August 7, 2021
“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it…. Proverbs 22:6”
As many of us have realized raising children is one of the toughest, but also one of the most fulfilling jobs in the world, the one for which many of us feel least prepared. In fact, we need to keep learning “on the job”.
What does it mean to guide a child? Guidance is to help the children inculcate acceptable behaviour in a variety of settings. It is the ways we help children to know what it means to be a member of our community. It means helping the children to learn from their mistakes and make positive choices. It is also important to realize that guidance is not punishment.
Discipline is necessary in every household: Be kind and firm at the same time. Establish house rules, for instance, when one parent is correcting a child, the other should not interfere and so on; do not give in to the child’s pleas, tears, demands or pouting. Your child will learn to respect you more if you mean what you say. The goal of discipline is to help children choose acceptable behaviors. Children may test the limits you establish for them but they need limits to grow into responsible adults. A child must know that he/she is loved unconditionally no matter what he/she does. Never tell a child that he/she is bad. When a child does something wrong, give them a chance to make corrections. When your child does something right, praise her/him. Be generous with rewards-your love, hugs and compliments can work wonders.
Make your children self-reliant – make them do little things, like helping to clear the table, fetching vegetables from the fridge and so on which will make them feel important.
Respect your child. Apologize if you have made a mistake and express thanks when they have helped you.
Develop healthy eating habits from a Young Age. Consuming food on time is equally important. Try to have at least one meal with the family every day.
Be a good role model: Children are like a sponge. They learn a great deal about how to act by watching you. The younger they are, the more cues they take from you. Be constantly aware that you are being observed by your children. We have to be fair and honest.
It’s the behaviour, discipline and efforts of parents which guide the children on the right path. With so many demands on your time, it’s often difficult for parents to spend time with children, but it is the quality and not the quantity of time that is important.
As a parent in spite of your hectic schedule, you should read along with your child on regular basis at least for one hour. It is a good idea to talk about a story you are reading. Good stories will encourage children to develop a love for reading.
In today’s modern competitive life, it is very important to train children to digest disappointments, denials and refusals. So have the courage to say 'no' to your children. Children must be taught to take a `no’, not only from parents but also friends, teachers, neighbours and even strangers.
Today’s children are children of Abundance. They have an abundance of everything, ranging from toys, games, electronic gadgets, sweets and chocolates. Over pampered children cannot take disappointments in the right spirit. As parents we should not give the children more than what is needed because we need to prepare them for the rough and the smooth in life. Don’t allow your children to spend too much time on mobiles. Monitor them when they are on internet. Children need consistency, routine and boundaries.
Parent’s fears for their children’s safety, if extreme, can have an adverse effect on their children’s confidence and self-esteem. By molly-coddling a child, a parent is only making the child more dependent and inhibiting their attempts to learn to do things by themselves. Overprotective parents unintentionally send out a message to their children that they are incapable of handling things by themselves. In addition, the parents’ fears transmit themselves to the children who, in turn, begin to perceive dangers lurking in every new activity and experience.
Children need limits and choices. If every whim and fancy of the child is entertained, the child grows up to be a very self-centered person. Even a single `no’ can put him or her off balance. Such children take their whims to an illogical extent. Children need to be taught to share and care for others and make small sacrifices in life. It will help them reach greater heights.
Teach your children to give respect. They must follow the “Give respect and take respect” policy. We need to teach the children basic manners and teach them how to respect their elders, teachers and parents.
Take your children for outings and picnics during holidays. Visit your parents and let the children spend plenty of time with their grandparents. It will teach them to respect the elderly, understand their needs, and garner some wisdom from the experiences of the seniors of the family.
Going to bed at a regular time and getting up early in the morning, regular physical exercises, outdoor games and sports, punctuality and perfection in deeds will mould them into responsible and disciplined human beings.
As children grow older, they need to be given guidance; however, they should be allowed to choose their own careers. They should not be pressurized to pursue professional courses they are not interested in. The interests of parents should not be imposed on them.
But remember as parents even we too need to take a break for our relaxation.
Teachers play a significant role in the development of children. Teachers, while being kind and friendly to their students should not over indulge them. The words of the teachers are like gospel teachings to children, so parents need their help in bringing up children. As people contributing to developing our future generation, the teachers have a great responsibility. They need to be supported by the parents and management, when they give corrections to the children for committing mistakes or else the children will develop false confidence.
Preschool teachers play an important role in guiding the behavior of young children. Recognizing the young children’s strengths, temperaments, skills, development and family culture, teachers should frame approaches and strategies to support and influence their behavior. In essence, the teacher must help to maintain a relationship based approach to guide young children’s behavior while meeting their needs. Family priorities affect the children’s behavior. For example, talking and expressing emotions or keeping emotions quiet and private. Preschool teacher need to be sensitive and respectful of these differences in socio-emotional development when engaging with children and their families.
Even the neighbours, peers and friends influence on children’s behavior. Guide them in choosing friends and in the mannerisms of interacting with neighbours and friend. Advise them on being rational while following the behavior and advices of their friends.
“When your children desire to talk to you and share their problems with you, stop everything and listen to them. There is nothing more important than that.” – unknown.
In conclusion, we need to train and bring up our children in all aspects – socially, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. It is not enough to be a human being, it’s important to be a good person.