Once upon a time, a King was in discussion with his ministers. When a debate unfurled about the power of words, the King didn’t seem convinced. All of a sudden, the wisest of the ministers rose from his seat and cried, “Arrest him (the King) and throw him in the gallows!” The entire royal court was stunned in disbelief. The enraged King at once thundered, Arrest him and throw him in the gallows!” pointing angrily to the minister. Two soldiers rushed and chained the latter in no time. The cool and relaxed minister said with a wise laugh: “The words were the same but the results are totally different!” The King got the message.
You may share this story with your child at bed time today. Interesting one for him, but seriously thought-provoking for parents, family and teachers. In this page, I am neither going to delve into any Freudian theory about the subconscious nor going to advocate the influence of advanced hypnotism! Simply put, our thought-pattern and quotidian way of communicating casually are all that do the magic in our children.
Parents who have worked hard to cultivate strong bonding during the early years of the child find that their children listen to them better than those who didn’t make the effort. So, to begin with, mutual trust and bonding are the basic conditions to get the communication effective.
A couple of years ago, I read about an interview with a young lady I.A.S (Indian Administrative Service) Officer. It was reported that this coveted post had been her doting family’s dream ever since she was born. So much so that her father used to address her ” Kalectar amma!” (‘Lady I.A.S Officer’ in Tamil) from day one, every single time: “Kalectar amma , please come here!”, ” Kalectar amma is reading”, etc. She has said that the thought had entered her blood stream and the destination was almost effortless, all thanks to the right way of communication.
Ironically, last week’s news report about a 21 year old son stabbing his mother to death reiterates the very same fact that the parents’ words make or break (play havoc, rather) on the young minds. Abnormally, the mother not only deprived her son of motherly love and care, but also constantly kept discouraging, accusing and insulting him with harsh words. Alas! The son repaid in action what she had heaped in the form of words.
Tremendous is the power of the parents’ thoughts, whether they are expressed orally or otherwise. Jawaharlal Nehru, one of India’s greatest national leaders and the country’s first Prime Minister, played a major role in shaping his daughter Indira (Gandhi), who grew up to become not only a Prime Minister but also rose to the rank of a refined Statesman. As a freedom fighter, Nehru spent long periods in the Indian prisons. But he did not miss out on his paternal duties. He wrote a series of letters to his young daughter which later took the form of an excellent book, “Glimpses of World History”. And the world knows the heights that the daughter scaled.
News reports and great leaders apart, let us focus on ourselves and our future strategy. Here is a list of Do’s and Don’t s:
Trust and speak: The child listens to you.
Compare the child with his own previous performances: This encourages self-evaluation and insight.
Be realistic and practical: This makes the child stay in the “Agreeable Zone”.
Spread positive thoughts and encourage optimistic outlook: The child’s approach towards life becomes mature.
Accept the child’s failures: the child gets encouraged to try new ways to be successful.
Never suspect or command: The child gets determined to ignore you.
Do not compare the child with peers or siblings: This kicks off low-self esteem and bitterness towards those children.
Avoid raking up the past mistakes often: You are destroying the bridge between you and your child.
Stop using “Get lost!” “I knew that you’d fail!” “You are incorrigible! and the like: Success will become an ever fleeting mirage for the child.
Never get judgmental: That is the last nail of the coffin; YOU doom all prospects in the child’s life.
Sir Isaac Newton made no mistake when he said: “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”