“Parenting is the most difficult job in the world!” exclaims every new parent. Your response would be a simple nod or a giggle, but you won’t know until your baby is born.
“Nah, it doesn’t sound too horrible,” I’m sure you were thinking. When your child is born, your social life comes to an end; no more going out on Fridays to catch up with friends. Instead, you’ll be at home taking care of your infant.
You may have imagined that you could go for a run first thing in the morning! However, until your infant starts wailing for milk or a diaper change, you’ll be yearning for a few minutes of sleep.
Ah! We all believed it would be simple. YOU had a vision – family vacations, fun kid activities, your baby’s firsts, and so on – but it isn’t always possible to achieve your goals.
As you cradle your baby to sleep, you turn off the lights and turn on the lullaby track songs. You’ll tuck your child into bed in half an hour and sleep next to him all night.
Reality: It’s 11 p.m., and your baby isn’t showing signs of sleepiness. Even if the child sleeps, the wails would wake you up every few hours.
Expectations: Your child will eat vegetables and meat with ease.
Reality: Your child screams and pushes the food away. In the end, you’ll be cleaning up a LOT of wasted food.
Expectation: Your child is in the tub playing with a rubber duck while you scrub and wash him clean.
Reality: You will get wet while bathing your child. There will be times when your child does not want to enter!
Expectation: You’re out with your friends on Saturday evening after a long week. You’d be giggling and dancing all night.
Reality: You’ll call it off on Saturday morning because you’re still exhausted from the sleepless nights. You’d rather sleep than go out any day.
These are some examples of parenting reality. Of course, it isn’t always a bad thing. Being a parent provides many wonderful experiences.
- The opportunity to see your child for the first time,
- Observing as he explores the world – fascination through his eyes as he moves from one object to the next,
- A baby’s contagious laugh,
- The calm expression on your child’s face as he or she sleeps in your arms, and so much more.
- As the child gets older…
- There will be new and difficult problems. However, difficulties are accompanied by wonderful and unforgettable memories.
- Let’s cut to the chase: children don’t always behave well.
What is unacceptable, however, is how the child has stopped listening to you! What is the source of this? Is it a desire for liberty?
There is only one cause, which most parents deny. Communication in a nutshell. “What?! But I always make an effort to communicate with my child!”
What is the root cause of your inability to communicate effectively?
We’ve all been kids, subject to our parents’ “don’t do this because…” lectures.
Was it beneficial to you? Yes, on occasion! But what if your parents start talking all the time? You may notice yourself staring off into space or completely ignoring them.
A child’s attention span is limited. As a result, it’s best to send your message in less than 30 seconds. But what if it doesn’t still work? Perhaps you’re the type of parent who says…
“No means no!”
Or any negative comments like, “You can’t do that!”
What’s the problem with this? If you emphasize the word “You,” the child may feel attacked or accused of something. Remember that if you continue to say no, the person will do the exact opposite of what you want.
The ONLY option is to yell.
Consider this scenario: Your child is busy playing on his phone, and you call him several times. When you start yelling, that’s all it takes to get his attention.
Parents resort to yelling, and children only listen when they do. Why? Because they’ve determined that when you yell, you mean business.
Talking to a sluggish child
Neha is engrossed in a Netflix show when her mother enters and says, “What did I say about your clothes lying around, Neha? Can’t you, just once, do your things properly?”
We can’t avoid talking right away as parents. We believe that the sound of our voice would cause our child’s ears to perk up. The only issue here is that you don’t get your child’s attention first before telling them a message.
Bringing up a dominant child
If your child is used to getting their their way, he or she is most likely a dominant child. A dominant child is someone who only listens and does what they want.
This type of behaviour is caused by spoiling and giving in to tantrums during the early stages of childhood.
Condition of Mind
Your family should practise Mental Health Awareness. You’ve tried everything to get your child to listen, but all you get is a flat NO. What exactly does this mean? If problems such as hearing loss or other issues are present, it is best to seek medical attention.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder is another disorder in which your child NEVER listens to anyone. The child will be so animated that things will get out of hand.
Have you ever been in a situation like this before? You ask your child to do something, but he refuses. You’ll ask nicely, but the answer will still be no. Even if your child throws a temper tantrum, he will emphatically say “NO!”
“Help! Should I inflict punishment?” Do you believe it is the best option? In all honesty, punishment exacerbates the situation. Your child is more likely to be obstinate and defiant. So, what’s the other option? Discipline.
Discipline is a more realistic approach to parenting. Discipline, as opposed to the old-fashioned “, do what your parents want,” teaches us to work WITH our children.
What do you take away from this?
- Having more patience
- Feel the emotional resemblance
- Desire to set a good example
Communication will improve as you practise this. Instead of you starting the conversation, your child will most likely approach you and say, “Mom and Dad, my day was…”
Sometimes, however, all your child wants is some quality time with you. There are times when we get busy with our life – need to finish up paper works at home, prepare a meal or crash to bed.
Yes, you try to converse, but it’s only on a casual level “How is your day going? What did you do in class? “.
Sometimes your child reaches out, but you don’t notice. “Why don’t you listen to me?” inquire your child. “Because you don’t,” you’re likely to hear. How is that even possible?
While you’re performing a task, we may say, “Okay, yes, I’m listening.” What your child wants is for you to pause, look at them, and show interest.
What would you do if you were in an important meeting and the president was texting on his phone? Will you not be disappointed and offended? You were so excited to deliver your speech, but all you got was a half-hearted acknowledgement.
That is how your child feels when you choose to do something else while he is talking. Your child would feel underappreciated by his parents.
Three self-evaluation questions…
As parents, we tend to use an authoritative tone. It’s the same as saying, “Hear me roar and be terrified.” Why do we choose something we don’t want to go through? To say something that will offend us?
The three simple questions will be sufficient to aid you in your quest for self-awareness. Is what I’m doing right for my child? What should I work on?
- What is the cause of my child’s behaviour?
Find the source of the problem before lecturing or disciplining your child. What’s the source of this behaviour? What caused your child to go silent? Sometimes the answer is obvious, but we need a gentle nudge to notice it.
2. What is my child’s emotional state?
Children are human beings, and when they hear you yell, they tend to hide in a cocoon. Before you lash out, try to put yourself in your child’s shoes and imagine how you’d feel if you were on the receiving end.
3. What effect does this technique have?
Punishment results in destructive behaviour while spoiling your child results in a dependent individual. Discipline, on the other hand, develops a child’s maturity and emotional stability.
Sometimes all your child needs is an ear to listen to, hugs and kisses to comfort them, and the knowledge that home is where they can be “you.”