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Parent-Child Relationship: The Time To "Stop" And "Listen"
“Being a parent IS the hardest job in the world!”, a statement every new parent hears. Your response would be either a simple nod or a laugh, but you won’t know until your baby is out.
I bet you were thinking, “No, that doesn’t sound so bad.” Once your child is born, it means the end of your social life; no need to go out on Fridays to meet friends. Instead, you’ll be home to meet your baby’s needs.
You may have thought you could get up early to go for a run! But the reality is that you’ll be begging for a few minutes of sleep until your child starts crying for milk or a diaper change.
Expectation vs. Reality in Parenting
Ah! We ALL thought it would be easy. YOU had a vision – family vacations, fun activities for the kids, your baby’s first and many more – but it may not always turn out the way you planned.
Waiting: You turn off the lights and set the lullaby songs while you rock your baby to sleep. In half an hour, you will be tucking your child into bed and sleeping next to him all night.
Reality: It’s 11 p.m. and your baby shows no signs of sleepiness. Even if the child is sleeping, you wake up moaning every few hours.
Expectation: Easily feed your child vegetables and meat.
Fact: Your child throws a temper tantrum and pushes the food away. In the end, you will clean up a LOT of wasted food.
Expectation: Your child is in the tub playing with a rubber ducky while you scrub and clean it.
Fact: While bathing your child, you will get wet. There will be times when your child won’t even want to enter!
Expectation: Saturday night you go out with your friends after a tiring week. You’d be laughing and dancing all night long.
Reality: Saturday morning, you will cancel it because you are still exhausted from sleepless nights. You would choose to sleep rather than go out, any day.
These are just a few examples of the reality of parenthood. Of course, that’s not always bad. There are great experiences that come with being a parent.
Being able to see your child for the first time,
Observing as he explores the world – the fascination through his eyes as he looks from one object to another,
The contagious laughter of a baby,
· The peaceful face of your child sleeping on your arms, and much more.
As the child grows…
There will be new and difficult problems. But with problems come great and unforgettable memories.
Let’s cut to the chase, kids won’t always follow what you want. As your child grows, he will do what he believes is right. There is nothing wrong with that, it shows the desire to be independent.
But what is unacceptable is that the child stops listening to you! What’s the cause ? Is it the need for freedom?
There is only one cause and most parents deny it. One word: Communicate. “What?! But I make sure to talk to my child!”
What’s the real reason you can’t communicate effectively? Are you…
We were a child before, in the reception of our parents’ lectures of “don’t do this because…”.
Did this help you? Sometimes yes! but what if your parents start talking nonstop? You may notice yourself staring off into space or ignoring them altogether.
A child’s attention span is short. It is therefore preferable to send your message in less than 30 seconds. But what if it still doesn’t work? Maybe you’re the kind of parent who says…
“No is no!”
Or any negative remark such as, “You can not do that !” while you raise your voice and point.
Now what’s wrong with that? If you emphasize the word “you,” the child may feel like they are being attacked or accused of something. Remember, when you keep saying no, the person will totally the opposite of what you want.
Yelling is the ONLY option
Imagine: your child is busy playing on his phone and you call him several times. When you start screaming, that’s enough to get his attention.
Parents resort to shouting and children only listen when you do. Why? Because they concluded that once you scream, you’re serious.
Talking to an inattentive child
Cynthia is busy watching a TV show on Netflix when her mother walks in and says, “Cyn, what did I tell you about your clothes lying around? You can’t for once…”
As parents, we can’t avoid talking immediately. We believe our child’s ears would perk up at the sign of our voice. The only problem here is not getting your child’s attention before you say a message.
Create a Dominant Child
If your child is used to getting what they want, you are more likely to have a dominant child. A dominant child is an individual who only listens and does what he wants.
Indulging and giving in to tantrums in the early stages of childhood creates this type of behavior.
Mental health awareness should be practiced in your family. You’ve tried everything you could to get your child to listen, but all you get is a big NO. What does it mean? It is best to go for a check-up if problems such as hearing problems or some sort are present.
There are also disorders like oppositional defiant disorder in which your child NEVER listens to anyone. The child will be so energetic that he will get out of control.
What to do?
Have you ever been in this kind of situation? You ask your child to do something and he refuses to do it. You will ask in a nice way but what you get is always a no. Even if your child throws a tantrum, he will strongly say “NO!”.
” Help ! Should I resort to punishment? Do you think this is the best option? In all honesty, punishment creates more problems. Your child is more likely to be stubborn and defiant. So what is the alternative? Discipline.
Discipline is a more realistic perspective in the parenting technique. Instead of the old “follow what your parents want”, discipline essentially teaches us to work WITH our children.
What do you get from that?
Be more patient
Feel the emotional connection
Desire to be a good example
Once you practice this, communication will improve. Chances are it’s your child coming up to you and saying, “Mom and Dad, my day was…” instead of you starting the conversation.
Sometimes, however, the only thing your child wants is quality time. There are times when we are busy with our lives – we have to finish the paperwork at home, cook a meal or go to bed.
Yes, you try to converse but it’s just something casual, “how’s your day? What did you do in school?”.
Other times, your child reaches out but you don’t notice. Ask your child this question: “Why don’t you listen to me?” Chances are you’re here, “Because you don’t”. How is it possible ?
There are times when we say, “Okay, yes, I’m listening” while you’re doing a task. What your child really wants is for you to stop what you’re doing, watch him, and show interest.
How would you react if you’re speaking in an important meeting and the president is busy texting on his phone? Won’t you feel disappointed and offended? You were so excited to say your speech, but all you get is a half-hearted acknowledgment.
Well, that’s how your child feels when you choose to do something while he’s talking. Your child would feel that he is not appreciated enough by his own parents.
Three questions to ask…
As parents, we tend to use an authoritative tone. It’s the same expression as “Hear me roar and be scared”. Why do we resort to something we wouldn’t want to experience? To speak in a way that will offend us?
The three simple questions will be enough to help you realize yourself. Am I doing the right thing for my child? What should I improve?
What is the reason for my child’s behavior?
Before you start lecturing or disciplining your child, get to the root of the problem. What causes this behavior? Why did your child shut up? Sometimes the answer is visible but we just need a nudge to become aware of it.
How does my child feel?
Children are human beings, when you scream they tend to hide in a cocoon. Before you burst into anger, try to put yourself in your child’s shoes and ask yourself how you would feel if you were the recipient.
What is the effect of this technique?
Punishment creates destructive behavior, spoiling your child creates a dependent individual. But discipline makes a child mature and emotionally stable.
Sometimes all your child needs is an ear to listen, hugs and kisses to comfort them, and the knowledge that home is where you can be “you”.
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