Helping Your Child Feel ‘Understood’
At a store if my daughter asks for something and I say ‘No’ she starts a tantrum, but the phrase ‘Ammi listen to me’ is what she says. And when I take the time to listen to the reason why she wants the item and later gently explain why I cannot get it then, she is happy. Simply because she feels understood, by her Ammi.
Acknowledge, Not Judge
When my son told me about a friend who was not talking to him, I wanted to tell him to let the friend go – ‘‘you are a better person than him’’. But instead, I listened and let him explain the reason for the fight. I sympathised and tried to find a solution to resuming their friendship. A week later my son happily told me ‘’Ammi, Arith and I are friends again’’. I was happy he was discussing his personal experiences with me and I was glad I did not judge. No matter how small, let your children voice their opinions. Do not always be a protective and judgemental parent.
Acknowledge A Child’s Difficulties
When studying for an exam do not pressure a child saying “You have to get 90 marks ok’’! Instead be open to ask your kid if what he is studying is hard. Can she remember the words? How can you help? Leave it open for a child to express difficulty in any situation. Teach them to be able to come to Ammi or Thathi with a problem or to admit they are having a difficulty.
Acknowledge Your Child’s Importance
Never shut down a child no matter how small. “Because I say so… I don’t want to hear your explanation..” are phrases that shut down a child and tell them their opinions are not important. Curb your anger, let the child explain himself or let her decide on some matters. Strangely even the smallest kids make a lot of wise decisions when given enough encouragement.
In closing I would say that it is important to see your child as an ‘Individual’. Give them importance by paying attention to your child’s feelings.