Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Importance Of Understanding Your Child's Emotional Needs

Image result for parenting responsibilityI used to know a kid while growing up, he had one of the cutest smiles at birth and many people around then were very fond of him. His mum had another child just after he turned one and there was a huge responsibility bestowed upon him to act ‘old’. He was deeply chastised for every wrong and when he couldn’t string simple words together when some of his mates were, his mum became more furious. I could see then that she meant well but even my young self knew the constant shouting and nagging wasn’t going to help the kid improve. His younger brother learnt to do some things before him and he was referred to as the foolish one most times. He was always very quiet and withdrawn and one could sense his timidity by just looking at him. His lack of confidence hung on him like cigarette smoke and he only spoke when it was absolutely necessary. His younger brother reported that he always got bullied in school and all his mum could say was that he needed to stand up for himself. Of course she said that in her usual condescending way of putting him down and emphasizing how slow he was. I wish I knew what I know now, I would probably have been able to help him and his mum.

In a huge contrast, I watched a video online today of an adorable little girl that was called ugly by another child but gave one of the most appropriate ANSWERS I have ever heard. Some kids her age would have coiled deep into themselves and silently nurse deep hatred for not looking as gorgeous as some other person. Her confidence was evident and I could tell it had to do with those surrounding her.

Parents are primary influencers in children’s lives and that role has to be skillfully played. Any wrong word or decision might ruin the child’s life. There is enough negativity outside, what that child needs is your support and words of encouragement.

All kids are not the same. Some learn really fast while others take their time. Jack’s emotional needs are different from Jill’s. It is wrong for parents to compare one child to the other or to constantly hammer on a child’s shortcoming. Recognise when a child has a special need and work with him on that. We need to be mindful of what we say to the kids. If a kid is being talked down on and put down at home, he would probably be trampled upon more among his peers. 

As a parent, you need to be patient in dealing with a child. You owe that child the duty of showing him the right way. The bible says ‘train a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it’.

Mummy Carson took it upon herself to learn how to read so as to help her child that was doing so well and the child turned out to be a great man. You need to be your child’s greatest cheerleader. This doesn’t mean you’d never chastise them but you need to let them have a sense of security away from the insensitive world while at home. Confident leaders didn’t become who they are by getting jeered at by their parents.    

I know stress and frustration can sometimes take its toll on you but you need to find a different channel to let out. Don’t take it out on your child(ren). Don’t destroy your child’s future with your actions and words.

Have a great week.

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