6-year old child keeps her toys back after playing.
A 5-year old begins managing her pocket money, so that she can buy her clips for a family holiday to US!
No need for the mother of a 4-year old to run after him with the food plate – the child asks for it himself without being reminded time and again.
Sounds alien? These examples are of real parents.
How did they manage to make their children responsible for their own actions? Let’s try and understand…
1. Don’t most of us think that only when the child grows up to a particular age and is big enough to handle responsibilities, only then we can give them responsibilities? Otherwise, s/he will make lots of mistakes! Well, it works the other way round! Only when we will give responsibility, will our children own it up.
2. Children are born full of self confidence. Even a 2 and a half year old child wants to select clothes for himself from the market. However, it’s the fear as parents that stop us. The reasons we give to ourselves- ‘But she is too young’, ‘ I know my child the best…s/he can’t manage by herself yet…’etc. Parents need to understand that it’s OK if a child makes mistake in his/her attempt of taking some decisions. For a very basic example, if your child has paid Rs 20 for buying X from the market, whereas it was originally for Rs 5- don’t ridicule your child for paying more money. Admonishing him/her for that mistake will really stop her from trying any further. Instead, explaining the logic to the child and explaining him/her how to check the price on the packet before buying any product is an ideal way of handling the mistake. Also, encourage the child to go back to the shop and get the balance amount back!
3. From an experience of talking to a number of adolescents now, one thing that was very commonly acknowledged by the adolescents is: “I don’t understand if my parents consider me still as a child or as an adult”. Sometimes they stop me from taking actions and say – You are too young right now. Then suddenly at times, they want me to act mature. I really get confused!”
The idea here is to maintain a consistency- Consistence of Keeping TRUST in your child!
4. All of us had at least one such person/teacher/ an adult in our lives- who said- ‘I know you can do it.’ That trust shown in you was good enough to boost your self confidence!
Parents are the biggest confidence boosters in any child’s life! A parent saying- ‘I trust you and you can do it’ may change the whole world around for a child and empower him/her taking the plunge!
5. While most of us believe in- Performance gives rise to self confidence; science of Human Development says that it works the other way round- i.e. only when one is full of self confidence and belief in oneself, will one be able to perform to his/her fullest. For your children, your belief in them and their No-Limits approach serves to be of utmost importance!
Enjoy! Happy Parenting!