How Children And Parents Think:
In an ideal world, children would be our best friends, they would go to bed on time, eat without complaining, and grow up to be great professionals. Well, in the same world, an ideal parent would not be carrying a yardstick for grades, trophies, school admissions, accomplishments, sports etc. and just be content with seeing their children for who they truly are.
As adults, sometimes, we don’t consciously draw a line at where we will stop in pushing our children. It’s when we as parents don’t strike a balance with our expectations, our children suffer. Some of us become unreasonable with our expectations and assumptions. We start assuming the worst. “My child is lazy, unmotivated, distracted and doesn’t care a whole lot about their own future.”
What Children Want:
The point is that children want to feel worthy of being loved. If they feel like they don’t belong, it’s a threat to their survival. More than the need for food, safety and shelter, children want to know if they matter. And how they know what their place in the world is by our behavior towards them as caring adults in their life.
Because of how we treat them, children start making assumptions of their self worth.
1. My parents care only about my grades.
2. I might be a cause for their disappointment.
3. I am not smart, my parents think that my friends are better than me.
Also, here are some things children crave:
They crave human connection in the form of bodily contact.
They crave arms that hug to show care and love.
They crave a consistent, predictable and responsive care giver.
They crave for our presence just like how we crave for theirs, except they do it without judgment.
They want their lives to be seen in the context of a meaningful relationship.
When they see us sad, even if they don’t understand the context, they want to make everything better for us and so they try their best to not disappoint us in any way.
Nurture Their Self Confidence:
That is why, it is important for us to convey to our children that they are awesome just the way they are, it’s just that some of their choices are not as cool. First, tell them how glad you’re to have them in your life, and then tell them how smelly their socks are. Instead of calling them a liar, say they lied. Talk about how you felt when you found out so they can put themselves in your shoes.
Once in a while, tell your child, “Sweetheart, you’re good enough.” Irrespective of whether they seem to be listening or not, tell your child over and over again, “I believe in you. My goal is to see you realize your highest potential.”
When you have casual conversations, let them know they’re not alone, that we’re humans and that we commit mistakes too. Share a personal story of setback and all the measures you tried taking to take care of the situation. Make them a global citizen by sharing stories of people from other cultures. Ask them to identify where their passion lies, and what problem they want to solve for the world. See their imagination and creativity light up as they begin to explore their world with the confidence that we’ve got their back.
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