With smaller families and both parents’ working, there is an increasing need to address conflicts at home in a brief and specific way. Teachers tend to call parents to school and lecture them about the lack of involvement, whereas they don’t acknowledge how stressed and stretched the parents are with the upkeep of the child and other responsibilities. So are there any steps parents and children can together take for lovable and happy interactions at home?
Most definitely there are. Psychological research shows that what children value more than materials like toys and games is the parents’ time. Although in a mall or a shop they stubbornly ask you for an expensive toy, they are just falling prey to a marketing gimmick, just like we adults are often duped into buying things we have little use of.
The first step in the right direction is
1.Acceptance of the problem:
Acknowledge there is a problem and make the child a part of the plan to solve it. Of course, this has to be done in age appropriate ways or else it may back fire. So, to a child of 3, you may say “You and I are having lots of katti, how can we turn this into batti?” Children are intuitive and ingenious and the solutions they suggest can usually be applied easily and be highly useful as well.
2.Fix family time :
Once a form has been planned, like having some ‘family time’ everyday during dinner – no TV (again, explain to the child in an empathic way why this step was taken and don’t just dictate it), then everyone needs to make the commitment to follow it. The child and parents can make a chart with boxes, where the child can tick each day ‘family’ time was observed. Doing such activities together increases bonding and makes the child feel he is an important part in decision making.
3. Listen your child:
When getting a complaint from the teacher about the child, don’t start with an assumption. Say “the teacher was saying there was a fight between you and the other boy. What happened?” instead of “Why did you hit the other boy?” By doing so, you give the child a chance to explain the whole story, after you which you can talk to him about his role in it, and gently explain correct ways of addressing a difference of opinion with a classmate.
4.Do what you say:
Lastly, demonstrate. Children may not listen to a lot we say, but they never miss a thing we do. If you advise something to them and you do not follow it in real life, then they get confused. They are less likely to follow it. If you tell them “do not lie”, but you ask them to tell a colleague you are avoiding that you aren’t home, when you are home, is hypocrisy. Children stop taking their parents seriously if they see repeated instances of parents not following their own advice.
Armed with all these tips, putting them into practice, your interaction with your child are bound to improve a lot!
Please feel free to ask questions and post comments.