Golden Rules of Parenting
Asif Jahanzayb Attari Madani
All parents love their children and want them to grow up as fine, upstanding members of society who diligently fulfil their civic duties. Despite this, parents often use words that negatively affect their child. Parenting is a skill that must be learned and developed, and how you speak to your child is a key part of that.
Naturally, we want to recognise our children’s achievements by praising them whenever they succeed at something. This reinforces positive behaviour and boosts their confidence. Yet, we must be selective in our praise so that they are not driven solely by it. After all, there are many tasks in life which they must learn to complete, whether there is praise at the end or not. So, only praise them when appropriate, carefully selecting your words'; excessive praise can instil a false sense of superiority.
What have you done?
Children often give their all to small tasks, like drawing something or revising for a test. If children make a mistake or fall short in these matters, then words like these should not be uttered, “You have drawn the picture incorrectly,” or, “You have not revised for your test,” or, “What have you done?” These kinds of words erode the child’s confidence, leading to a sense of inferiority and even unworthiness. Instead, praise their efforts and guide them on how to improve. For example, you can say the following, “You have made a good drawing; there is just a need to improve the colours.”
Children work at their own pace. Pressuring them to work at a faster rate increases mental strain and confuses them, hampering their progress and preventing them from completing the task properly. For example, your child might be engaged in completing his homework, but you urge him to hurry up so that you can clean up. This will lead to increased stress on the child’s mind, and it is possible that his homework will be substandard. Instead of incessantly telling him to hurry up, you should adopt a positive approach by saying, “Let us see if you can complete the homework in 15 minutes or not.” In this manner, the child will happily attempt to complete the homework, and your problem will be solved too.
There is no money
Children often make requests, and if your usual response is, “Son, I do not have money at the moment,” it can cause the child to develop an inferiority complex. Instead of uttering words like these, you can say, “We need to buy more important things now; we will buy them for you next time,” or give some other suitable response. Like this, the child will remain protected from developing an inferiority complex, and he will develop an understanding that needs must be fulfilled first and then other things.
These are only a few examples. If parents take themselves to account, they will realise there are many other matters where they must change their approach.