The parent of today is quite different from the parent of 20 years ago. If you are today’s parent, you read up regularly, follow various parenting blogs and try to stay aware about the resources needed to raise a child effectively. You try your best to meet all your child’s needs be it at a …
self esteem of children
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Do you see that your child is impatient, impulsive and is easily distracted? Or, that he is unable to continue one task until it is completed?
If you have noticed these tendencies in your child, perhaps they are due to his nature or personality. Or then, perhaps they are not. Maybe he simply can’t help being impatient. Maybe he can’t control his mind when it drifts off his books; and by the time he realizes, 10 minutes have passed.
Most of you may have come across a child who is naughty and stubborn, who tends to be insistent on getting his way, so much that people have to give in to what he wants much of the time. Some of you may even live with one such child in your family. This article is an attempt to unravel what such a child thinks, feels and needs. There is a further article here that elaborates on how parents and caregivers can better understand and deal with these children.
Stubborn children get noticed in most places – at home for sure, also at school, at play, even in public places and restaurants at times, much to their parents’ despair. It is easy to notice them; however, is it as easy to understand them?
Stubbornness and difficult behavior have their own way of functioning. They exist in the child for a reason. Until this reason is understood, children cannot be helped completely to change these behaviors. What’s more, if these reasons are not understood and appreciated, well meaning parents and teachers can do more harm than good to the child.
I invite you here to-
Take a Peek into the Stubborn Child
R.M. is a cheerful 14 year old teenager who stays with her parents in Mumbai. She likes science and finds history very boring. She loves watching movies and spending time with her friends. She sounds just like you or someone you might know, doesn’t she? Just like you, she has a profile on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…you name it! And just like you, she can’t wait to get home from class and come online to update her status; chat with her friends or post a comment about something funny that happened at school.
Since the past week however, she has been behaving differently.
Last week, when she got home from school and signed into Facebook, a classmate had commented something in jest on her picture. It was funny at first, but then the comments got mean, and extremely hurtful. The same person from her class, then started posting mean status updates and sending her unkind messages.
She didn’t know what to do or how to make it stop. So, she hasn’t gone to school for most days of the week saying she’s feeling unwell. She’s been withdrawn and her parents can’t understand what happened. She has been avoiding messages from her friends. She feels hurt, scared and even a little angry. Wouldn’t you feel the same way?
Those of us who have children who are irritable and easily angered probably wonder why they are so short-tempered, why they snap back for everything we say and just WHY they are so aggressive. Most of the reasons we manage to think about center around stubbornness, immaturity, peer pressure, deriving pleasure out of rebellion and an irresponsible approach to life. Naturally, our approach towards correcting such behaviors stem from these reasons. We chide our children, give them repeated instructions and make repeated attempts to get them to obey and conform. However, if you have noticed, these may not have worked. You may see that your child still continues to defy and disobey. In fact, most of you may notice that the more you try to correct your child, the more defiant and oppositional your child becomes.
A good number of us watch our children run from one tuition class to another. Then they have school homework, tuition homework, school tests and tuition tests to take care of. Moreover, children today also go to a number of extracurricular or activity classes. They sure learn how to multitask early on! Parents are divided in their opinion of this trend. While some of us feel it is the order of the day, some others think it disturbs the natural experience of ‘childhood’. I wanted to share with you some questions which if you ask yourselves may help to you gain more clarity as to whether a particular extra class is healthy or unhealthy for the child’s development.
As parents, we are naturally concerned about our children. We want them to have a bright future and be self sufficient. Anything that we see as taking the child away from this prospect worries us. We worry, fret and spend considerable time and energy correcting the child. “Don’t do this, it’s bad for you.” “Why don’t you listen to me?”, “I’m saying this for your good and nobody else’s!!” are some statements you would probably connect with. At times, we happen to spend ALL our time with the child in correcting him/her. We consider it our duty to mould them right. Hence, many of us would be constantly on the lookout for the negative behavior, be it disinterest in studies, lack of social interaction, excessive viewing of television, argumentativeness or aggression. Every repetition of that behavior frustrates us and we chide and scold our children or maybe even beat them. However, a good number of times, our child continues to engage in the negative behavior. Therefore, is the current approach you are using effective? What is going wrong here?
Play. A word that is synonymous with setting the mind free, using imagination and almost creating a new world. However, today, we are increasingly turning to electronic games to fill in most of our play time. Video games and the like are certainly entertaining and stimulating. With advanced technology and thrilling effects, they sure give us an adrenaline rush! However, forms of conventional or traditional play can also offer us a number of psychological benefits in addition to physical benefits. We could be missing out on a world of good that our good old indoor board games, outdoor games and imaginative play could do to us. Wonder how? Let’s explore.
Given the fast paced life we all lead, it is a tad too difficult to supervise our children the way our parents probably did. They need to be more independent and therefore need to be aware of all the do’s and don’ts of daily life, especially those pertaining to safety. While this is of paramount importance, it is equally important to provide a balanced perspective of safety to our children.
What I mean to say is we need to guard against communicating to the child that ‘the world is an unsafe place’ and that ‘people are all out to take advantage of you.’ If the child adopts any such belief, it may lead to emotional turmoil which could manifest in anxiety and apprehension, separation anxiety and clinginess or a refusal to be alone. Let us understand better how this happens: