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When children mess up things, it can be frustrating for a parent. But should we punish a child, or teach them to learn from the mistakes?
Preeta’s two-year-old son is playing on the dining table while everyone is having lunch. He spills the sambar unknowingly on mama’s new white kurta. Preeta’s immediate reaction is a slap on the little one’s face. Now the question arises, did she do the right thing? Our immediate answer would be, yeah, of course, right, who will tolerate the new kurta being spoilt? If I slap him, he won’t repeat the same mistake.
Now, let us analyze this situation with a cooler mind. Was it the child’s mistake to sit on the table? Who made him sit there? Either mom/dad, right? The child will be shocked by this response from parents. He does not even understand what exactly happened. It will develop a fear in him towards the consequences of unknown mistakes. Are we setting a good foundation for the child? Definitely not.
Also, I am not saying that we should let this incident go without saying anything and just clean up. Instead, we can handle this situation in better ways.
Parents should remember that children should grow fearlessly in the first 5 years of their life. This will set a great strong foundation for their life, that does not mean, we let them do whatever they want in any way, but we should let them commit mistakes and help them to solve them in a peaceful manner. Every mistake committed should become a lesson for them but not a fearful memory.
So, how should we handle the above situation? Preeta can make made a sad face, lift the child and put him down. Tell him it is ok, mistakes happen no need to cry or worry. First thing is she should take his help to clean the mess. Soak the kurta with his help in the water. Advise him to sit always in the highchair instead of the table to avoid such mess. Enjoy the food with the child. Afterwards, sit with him and recap the whole event and ask him next time how he would behave on the table. Also, explain to him that an expensive kurta is spoilt and mama feels bad about it.
Definitely, next time child would think twice to insist to make him sit on the table instead of the highchair. Also, he would hesitate to play with the food vessels on the table!
Children should get assurance from their parents, not the fear.
Published here earlier.
Image source: pixabay