Advice Column, Parenting

Providing Choices To Your Child… Gains Trust

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Children like adults enjoy having choices. You don’t have to eat the vegetables but you don’t get the desert. If you want free time with friends clean up your room so nobody trips because it is your responsibility. If you hit other children, we can’t have them around you because they need to be safe. If you can’t apologise to your friend, then he won’t be able to come and play until you understand the importance of caring for others. Having a friend is being a friend.

Sharing might require having the child remember a time another shared with them or didn’t share with them. Recalling those feelings emphasises the learning.  Parents can be as innovative as they want with instructions. The parent has to perceive themselves as the teacher and not the child. If we act like our children, then we have no parenting going on.

Children don’t complain yell or hit to anger us or retaliate against us. They are not necessarily planning to mess with our minds or hearts. They are surface most of the time and our anger is due to the requirement we have to give more time and effort to an erring child. We would rather continue our conversation with a friend or more appealing activity. At a party there is plenty of food and camaraderie so taking time for reprimanding in a teaching moment is not attractive due to the effort needed. Other days we are just too tired to manage the energy to deal civilly with our child.

After working all week and then cleaning, cooking, shopping, and doing laundry on the weekend, parents might feel overwhelmed. As much as children try to amuse themselves, they need our time and attention. They strive to get it in negative ways if positive ways yield no results. Children can be included in household jobs. By working with us it gives us time to listen and speak with them while we work.  Expecting gratitude is not in the parenting rule book. Respect should be in everyone’s guidebook. Kids deserve respect. Belittling them hurting them or embarrassing them is uncalled for and not necessary.

As parents we have huge expectations from our kids the moment they are born. We have total criticism of our own parents and believe they did so many things wrong. We on the other hand intend to do everything right. As we begin our journey we realise how involved, parenting is.  Loving our child or children is imperative but it is because of that love that we are willing to make all the sacrifices needed, so that we can accomplish all of the necessary work that is tied into raising kids.

By discussing problems bothering our child, even as a toddler, we instil trust and concern. They can question us when they feel the need. They may question our rules. That is when real learning transpires. We can explain why they cannot ride on the street or travel alone. Even if they don’t like the rule, they begin to understand our spoken explanation. Understanding encourages learning and acceptance.

Disapproval only serves to discourage our kids. When you are upset, attempt to keep your attitude civil. Try not to ever attack the spirit of another human being, especially when they are young. Walk away, stop what you are doing, take a break. Gain control over your own emotions, and remember the individual is vulnerable. Respect, and discipline with love.


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