A MIXED BAG FOR FESTIVE SEASON

A MIXED BAG FOR FESTIVE SEASON 

After completing my blogs on Nutrition, I was to write about 'How to keep your child connected with the environment & facilitate the learning naturally'. Then I got an opportunity to meet all the beautiful people at Goa and I thought of a festive season BONANZA....!!!!

We talked about some behavioral issues & I found it a major concern amongst mothers. Few more contacted personally & were worried about the same. 
I have already posted about the 
BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION TECHNIQUES but while talking with moms in details, I found that just knowing all these methods won't serve the purpose. We need to understand the reasons behind an undesirable behavior of a child. 
This blog would be like a home-work for all the parents. I will mention the most likely areas & reasons that can disturb the child and results in a socially unacceptable/undesirable behavior. You need to identify the reasons for your child and act accordingly.
Depending upon our mental frame, we conclude that the child is misbehaving. The first step would be to check your demands. Whether that is rational and appropriate for the child's age/abilities/health & mood or not. Check with the place/ the time/the person and the environment. After a clean chit still you find that you need to work on your child's behavior, following are some tips to start with;

1) The circles: 

The first circle is your home. Parents, siblings & 
grandparents(if you are in a joint family) This is the most influential place for everyone in the family but for our children it's not only influential but crucial too.
We all have 'a child', 'a parent' and 'an adult' within us since birth. 
'The child' within wants to have fun & freedom 24*7. 'The child' within doesn't understand the sense of responsibility. 'The child' within surrenders to the emotional attacks.
'The parent' within always wants to control. 'The parent' within is rule bound 24*7. 'The parent' within is imprisoned in loads of DOS & DON'TS. 'The parent' within is controlled by lots of external factors, the main being the social stigma.
'The adult' within is an assertive, optimistic, forward moving & unconditional character within. 'The adult' within knows to respect, to listen, to love unconditionally & to communicate effectively. 'The adult' within is a pure self created by GOD...unspoiled & original.
The only difference between an elderly person, a middle aged person, an adult, an adolescent and a child is in the quantum of experiences. We are richer in experience than our children, rest remains the same. 
Throughout the day we behave from different state of mind, at times 'the child' within dominates & the other time 'the parent' within dominates.
Introspect, 
'The child' within is timid & wants to have fun always 
  • If you are not so good in managing responsibilities,
  • If you are too much dependent on the care-takers,
  • If you are taking frequent dips in the pool of emotions, 
  • If you are not able to manage your anger/depression/ cry/frustrations etc. and react now & often
'The child' within is overpowering you. 
The result would be; 
  • Your child would not take you seriously. 
  • Your child would not listen to you. 
  • Your child would not follow the instructions. 
  • Your child would feel insecure for his emotional crisis & wouldn't turn to you because he has seen you reacting during your emotional crisis.
'The parent' within always wants to control.
  • If you are instructing, nagging, pointing or shouting most of the time.
  • If you are labeling your child as, 'stubborn', 'lazy', 'smart','fussy', 'non-verbal', 'special', 'slow'.....!!
  • If you are offering help to your child every now & often. 
  • If you want your child to do something just because some other child has done. 
  • If you are always keeping an eye on your child's activity with an intention of perfection. 
  • If you keep on correcting the work done by your child. 
  • If you are getting disturbed very often if someone evaluates your child in his/her own ways. 
  • If you are praising your child too much. 
  • If you are trying to show-case your child even at the smallest gathering. 
  • If you are talking unrealistically about your child's potentials.
You are overpowered by 'the parent' within.
The result would be;
  • a rebellious child, 
  • a stressed out child  [bed wetting/self-talk/hitting others/ biting others/ banging head/temper-tantrums/denial(saying 'no' most of the time)/criticizing others etc.] 
  • or the child may get withdrawn because he/she can't cope up with the stress.
We need to balance between 'the child' & 'the parent' within us. We need to balance between total freedom & total control. We can do that by nourishing 'the adult' within.
Keep cool & calm. Don't deal with the situation when you are under control of emotions. Don't deal when you are surrounded by too many dos & don'ts. Withdraw yourself from prescribing things to your children. Give them space/freedom/respect as an individual.
The behavior of a child solely depend on the quality of first circle. To modify the first circle is totally in our hands. The family bondage, interpersonal relationship within the family, the unity, quality time spent together, distribution of responsibilities among family members, sense of belonging, involvement of each member even in the smallest matter etc. play an important role.
The effects of comparison, nagging & labeling needs a separate blog. At present we will just refrain ourselves from comparison, nagging & labeling. Let us decide not to nag, compare or label our children.
What will help you to modify your first circle? 
The answer is Introspection.
There are 5 types of people on this globe.
WO (Work-Oriented): They just want to complete the work they are assigned or compelled.These people are not bothered about the quality/gain/advantage...nothing. They just complete the work.
PO (Product- Oriented): They do everything for their personal gains. Even if it doesn't give pleasure or satisfaction they keep on pushing themselves.
SOO( Significant-Other-Oriented): Majority falls in this category. They do things keeping others in mind. 'How people will think?', 'How people will feel?' These people spend whole life to please others/ to make others comfortable. While doing this they forget to take care of themselves. These people need appreciation every now & often and when not appreciated they loose their motivation & start either feeling guilty or criticizing.
MO (Motivation-Oriented): Motivation is the riding force for these people. They are happy, can deal with situations, can provide conducive environment, can balance between strengths & limitations, can set rational & practical goals. These are optimistic, forward moving people & can find ways on their own.
JO(Joy-Oriented): These are the people who enjoy whatever they do. Similar to MO they can do/achieve whatever they want to.
Try to fall in last two categories. You will find simple & practical ways to deal with your child.
During Goa meet, I found even grown ups were not serving themselves during the meal time. I saw few children controlling their moms by calling them every now & often or interrupting in between. Few were not at all interested in the happenings around.. Some moms were continuously instructing. 
One girl kept on hurting Palak whenever she found Palak around. The reason may be because she was an achiever & used to be the center of attraction where ever she goes. She disliked when people attended Palak. This is very common with all of us but we are smart enough to hide and our innocent angles....they are as transparent as air..!! For any untoward behavior; the child is not at fault, the first circle needs positive changes. 
Don't feel ashamed of your child's behavior. Moms avoid meeting others just because they want to hide the unacceptable behavior of their children. By doing this we are in fact worsening the situation & aggravating the problem. We want society to accept our children & somewhere we are not able to accept the child the way it is...!!!!
When the child is doing good it is a must to encourage the child but the appreciation needs to be appropriate and for that moment only. At the same time, child needs to learn to appreciate others as well. Otherwise to get a praise without giving anything in return becomes a habit. Child is not bothered about the learning and gradually the focus gets shifted to praise. Many times such children start criticizing others. They keep on finding faults with others just to prove themselves better than others.
I found few moms facing problems handling the sibling relationship. We want to have an inclusive society....Have we started building an inclusive homes???? Check with your home environment....is it truly inclusive??? Most of the time we spare the special child from responsibilities and over load the typical with extras..... Most of the time we give extra time to the special and spare the typical...!!! The work distribution, fun time, family time everything needs to be balanced. Unknowingly we do certain things that make our typical children feel neglected. Overpowered by the stress of our special children's future, we ask our typical children to take the responsibility of their special siblings. While doing this we steal the rights, the freedom, the happiness and the individuality of our typical children.
I have never arranged my children's cupboard, never arranged their school bags, never filled their water bottles, never polished their shoes....both did on their own and faced the consequences from the school when not done. 
We are eager to send our children to school...we are not bothered to send a 3-4 year old for nursery/play group/Jr KG alone for 4 hours.We feel that the child is mature enough to stay without mom in an unknown environment for 4 hours but the same child is not mature enough to get ready on his/her own...!!! By keeping the word 'special' in mind we are creating handicaps in our families.
If you maintain the love and harmony within your family you will never need to tell your typical child to be responsible about the special sibling...it will go naturally & in the best possible way.
One more thing, moms are too much worried about the academic/formal learning of their children. I found none worried about the social & day-to-day skills of the child. There are no compartments of learning. A child that remains connected with the surrounding learns social & academic skills naturally and this is the responsibility of entire family.
Child grown up in a strong, loving, unbiased & positive family environment is capable enough to face the adversities of other circles.
The Second circle includes neighbours, friends, frequently visiting relatives & care-takers. To maintain your second circle in a positive & harmonious way is again in your hand. If handled tactfully, all in your second circle will support you in their best possible way provided you have set an example by making your first circle loving,caring,harmonious,inclusive & positive.  If your first & second circles are strong...not to bother about the rest.
The Third circle includes school, therapy centers & local social gatherings. This circle is partially under your control. Intervene only when you feel that hazards are overpowering the process of learning. Don't keep on pinging for every hurdle coming in your/child's way. Let the child face the real world. The power of first two strong circles will allow the child to face the third circle & will boost the level of confidence.
The Fourth circle includes the city/state you stay. This circle is not under your control. The child has to learn to face this wider world. If the art of EFFECTIVE DAILY LIVING is inculcated naturally & from early age, managing self on a larger spectrum would not be difficult.
TO BE CONTINUED......   
    

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