As parents, we are all guilty of spoiling our children a bit from time to time and it's hard to not indulge in it. However, as parents, we have a huge responsibility of raising children who will grow up to be responsible citizens of our society. Here are some simple ways by which we can try to ensure the kids shape up in the right direction.
Growing up, both my sister and I, were expected to help around the house. Simple things such as making our own beds, washing dishes off and on, clearing tables etc, were a given. These chores made us appreciate the amount of work our mother used to put in for us and the house. Giving age-appropriate chores to your children helps build self-esteem and a sense of responsibility and in the long run, you raise independent people who will be able to manage well in the adult world.
Ensure teaching your kids to say thank you, however small or big the gesture is. Whether you cooked a lavish meal for them or simply cut them a bowl of fruits, kids should be able to thank without effort. This can only be achieved if parents embody the same outlook and practise what they preach. Explain to your children why being thankful is such a good habit to have. Being content and grateful for what we have is a facet that helps with peace of mind.
Setting firm boundaries and expectation from an early stage makes a huge difference in how children behave as they grow up. We need to teach our children how to conduct themselves in a way that there is little need to keep disciplining them. Instead of being strict or angry and simply saying no, be firm with your kids and explain what is expected out of them in any particular situation. Talk about consequences instead of simply punishing them.
If you were raised in the 80s-90s you would concur, when I say, that our parents did not make their life about us. We were treated as kids and not celebrities whose every single demand had to be catered to. I still follow that rule to the thumb with my toddlers. You are the parent and what you say goes. You should be in control of your children and not the other way around. Stop giving them unnecessary things, ill-placed attention or false praise. Sometimes saying a firm ‘no’ does go a long way.
Parents who constantly cover up for their children's bad behaviour, give out the message that it is okay for them to behave in that manner because they see the covering up as a sign of acceptance. Do not be afraid of reprimanding your kids as and when necessary. You don't have to punish them that instant, however, sometimes a disagreeing look towards your child sends a big message and helps control their behaviour. Do remember to discuss reasons why a certain type of behaviour is unacceptable.
Refrain from falsely praising your child where it isn't needed. Kids need to learn to fail. Somehow, we parents have forgotten to teach our kids to fall hard as we surround them with imaginary cushions. Kids need to fall down hard to learn the importance of success. We need to mold them into strong individuals who are not afraid of taking chances knowing that they may fail not once but many times and we should be able to remind them to never give up.
Yes, saying thank yous and pleases and sorry is a sign of good manners, but good manners go beyond them. Teach your kids to be respectful to everyone, help them inculcate good sportsmanship and the habit of greeting people properly.
And remember practice makes perfect, so as hard as it may be, do not give up, children come around sooner than later.
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