Own Your Kids

The reason I am writing this column is to create a greater understanding between parents and children, which will result in greater family harmony. I often hear parents complaining about their children on various issues. The complaints concern children being disobedient, disrespectful, obstinate, arrogant, inattentive, uncaring and so on. When I talk to the children, I find that in most cases it is the parents who need to improve their abilities of how to handle their children. Parents are a childís first teacher and are the models of the behaviors that they would like to see in their children. So, if the child is misbehaving, the parents need to reflect on their style of parenting, in order to improve the childís behavior.

Sometimes children misbehave as a result of unrealistic expectations placed upon them by their parents. The parents want the children to fulfill their own unfulfilled dreams and expectations. They do not take the time to listen to what their children really want to do in life. This adds undue pressure on the child and results in family tensions. Other parents demand that their children be totally obedient and follow their orders blindly. If the children disagree, they do not want to know the reasons and only wish that their wishes be followed. This pattern of behavior creates misunderstandings between parents and children and also makes children more obstinate.

It is simple to create and build great communication and understanding between parents and their children. Here are a few tips:

        Never talk about your financial matters in front of your children.

        Never quarrel in your childrenís presence.

        Do not reveal any aspect of your marital relations in front of your children.

        Never show your inability to buy them anything they demand due to your financial constraints. Instead, explain to them logically why that particular item may not be good for them at that time. If they insist, listen to their reasoning and if they can convince you, fulfill their demand.

        You must pay close attention to their daily activities. If you find considerable change in their routines and behavior, try to identify the cause and address it as soon as possible.

        Be careful not to let your children take advantage of your love and affection.

        Do not display anger or constantly order them around.

        Do not take out your anger and frustration on your children.

        Keep a balanced approach and reassure them of your love.

        Both parents should be equally involved in raising the children. A father should be supportive and not go against the motherís wishes and vice versa. Thus they protect each otherís dignity and also meet the needs of their children.

        If children want to talk to you, donít ignore them or avoid them by showing lack of time. Do not dismiss their need to be with you at that time and agree to make time later.

        Children are capable of understanding your point of view if done so with affection and reason.

        If children refuse to obey you, ask them for a reason. If they can convince you, listen to them. If not, use an alternate means of persuasion to make them obey you. Do not force them, yell at them or show disrespect to their feelings.

        Children should not be struck, especially if you justify it because they do not follow your orders. They will eventually become obstinate and not care about being hit.

        Do not use intoxicants like alcohol, cigarettes or any other substances that can become a habit.

Parents hold the ultimate power to mould their children into becoming the best or worst adults in society. If parents pay attention to all the small details that are involved in raising children, they can raise the children of their own dreams. Ultimately, it takes unconditional love to raise children.