Article by Harshita.
Being a mother of two, I know the everyday challenges that parents encounter. I always used to get frustrated when my son did not take the instruction I gave him. He was a hyperactive child and was always on his toes. Especially, when we used to take him to malls or functions, we had to be always behind him. Our advice that he might get lost or he might get hurt never fell on his ears.
Once we had taken him to a shopping mall. It was my turn to shop and husband was looking after him. As usual, my son was busy running around the shop. After trying to control him for a while, my husband just started to watch him at a distance, so that he would not see him. It took a while for the kido to realize that he was all alone. He started to call for me and his dad and started searching for us. Now, he was worried and started crying. Though we felt bad for him, we just watched him crying for some time, since we wanted him to learn to be careful from this experience.
After this incident, he never leaves us when we go out to malls for shopping and informs us before leaving to check something on his own. Along with him, we also learnt a lesson that kids learn better when they experience things.
As parents, we should not expect them to win all the time. But they have to taste failures and disappoints as well! Let them suffer a few Knee scratches while playing, let them lose some games, let them experience disappointments, by not getting what they want.
Most of us adults have mental manual to operate, which tells us to do certain things in particular way, though many of them are not logical at all and we expect our kids also to follow the same thing without thinking about the circumstances. In this process of ‘dos and don’ts’, the kids miss out on many of life’s precious experiences.
Life is a continuous chain of experiences. Of course, some are good and some are bad! But all educate us and help us to lead our lives constructively. So let us switch of the mental manual while dealing with the kids. It does not mean that we should stop caring. If we care for our kids, let us allow them to have enough experience to learn for life.
Being over-protective and over-caring stops the kid from gaining direct knowledge from the experience and we are moulding them on the basis of what we think is right. When we stress on how the child should behave, he/she observes and imbibes the same quality. Instead, let us give them choices; let’s make them understand the Action- Consequence relationship. By this, they are better equipped to decide what is good for them and are more responsible. Encouraging them to take risks, helps them to deal with life and problems in a more matured way.
Children, who learn things from their own experiences and kid experiments, learn to think rationally and become more independent. They are not only successful at school, but also have a variety of friends and are more social and accepting individuals.
Let’s be there to guide them and let us allow them to think independently. Thus they learn problem solving and decision making skills earlier. We must realize that the children learn responsibilities when we give them space and opportunity to do so. They need to realize that they are individuals with thoughts and minds of their own.
Only by experience, children can realize their capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. When they face the society, they have to interact independently at various levels with different social groups. Only experience of life at all levels gives them a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. But unfortunately many children grow up unaware of the importance of experience in reality, leading to personality issues at later stages of life.
We are parents. We must realize that we are merely caretakers of the next generation. Let us be there for them when they fall, let’s motivate them to try and experience new things, let’s tell them it is OK to make mistakes and they will be loved unconditionally. Children learn to trust their decisions. Though they may not always meet success, but having choices builds their self-esteem, which helps them to be emotionally more stable and secure as human beings.