I have a perfect child – said no one EVER! Perfect children don’t exist, children can’t help but slip from the “I am trying to be perfect bandwagon” They all get defiant, ignore our nonstop suggestions/warnings, fight with friends and siblings, ignore their homework till the eleventh hour – In the end even the most tolerant parent will lose it!
In my house, I am often found doing more than one task at once. I am a self-confessed chronic multitasker. If you come to my house in the evening you’ll find me one hand in the kitchen and the other on my laptop sitting on our dining table.
While I am trying to be a master-multitasker my son will relentlessly interrupt me with demands for refreshments, queries about why we only see rainbows on cloudy days, and arguments over why his friend has Hot wheels lava set and he doesn’t, as if things weren’t bad enough, my migraine decided this was the perfect time to make an appearance!
While all of this is going on, I see from the corner of my eye that my son has spilled a glass of orange juice on our ‘Pricey White Couch’, as expected I exploded like a volcano – “You always create a mess like this, wait till dad gets home, I have had enough – leave me alone!”
When I saw the look on my son’s face after my reaction, I just wanted to take everything back. However, the words that I didn’t even mean had already made a negative impact on him. I don’t think there’s any way that I can excuse my behavior.
Just like me, many parents might feel that the harsh warnings, the timeouts, the ‘I’ll tell dad’ threats are excellent tools to stop unwanted actions and to get compliance. However, this is an ill-advised approach that’ll ultimately damage your relationship with your child.
How did I learn the ineptitude of my misguided parenting skills? The good people at my son’s preschool organized a workshop as a part of their preschool development program. The topic of the workshop was “The right words and gestures to use in front of toddlers.” Since my son’s preschool is accredited by QualityKG Preschool accreditation they follow first-rate preschool accreditation standards, this includes a number of workshops and seminars on parenting.
The workshop I attended made me realize that I have been using many words and phrases in front of my child, which may have left him feeling hurt, irritated and confused. They also taught us some gentle alternatives to the words we normally tend to use with our toddlers.
The aim of this workshop and other similar preschool development programs is to create a tolerant, courteous and fostering social environment in which our toddlers learn and grow without the superfluous punitive restraints. Benjamin Franklin once said – “To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobleness.” To add to his thought, ‘I’d say – “To be humble to your children is the key to a healthy relationship with them.”