Have you ever thought that your child’s world is different than yours? Did it cross your mind that they might have different priorities, different expectations, different perception and different experience than yours?
When your kid wants to share her dream of last night with you, she needs to do it now, it is very important to her; she doesn’t care if it is 6:00 am in the morning, or if you have a headache or if you’re running late for work, or your mind is busy with something else, it is not her problem, her life revolves around her dream right now.
When your kid wants to tell you what happened today at school from the moment he rushed in the door, he doesn’t care if you had a rough day or you just had a big fight with your spouse; his news is much more important.
Make sure if you don’t give them the attention they need when they need it, they will understand it as you don’t care about them since you don’t care about what they want to say…
And they link everything that happens to them. If you’re sick or tired, it is because their behavior or what they didn’t do. If you’re shouting it is because they misbehaved. You know I was once pregnant and had a miscarriage. I heard by coincidence a conversation between my 9-years old twins back then, telling each other that it is their mistake I lost the baby because they made me shout the other day. Can you image the guilt they were living? I explained to them that it wasn’t true and that the baby was sick. They asked many questions before they were relieved and believed it wasn’t their fault!
Even worse, we hold them responsible for our sadness, anger or happiness: “I will be very sad if you don’t get high grade”, or “ you made me shout because you did so & so”. By this, we are teaching them that we are not responsible of our reactions or our well-being. The results? They will grow up blaming others for their own mood, reactions or failures…
We are their raw model, their first contact and experience with the outer world. And guess what? They will do what we do, not what we tell them to do.
Next time you get angry with your kid, stop and think:
-what made him/her behave this way? What is happening in his/her mind?
-what is triggering my anger? And what choices I have for reactions?
-how can I change this problem into an opportunity to convey a value or a lesson to my kid?
Joyce Brothers, an American psychologist, said: “If a child is given love, he becomes loving … If he’s helped when he needs help, he becomes helpful. And if he has been truly valued at home … he grows up secure enough to look beyond himself to the welfare of others.”
And Kevin Heath, an Australian footballer, said: “In the end, kids won’t remember that fancy toy or game you bought for them, they will remember the time you spent with them.”
Take the time to ask them and understand what is going in their mind. Their world is different than yours and it is your responsibility to understand and make the distinction, not theirs!
Rania Hammoud, ACC,Life Coach
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