Here Are 4 Tips For Raising Emotionally Strong Kids

Posted: January 4, 2016

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What do we, as parents need to keep in mind for raising emotionally strong kids? Here are 4 things you can keep in mind.

Handling of kids is slowly becoming the global issue. Irrespective of geography, culture, caste, or creed, parenting is becoming increasingly difficult. The emotional bond between the parent and the child is very essential in this curve of a child’s life. This write up will try to bring a different angle to the issues. Most of the times kids are not aware that they are exhibiting strong emotions. We as parents must help them to calm down and lead a simple life. To reduce the dominant emotions among the kids there here are a few things that can act as a smooth bridge between the parent and the child.

You too were a kid once.

Let us not forget that aspect. The turbulence, trauma, peer pressure that they are undergoing is very different and difficult. Never forget the fact that, environmental causes make your child behave in an inappropriate way. Try to find the root of the behaviour. Where are the emotions or the anger coming from? It is not always that they are unruly for no reason. Be a keen observer of their pattern of the behaviour. As adults we should be aware that they are not competing with us.

Experience: One of my cousins’ daughter always had an issue with the authority in school. Several times the parents were called and it was not addressed properly. When we had a one on one chat with the child it was learnt that the cause of the behaviour was due to the ‘control freak’ nature exhibited by her mother. Hence she resisted everyone in authority, and was unruly. The mother and the child were counselled to understand each other. Things began to resolve slowly.

Join forces with the school.

It is best to have an open discussion with the teachers and counsellors in schools. Your child stays in the school for nearly 8 hours and it is the best learning time. Most of the teachers and counsellors can give a very clear picture even if there is a slight change in the behaviour. Do take the feedback positively, teachers are actually helping us to see our child in a different way. Also, if it is necessary to inform the school about any personal facts about the family needed to address the issue, we should, so that all of us are on the same page and can handle our kid.

An example: A teacher in one of the reputed schools in Bangalore, observed that one of the students is sleeping in all the classes. Initially the student was noted, warned, asked to ‘focus’ in the class. Then the teacher found it was really not worth to blame the child. His mother who is a single parent was called for a meeting. After having one to one chat with the mother and the child, the teacher was in a shock. The child’s mother had the habit of threatening ‘If you misbehave, God will take me!’ This had a severe impact on his mind. He kept his eyes open at night so that ‘God will not get a chance to take his mother’. This innocence made him sleepy at the school. You are right, the counselling was for his mother.

Respond, don’t just react.

As parents we have to take care of every minute thing when the child is growing. As simple as intonation of our voice will matter a lot for our child. We all know that kids pick up our behaviour very fast. The way we speak, cleanliness, maintenance of the house all the minute things which we can never think of. Our positive talk and behaviour will groom them. We have to be smart in the way we handle them when they are wrong. Do not correct your child, correct the behaviour of the child.

There are a few examples;

Instead of ‘You are very bad,’ say –   ‘Your behaviour today disappointed me.’ Here you are not targeting the kid, it was the ‘here and now’ incident.

Instead of ‘You are so disgusting, you don’t know to do things at all,’ say  – ‘Can you think of some other way of doing this task, you can do this much better.’  Without discouraging you are asking the child to do the things again.

Instead of ‘I was told by your teacher that your behaviour is intolerable,’ say – ‘Your teacher told me today that you have changed a lot and she is unhappy about the change.’ Again you are not targeting the individual but the change.

If you say ‘You are good for nothing,’ – How will you react if someone says the same to you? Your child will feel the same when this is told to him/her.

It is very difficult to digest these sentences for those kids who are very sensitive, highly emotional. Hence we as parents have to be sensible in the usage of our language.

Don’t compare.

Your child is special. Your child is unique. It is not a good practice to compare the looks or grades of your child with his friends, peers. Kids who are very emotional will find it difficult to manage the stress of this comparison. Instead of motivation it will degrade their performance. It will hit the confidence level and esteem of your child. One survey suggests that most teens commit suicide because they are unable to meet the expectations of the parents. Let us not damage the normal growth of the child. Hence be very cautious about comparing your child with others.

An experience: It was my grade 10 and that was the day where our answer scripts were shown to our parents. I got a comment from my teacher that my answers were good but I need to improve to get high scores. I was all excited to show the answer script to my mother. When my mother was having a chat with my teacher she immediately asked for the answer script of the topper and started reading her answers. She did not even look at my answers scripts. Soon the comparison started. It was an unforgettable incident for me for several years as I felt very low compared to my friend. It had an impact on my confidence level also. It took years for me to come out of this feeling of smallness.

To conclude, a parent is born the moment a child is born. Parenting is not a skill that can come overnight. It is a beautiful and the best experience of life. Good parenting is not a rocket science, all it needs is to think by heart. To have the emotional content in all the decisions that we make for our children.

Finally, there is no such thing called a child issue – it has to be either a parental issue or a teacher issue!

Happy Parenting.

Image source: little boy with globe by Shutterstock.

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