I very often have conversations with parents who find it very challenging to make their children listen to them. The first person with whom the child wants to share everything is always with their parents. But in reality it doesn’t seem to be happening because the moment they try to be honest about their problems, they either get advised, scolded, judged or lose their trust. Such experiences is when the peer influence gets into effect. They start to avoid conversations at home because they think that they are barely understood. So instead they turn towards their friends at school to share their personal space.
Growing up can be a little rough process for a child. We all remember the mistakes that we made, things that we had to learn and looking for advice and help very often. Every child gets back into his cocoon if their parents reprimand or get strict with their child for the mistakes they think they have committed.
So start helping yourself by supporting your child by being friendly. Being friendly doesn’t necessarily guarantee that your child is going to be obedient about everything. Being friendly will most importantly improve the relationship between the two, encouraging the child to trust you with their issues. Here are few steps which will help you become your child’s best friend.
- Don’t always advice: Parents often think that constant positive criticisms will make the child better. But this approach is always negative as it hinders the creativeness of the child. Every child needs a freedom of thought and action and at times its good to listen to their ideas and encourage their creative thoughts to boost their confidence rather than building low self esteem in them. Allow them to make few mistakes as long as he is learning from them. Teach your child the right values so it helps him to make well thought decisions. Don’t try to control, try to guide.
- Communicate: If you have had a rough day and your child goes cranky after returning from school, don’t go mad at them. Instead try to talk and let them know that you have had a tough day and need their help in the kitchen. Such attitude will boost family values. Update them of how your day went, share your childhood tales and anything that you think they will listen to. This will bridge the communication gap that you had been having for so long. Likewise be empathetic when your child shares his problems and stories too.
- Involve them in daily activities: If you want your kids to value your money, time and energy you have to get them involved in daily activities in a fun way. Like, you could go for grocery shopping together, or ask them to help you with cleaning the house or repair things together. This way they you will be doing things together and have fun. Such an approach will help the child grow humble, teach him to respect their parents efforts in upbringing them and the realization of value of money.
- Don’t compare them with others: No two children are always the same, every child has their own strength, set of skills and develop at different rates. Most of the time the only reason to compare them with others is to instill the spirit of competitiveness in the child. Competition is definitely a positive approach to motivation but comparison fails the approach. This makes the child feel insecure, jealous, incapable, less worthy and make them run away from social groups. Instead, appreciate them even for the smallest effort that they take to improve. Ask them if they need any help or training whenever required. Don’t feel embarrassed when his grades are down or if he loses a tournament, sincerely appreciate his efforts for the participation. Display honest public appreciation for the hard work that your child is doing. So help your child build his self worth and confidence.
As Shannon L. Alder rightly points out,“Personality begins where comparison leaves off. Be unique. Be memorable. Be confident. Be proud.”
As a parent it is your prime responsibility to ensure that your child grows each day in a positive environment. Give them unconditional love and support and required space to make them want to come to you first to talk about anything and everything.