You have always wanted to execute your role as a responsible parent, well. Many times you feel guilty that you haven’t done enough, even though you live for your kid and make many sacrifices. You are overwhelmed that in spite of your best efforts, your kid’s unruly behavior refuses to go away. You are often left wondering, ‘What is going wrong? What more can I/we do to change the kid’s behavior for good?’
Before you attempt to tackle any of the issues with the kid, you must be aware of these basic things:
1.Most behaviours of kids are acquired. - Kids pick up most of their attitudes and habits from what they observe, learn and experience for themselves at home or elsewhere. Home is the fertile ground from where, the kid, in his/her formative years, picks up attitudes, positive or negative and habits, good or bad. This translates into their personalities, which they carry wherever they go. It’s the personality of the kid that determines the degree of success or failure.
There are some innate tendencies which the kid has accumulated and carried from previous births. How else can you explain huge differences in the behaviours of siblings and even identical twins, when they have been born in the same family and have grown in the same environment? Similarly, there are genetic factors which are unique to an individual.
2. Since most behaviours are acquired, they can be changed.
This is good news! A silver lining! There is scope for change or improvement in the behavior of the kid. What is learnt, can be unlearnt too, although it may take time.
So, what can you do?
1.Follow the simple saying, “Be the change you want the world to be.”
If you want the kid to develop good virtues such as discipline, good manners, loving care, kindness, compassion, honesty and integrity, you must make these available in plenty at home, by being genuinely endowed with these yourself and displaying them. It is for the same reason that you must avoid lying, cheating, quarreling, fearing, worrying and displaying other such negative traits in front of kids. The kid imbibes the virtues that are predominant at home.
2. Accept the innate and genetically determined tendencies which are not acquired. With loving care, understanding and a lot of patience, you can make the kid be aware of these tendencies and help him/her to gradually come out of them.
3. “You are what the company you keep.”
This applies to the kids too. Since you can’t be wherever the kid is, all the time, the only way to keep a tab on the kind of company your kid is involved with, is to constantly interact with your kid. Encourage the kid to discuss openly, all the experiences of the kid outside home, his/her friends and the kid’s interactions with them. Never reprimand. Gently and lovingly, let the kid be aware of the consequences of being in bad company and gradually wean him/her away. Encourage the kid to be in the company of good, positive and uplifting group of friends and guides.
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