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Communicate With Your Child

When your child enters his teens, he tries to become an individual in his own right, seeking to move out of the protective wings of his parents. Smoking, drinking, wearing skimpy clothes are just some of the things teenagers do, to be 'in' with the crowd. This is the time for you as parents to learn how to tackle them right. If you assume the role of a dictator which in more than one case is the rule, you can be sure to have a battleground in your own home. This is not the time to alienate your child. Instead, talk to him.

How do you do it ? Do not make yourself out to be the enemy and come down upon them for every transgression. Try and lay down some ground rules in the beginning. Make your child feel that you are on his side. Since it is very difficult to interpret the teen mind, just bear in mind that you too were a teenager once. Therefore, your self-righteousness at this stage will not win you any points with your children.

Parents generally tend to forget that their babies will grow up someday and when the time comes, they must let them go. Allow them to find their own way in the world. After all, you cannot protect your child forever. However, you must remember that you cannot allow your children to run wild without any supervision. It would be a very frightening experience for you as well as your child. Your child may never admit it, but he does need you to guide him and tell him what is right and wrong. You must therefore follow your instincts in deciding that some things are just not done.

Your Child Thinks you are her Enemy

When children enter the dreaded teen years, parents look back nostalgically on the days when their children had not learnt to speak and were the most adorable kids, obeying their parents at every step. Then one fine day puberty happens and children begin to act like their parents are their worst enemies.

Your Child is Ashamed of you

As friends take over every aspect of your child's life, you may feel like a pair of discarded old shoes. It is not unusual for teenagers to go through a phase when they feel 'ashamed' of their parents. They are actually scared that they may not live up to their friend's standards. It may hurt you terribly, but don't despair. This is just a temporary phase. Be cordial to your children's friends and maintain a distance.

Your Child wants his Freedom

Teenagers are always talking about their freedom. They feel that their parents are obstacles, not permitting them to stay out late, objecting to their wearing skimpy clothes etc etc. When 'Generation Gap' is the buzzword in your home, give in to some of his fancies but do remember where to draw the line.

What is discipline ?

Helping children to develop self-control is discipline. You set the limits and control undesirable behaviour. you also learn to encourage your children, guide them, help them to feel good about themselves and teach them to think for themselves.

Is spanking a good way to discipline ?

Absolutely not ! Discipline should help children to learn how to control their own behaviour. Spanking directly controls a child's behaviour. It does not teach a child self-control.

Spanking would teach children who is boss, wouldn't it ?

Spanking will teach a child to be afraid of the adult who is in charge. Seldom will it teach the child to respect the adult. Respect will work both ways - If you respect the child and let him have some control, he will respect you and listen to you.

How can I show my child what self-control is ?

Children will do what you do. They do not like to do what you tell them to do. Set good examples for them to follow if you want them to obey rules, solve their own problems and control their anger.

Suppose my child breaks the rules, what do I do ?

Just stay calm and do what is fair. Many a time your child will help you to decide what is fair when a rule is broken. Do something that is practical and makes sense. Most important however is to see that he learns from his mistakes, never having to repeat the same mistake again.

Teach Your Child To Be Polite

Be a good listener. When your child speaks, listen to her so that she knows that when you speak she ought to listen. Whenever she interrupts your conversation, instead of being aggressive, tell her very politely that she has to wait for you to finish. You can lay your hand gently on her arm to convey your message. Be firm but use a kind tone. Remember that she is a child and does not have too much of patience. Therefore, don't let her lose her patience lest all your efforts will go waste.

If you know that you are going to have an important conversation with someone, do give advance warning to your child. Let her know that you will be busy for some time and she shouldn't interrupt. To keep her occupied, you can give her a book or jigsaw puzzle. This way her attention will remain diverted from you.

If you want your child to learn good manners, you must learn to exhibit them yourself. If you have to break in on a conversation, do remember to say 'Excuse me....'. Remember also to praise your child if she allows you to carry on with your work or conversations without interrupting you.

Help your child to overcome the fear of failure

A child who feels inadequate wants to be left alone. He believes that if he takes no risks, he faces no failure. There is a second category of children who won't try because they fear second place. They are extremely pressurized by their own 'perfectionist' goals to be achieved and extremely concerned about what others think of them.

As a parent you can

  • Give him the courage to be imperfect.
  • Base your comments on the effort being made and not on the result.
  • Encourage your child to TRY.
  • Remind him that everyone makes mistakes and that nobody is perfect.
  • Don't rush him into any activity.
  • Don't compare him with other children.
  • Don't be critical - be supportive



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