March 26, 2019

Why persuade for more?

Children have always been explorative, confident and persistent in their day-to-day tasks that kind of challenge them. Like, opening the bottle cap, closing the bottle, pulling a stool to reach out to the water outlet to fill a glass of water on their own, pouring water from a bottle into a glass, spreading out a towel on a high chair and many more.

Image result for childism
(Image from google)

Young toddlers, generally refuse help from elders, they stay persistent in their efforts and brim with happiness when they see that they have achieved what they were aiming for.

But, out of so-called 'concern' or maybe, because the long time taken by the child is often considered as time wasted(through the adult's eye), the adult starts to offer help, or, in other words, forces her help through to just get the task done.

Give me the bottle, I can open it. I'll fill your glass with water. Let me fill your plate with snacks. And so on.

Then comes the phase when the toddler-turned-young child has tried to open the bottle cap, understood that he couldn't, reaches out to the parent and receives 'Try hard, you can open it' kind of motivation from the parent around.

Wasn't the infant/toddler self-motivated in his attempts to achieve milestones as appropriate to his ability?

And now, the young child is persuaded to 'try more' and 'do more'.

When the child says, I cannot read this word. A reply comes, 'Try more'.
When the child says, I cannot reach the book. A reply comes, 'Stretch more'.
When the child says, I do not want to do this. A reply comes, 'Try to focus more'.
When a child is seen sitting idle in silence, we say 'Why don't you pick some books and do your work?'

and many more.

Ad the same 5yo, while trying to climb up a wall or a bed railing or something explorative received a blow saying 'why do you want to try all that?'.

To try? or not to try? - what are we communicating to our children?

Or rather, our response in most cases depends on our mood and our stress level - have you observed?

Why do we talk to children in a tone that is different than that we use while talking to adults?

When an adult says, I cannot open this jar. We immediately offer help by saying, 'I can try'.
When an adult says, I think this is heavy for me to lift. We say, 'leave it, I can try'.
When an adult says, Oh, I cannot take this more. It is getting boring. We say, 'I understand, you can share more on what you feel and what else you would like to do?'.
When an adult is seen seated idle in silence, we say 'What are you thinking about? Is there something that is worrying to you? Please share.'

Do you get the pattern?
Do you see the difference?
Is this the definition for childism?
Why are our minds so narrow when thinking about children?

#RethinkParenting
#RespectTheChild





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