October 30, 2016

You should not because....

Because I am elder than you.
Because I am big and you are small.
Because I know it all.
Because you are small now.
Because you dont understand.

How many times have you used such lines to silence your child and stop the conversation at that moment?

Your child, upon seeing you handle the scissor/knife wants to try her hand. You say no. When questioned by her 'Doesn't it harm you?' or 'You are also doing it, ma', you simply reply 'It doesn't harm me because I am elder, you are small'. Is there any one who can relate to such conversations.

Your child's learning is stopped right at that moment when you replied so. His/her curiosity is brushed away just when the parent said 'no'.

Did she ask for scissor? Teach her how to handle it. Children are very quick learners. As they proceed to hold the scissor, remind them which part is actually sharp, which part should be held and where the finger needs be avoided.

Did she ask for knife? Show her the knife, the edge that is sharp. Show her how you hold the fruit/vegetable with one hand and cut down knife with other hand. Ask her to hold the fruit and knife and explain her 'you need to hold the fruit firmly and cut through with knife, if you lose balance and the fruit moves away, there is a chance that your finger comes in knife's way and wound you. What you need to cut is the fruit not your skin, else. If there's a cut in skin, blood comes out of the cut. Now check for yourself if you have balance while cutting and go ahead. I am able to cut because I can hold it firmly. Even you will be able to do the same one day. You may just need some time'.

Did she ask for standing right at the hot stove in kitchen? Explain her what hot is and how we cannot handle too much heat. You could show her how hot, warm and cold feel like during her bath time. She will herself understand and move away from the stove. 

Does your child want to open the water bottle and you are worried that she may spill water out of it? Explain her what tight and loose mean. Tell her she could try to open and ask for your help if needed. Show her how she can hold the bottle right. Still, if there is some water on floor, don't start discouraging her by saying 'see I told you not to try, but you won't listen etc etc'. Tell her its OK to not succeed in the first attempt and that next time she will be able to hold it better and open the cap right. This kind of positive response boosts your child's self esteem and encourages her to try new things.

Is she jumping aimlessly on the sofa? Arrange few pillows on floor and ask her to jump across them. You could gradually increase the height/width of the hurdle jump.

Encourage your child to do what they get in mind in an organised manner. This is how parents can encourage playtime that leads to learning for the child and bonding between parent and child.

I often hear parents yell 'don't jump, just sit and watch TV. Else, I will snatch <something> away from you'. What has the child got to learn from such response?

Another very common scenario that I notice is parents yelling at their child and in turn saying ' you are supposed to listen to me because you are small. I can yell but you cannot because I'm big and you are small'. Try to analyse the situation and decide for yourself what the child must be learning from you in such responses.

There will be numerous instances when children try to imitate the elders and parents lose an opportunity to connect to their child by having a negative response to the child's action. (I will try to recollect more instances and update this post further).

Hope every parent realises the importance of parenting, the fact that parents are the first teachers to their children and adopt blissful parenting techniques that lead to rearing their children to be better adults.

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