What Do I DO?
Those who follow my posts would have known why I do not wish my children to be obedient, rather, think on their own(unless it is an emergency) before any act, why I do not wish to hurry up children or threaten them in completing a task.
The next obvious set of questions I have been asked many times are:
Do your children ever listen to you?
Are you always the one who gives in?
Don't you feel scared in giving them a free hand in all situations?
and the like.
Let me tell you,we face challenges in all phases of life and it is no less in parenting. The way conflicts are handled defines the beauty of living together. Parenting is not about how many times the child listens to the parent and how many times the parent listens to the child and balance this sheet in the end.
Children are capable of anything and everything.
It depends on what the parents want for the child or rather an absence of 'WANT'. If you wish to bring up a child who always listens to you, so be it. You could train them so. He would end up sleeping right when you say 'SLEEP'(loud voice), finish the meal right when you say 'EAT', sing in front of guests when you demand she show some of her talent, in order for the adult to be able to say that 'I get to make my child do any task as per my say'. But, remember, it is the adult's ego that wins in the battle, the child was never consciously happy while complying with all the commands. And this 'who listens to whom?' becomes a battle between egos as years pass by.
Are there any instances where my children really do what I request them to do?
Before I write on this, I would like to ask some questions:
Did the parent ever listen to her 3-month old when the infant was trying to convey something in her cries?
Did the parent ever listen to her 10-month old when she moved off her mouth as a sign of saying her tummy is full?
Did the parent ever listen to her 1-year old who was practicing her newly learnt skill of pouring water across glasses and not hush the child of creating mess?
Did the parent listen and try to understand the reason behind her 1.5 year old tantrum and not silence her cries by handing over a gadget or sweet treat?
Did the parent listen to her 2 year old who was talking her thoughts out instead of rushing/threatening the child to sleep?
Did the parent ever listen to the child who wanted to take off her shoes during play?( btw, lot of brain development happens when we walk barefoot. Of course, safety taken care of).
All these years, until the child becomes vocal, there are lot of instances where she tries to convey her needs through her behaviour. A parent who valued this behaviour, be it cries or tantrums or meltdowns as a form of communication has gained immense trust with the child. This trust drives them forward. This trust makes the child understand the need of the hour and act accordingly.
If it is not safe and you want your child to put on her shoes, she would easily understand your intention only if you had understood her intention when it was safe and she wanted to experience barefoot walking.
If it is time to leave home and you want your child to eat as much as she can, a little quicker, she would understand the necessity only if you had understood her when she took longer time to eat the other day where there was no hurry.
So, everytime kids do something, there is no need to rush them,
Everytime you wish your child had acted in a manner you would want to, just chill, take a pause, understand your child's perspective and you would be amazed to learn something new from the child.
Rushing, hurrying kids, threatening kids are not TRUE solutions for any situation.