How many of us feel that our child doesn’t listen to us, plays too much on Xbox, or is on social media or on a mobile all the time?
I am sure we go through this every day.
The point is how to tackle a child who is hyperactive, inquisitive, and with too much energy? Or how to deal with a teenager, who is moody, depressed, cannot handle relationships, is not friendly, does not like to study and wants everything instantly? Do you feel you are unable to be a friend to your child?
Recently a friend and her son had come to spend 3 days with me. Few things I noticed about her child, who had just turned thirteen:
1) He said ‘No’ to everything
2) When we tend to have a dialogue with him, he looks at us, blank, says he doesn’t understand, so, every time when we talk, we have to repeat, and the irony is that he isn’t even daft!
3) When we ask anything, he makes us repeat at least 4 times!
4) He doesn’t communicate, even though he has a great sense of humor.
5) He stopped playing football, now whenever he gets the time he plays online games.
6) Gets angry.
7) Very loving, but is not very friendly to new people.
What do we make out of it? How do we handle a child like this or any other child, whose behavior, you as a parent feel is not okay?
Few things I would like to share which might help us to become more skillful and aware while dealing with them.
1) First and foremost, are they born like that? NO!
2) The behavior pattern they are getting is from where? Well, all I know is that they are very observant.
3) Find the root cause of their behavior by looking at how we walk and talk. Trust me, that’s how it’s getting picked up. It could also be a result of any other event that has happened in past.
4) You want them to behave in a certain way, that’s great! But are you behaving like that? Are the rules for you and them different? For E.g. you don’t want them to abuse, or watch TV and eat, but are you also doing the same?
5) You gave them smartphones at such an early age. why? Is it because of your convenience or theirs? They need a phone alright, but do you think a normal phone, where communication can be done could have helped as well?
7) How friendly are you with them? Is there a line drawn?
8) Give them some of your time on a regular basis to do something fun, without mobile phones involved.
3 Step approach to Effective Parenting.
Discipline should be:
1) Determined – Consequences should be stated and adhered to as per the inappropriate behavior.
2) Impartial / Balanced – The punishment should fit the crime.
3) Amiable – Use a friendly but firm communication style when letting a child know that they have behaved inappropriately and let them know they will receive the “agreed upon” consequence.
Here are some important points to be followed while inculcating discipline in them.
*Never disagree about discipline in front of them.
*Be consistent, i.e. reward or punish the same behavior in the same manner as much as possible.
*Once you have stated your position and the child attacks that position, do not keep defending yourself. Just restate the position once more and then stop responding to the attacks.
*Look for gradual changes in behavior. Don’t expect too much. Praise behavior that is coming closer to the desired goal.
*Remember that your behavior serves as a model for your children’s behavior.
*If one of you is disciplining a child and the other enters the room, that other person should not step in on the argument in progress.
*Both of you should have an equal share in the responsibility of discipline as much as possible
Hope this helps. To know more, attend KNOW YOUR CHILD workshop.
I have been dealing with youth/teens for more than 13 years. I have taught and coached thousands of teenagers until now.