questions is NO. I believe you are now able to understand what I’m hinting at.
Your child comes into this beautiful world like a blank slate and that everything that the child would become is because of the effects of the environment.
So, if you want your child to absorb generosity, love, care, forgiveness, respect, and humility then you will have to be the medium for them to learn those values from you.
Rober Fulghum has hit the bullseye by saying, “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you”.