Understanding the child!!!

  - September 22nd, 2009 by Shalini Nambiar | Posted in life   3 Comments »
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‘Take care of your children as they will decide your nursing home’

Often in my career I come across parents who have problems dealing with their own child… this happens because in this super age we all want to be what is called..’Super-Mom and Dad’. Rules of this is very clear… My child must do what I tell him or her… My Child cannot fail… and an endless list of do’s and don’ts…

I feel like asking them have they actually understood the child… every parent forgets their own childhood and want to adorn their own children with a wide variety of do’s and don’ts

Let’s deal with some of the issues…
 
Teach Your Child Independence

When my son was a day or two old, my Mom said to me, “You have to realize that your goal as you raise him is to become independent of you. You are preparing him to be able to leave you someday and take care of himself.” It’s a well known fact of science that seeds which are dispersed farthest from the main plant grow up healthier than the one which fall under the mother tree.

I loved this thought. My parents have always been so well-adjusted to my big milestones like driving, dating, graduating, moving out, getting a degree, getting married, having a baby… These have all been happy moments in life for them. I am sure they have had their pangs of sadness as they saw I was getting older, perhaps even tears, but in my presence it was a happy time.

Some parents out there seem to want their children to be very dependent on them. They don’t want to let go and allow the child to grow up and function on his own. I understand the reason. You love your child unconditionally. You have spent so much time caring for this child. You have sacrificed so much.. I personally think if you allow your child to grow up and move on, he will happily come around to visit more often, whereas if you cling to your child and mourn his every milestone, he will likely try to develop some space between the two of you so he can move on in his life.

Understanding your child is about giving your child the tools to survive without you
 
Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve…

We believe in only giving them instructions… the child is flooded with answers but his own question no one wants to listen…

I Am the Boss–What I Say Goes… this is a common feeling of parents. We want our children to obey because we are the parents and they should obey us!
This isn’t really a weakness of mine. I remember growing up and asking my Mom why I couldn’t do something. “Because I said so.” I hated that answer! I wasn’t asking in order to be difficult or to argue; I wanted to know why?. I wanted to apply meaning to my world but I never got any answer beyond that
 
My Children Can’t Fail

The Super Mom or Dad says,’ I don’t want my children to fail in any area’.

We should allow our children to fail. “I’m not saying that a child should be a failure by habit or that he should learn to be a loser in life. I am saying that we learn through failure. We learn through making our own decisions, and some of those decisions turn out to be mistakes which lead to failure” 

We shouldn’t rescue our children from their mistakes. Natural consequences will come. We can try to shield them from the pain of this reality, but at some point in life, it will catch up with them. Natural consequences will meet our children at some point. For me, the difficulty is not in allowing natural consequences to happen once a bad choice has been made. It is in allowing my children to make those decisions in the first place.

I will stand guard and remind my children to be careful; they might get hurt doing XYZ. I remind them to do things they really don’t need reminders for. I don’t allow them to try things for themselves, and I don’t give them the chance to remember things on their own. I am not saying I should be letting my two year old wander out to the busy road and “remember” it isn’t a safe place to be or learn through the natural consequence of getting hit by a car. But when my children are playing with something age appropriate and have been told the potential dangers, I need to let them remember things on their own.

I found myself reminding my own daughter to do things like pull her pants up after she went to the bathroom–every single time. At the time, she was not quite four. A child that age does not need to be reminded to pull her pants up. If she didn’t remember for some reason, she could simply take a few steps and then realize her pants were down. I don’t want to create a child who takes no care to remember to do things himself because she has a constant reminder of Mom in her ear telling her every step–down to the pants.

Children also feel good about themselves when they remembers to do these things on their own. She will ask me to not tell her what to do because she wants to be responsible. The feeling of accomplishment that comes from remembering and being responsible will help a child develop their self esteem to a large extent. I wasn’t giving her the chance to even forget.

I have a good friend who has a personality similar to mine. Her oldest is now 12, and my friend recently shared some things she should have done differently, in retrospect. One was to not warn her daughter constantly. Another was to not remind her to do things constantly. My friend says she feels like she has taught her daughter to not trust her own judgement and she has taught her she doesn’t need to remember to do things on her own. Mom will remember. Mom will keep track of what test she needs to study for and what worksheet is due in science class. She said her daughter also will become frozen often times because she is unsure of what to do.
 
Children need UNCONDITIONAL LOVE… after all of us need that.

A child needs to know that your love does not depend on his or her accomplishments and that love will be given for what he or she is and not for what has been achieved. This means that mistakes and failures should be expected and accepted.

So enjoy their childhood as the time gone never comes back and very soon they will be gone…

 

Shalini Nambiar
Director,
Excelsior American School.

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September 22 2009 06:22 pm | life

3 Responses to “Understanding the child!!!”

  1. Tony Vangelabbeek Says:

    I fully agree with your view that children need to be educated to become independent.

    I feel however that this is quite contradictory to the way most Indian parents educate their children.
    I rather experience regular Indians as not being able (or not daring ?) to take decisions themselves, according to me because they’ll do everything to avoid mistakes and errors.
    This is only possible I think if education is rather repressive than it is stimulative to think yourself, judge yourself and decide yourself, accepting also failure.

    Or am I wrong with this impression?

  2. Nitin Says:

    I think you nailed it right. Ironically, the root of our culture which stops our kids from experiencing and thus gaining confidence is – “treating them as kids”. I have seen normally (read- in old days and even now at many places), parents would not consider kids opinion or judgement as important. I guess once this settles down, lot of things will clear out in the society and we will have grows ups who are independent and free from herd mentality.
    By the way, I really appreciate your thoughtful blog. You are one of those ladies who seems to have all the skills !! I already know about your administration and managerial skills!

  3. tiere Says:

    There are some fascinating points in time in this article however I don抰 know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take maintain opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we wish extra! Added to FeedBurner as nicely

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