Children Have Brains Too

Most parents and child caregivers are under the impression that they have to do all the thinking for the children. They just want their kids to be cute voice recorders replaying the thoughts of the parents. Did you know that a child has immense capability to think and decide across all domains of their lives!

Some of the statements made by parents…

“Daddy/Mommy will decide what dress you can buy as we know what is in your best interest.”

“Daddy always came first in the class, How come you are so dumb getting such low grades in school”

“If you love Mommy, you will listen to me”

These statements condition the children to respond to emotional stimuli rather than a well thought practical/logical response. We always tend to either blackmail them with a risk/reward deal, create some form of a guilt or put them to shame.

How would we feel if our colleagues or friends treated us like that?

By trusting in your child and providing the right family environment, you can make the child happy and content and knowing who they are. By avoiding parental control and domination, we can create the foundation for an independent and responsible child. Here is how…

Some common statements parents tell their children but end up bruising them physically, mentally and emotionally, thereby making reducing the chance of making self-resilient children.

1. Unreasonable Punishment

Unreasonable punishment takes negativity even further. While undergoing such punishments, our children focus their attention externally on how angry they are with us and accomplish little in correcting their bad behavior. Children generally heed reprimand and punishment because they fear reprisal, not because it’s the right thing to do.

“How dare to talk to me in that tone of voice”

“Instead try “I know you are upset, but don’t you think you can express it in a better way?”

“You haven’t even taken the books out. I can’t believe how lazy you are!”

Instead try “Don’t you think you will get more time to play when we finish the work quickly!!”

2. Criticism

These are forms of evaluation that signal to children that they are on the wrong course toward shaping the acceptable self. Criticism only brings out the anger and disappointment the parent is going through and only creates a negative feeling about them.

3. Judgments

Judgments and evaluations represent our own observations and conclusions being forced upon our children with the attitude that our opinions are superior to theirs. Here are some examples:

“You’re just naturally clumsy. It’s not your fault.”

4. Thought based instruction

“Are you not ashamed! Jack drank the milk with no problem!”

Here, we are telling our children what they must think. After a while, they stop using their own thoughts to decide what to think or how to feel. Better ways of making the above statements include:

“Looks like you did not drink the milk. Are you feeling fine? Do you think you can try drinking it now?

As you can see, these examples encourage children to use their reasoning skills to come up with their own assessment and solution, and this phrasing in no way forces them to accept an opinion or judgment that’s not theirs.

5. Over-Controlling

To make sure the children do what we want them to, we often use forceful techniques like directing, physical punishment, and threats and ultimatums.

“Don’t forget your school bag” instead use “Is there anything you’re forgetting before the bus comes?

It is easy for us to tell them what to do but it is much better that we give them information that they can use to make a decision/choice.

6. Rescuing

Parents always try to protect their children from challenges, manage their conflicts with situations or other people etc. But that makes them avoid normal reasoning process.

7. Labelling

Inappropriate remarks could become fodder for future excuses and justifications. These children become confused about their own true identity. They need to figure out who they are on their own.

“Mary, you are so clumsy and drop food always” Instead try  “Mary, now that you have become a big girl, can you please move with more awareness”