In today’s hectic schedules, work timings and competition to be successful, parents find themselves neglecting the most important aspect of any relationship. Communication. At the end of a tiring work day, just kissing your child and going to sleep isn’t enough. The child will have to see that you are showing love and respect towards him or her and other people in the family.
We tend to assume that children are naturally affectionate and loving, which they are. But when the love is not reciprocated, that tends to build walls around them.
The more you tell your child you love them, the more the child will love you back. The more hugs and kisses you shower your kid with, the more your house becomes a home.
It is so important to build character and integrity, which comes from a very basic principle in life. Honesty. We want to teach our kids to be truthful no matter how hard it is, whatever difficult situations might arise, it takes courage to stand up for what is right. The only way to do this is to show this to your child and be this way in front of them.
Your child takes his cues from you, so it’s important that you try to avoid any kind of deception, even a seemingly innocent one. (Never, for instance, say something like “Let’s not tell Dad we got chocolate this afternoon.”) Let your child hear you being truthful with other adults.
If your child sees that you are honest and truthful, then he will mimic what he sees and pick up it up early on.
Another way to help your child be honest is to not overreact when your child lies to you. By simply stating things like “Hey, I am not going to yell at you, think about it for a minute and tell me what really happened.” or even by appreciating your child when he/she is honest goes along way in building your child’s principles and values.
3. Thinking about others feelings
We most often neglect helping children be considerate towards other people’s feelings. At a small age it helps if they understand that they can help someone else feel better, which in turn makes that person nicer to your child. The incentive of having that reciprocation of good vibes will be enough for your child to consider what they might say.
Pooja was frustrated because her daughters, ages 4 and 5, were fighting every time she took them to the supermarket, “I finally told them that we needed to figure out how to do our shopping without everyone, including me, feeling upset,” Pooja says.
The mom asked the girls for suggestions on how to make the trip to the supermarket a better experience for all. The 5-year-old suggested that they bring snacks from home so they wouldn’t fight for ice-cream. The 4-year-old said she would sing quietly to herself so she would feel happy.
The girls remembered their promises, and the next trip to the supermarket went much more smoothly. Leaving the store, the younger girl asked, “Do you feel upset now, Mummy?” The mother told her that she felt just fine and appreciated how nice it was that nobody got into an argument.
Do these small problem-solving exercises actually help a child learn the value of consideration? Yup. Over time, even a young child sees that words or actions can make another person smile or feel better, and that when she’s kind to someone else, that person is nice to her. This feedback encourages other genuine acts of consideration and kindness.
There are always going to be disagreements, mistakes and arguments in your children’s lives. There will be situations where they will have to sometimes ask for forgiveness.
The trick here is to not just encourage your child to apologise by saying “sorry”, which is quite important, but also to help them understand where they have gone wrong and why they are apologising. Just simply stating “sorry” is quite easy.
For instance if your child breaks another child’s toy, our immediate reaction is to rush to him and ask him to apologise. It is better to, instead in a calm demeanour to take your child to the side and understand why he must have broken the toy. If it is because of jealousy, envy or anger, we can help them understand why they are having these feelings and create an open line of communication.
Most importantly, this brings in the aspect of forgiveness. We can educate them about the harm that they did, due to those feelings and the impact it has had on the other child. It will help your child see clearly on what went wrong. Help him think of a way to compensate. Maybe he can make amends by offering his toy to play. Perhaps he could draw for his sister after fighting with her all day.
By encouraging your child to make such gestures, you emphasize the importance of treating people fairly, an essential value that will one day help him negotiate the complicated world of relationships.
Five-year-old Vinay showed his father a square he made with clay. “That’s very nice and has a good shape,” he told him. “Nice job!” The child then ran to his room and made another square to bring to his dad for praise-then another and another.
“Each one was worse than the last,” his father said. “I didn’t know what to say.” A good response might have been: “Well, Vinay, that square isn’t as carefully done as your other one. Did you try your best on that?”
Determination is a value that you can encourage from a very young age. The easiest way to do so is by avoiding too much praise and by providing children with honest feedback, delivered in a gentle, calm and supportive manner.
Another way to help your kids develop determination is to encourage them to do things that don’t come easily and to appreciate and praise them for their start. If your son is the shy-type, quietly encourage him to approach other kids in the play-area, even if it makes him feel nervous. If your daughter is quick to show her temper, teach her strategies (such as counting to ten or taking a deep breath) for holding back anger. Praise kids when they manage to do things that are difficult for them. If he/she hears “Good going, I know that was really tough!”, then they are pushed by the recognition and become even more determined to keep trying.
Want to help other children who need care? Visit Happieesouls.com to know how you can help!