It would be wise and sensitive to understand that just as we, adults have concerns, problems and dilemmas, pressing adult demands, so too, children also have intense confusions, dilemmas and issues that could be throwing them into perplexity.
A child’s world could also be oppressive to the child. Of course, learn unconscious ways of balancing those misgivings by activities like self talks, roleplays and physical ways of expressing those issues, otherwise. Older children have older problems. At such times, children would like to express their concerns to their parents or parent figures in their life. But the sad part is, I have seen many parents either dismissing the child’s expressions or ignoring them, unintentionally, though. Or they may take up a patronizing stand.
All these approaches are not very advisable in alleviating the mental distress the child is facing.
Parents often say ‘Oh’ forget it. It’s silly to be afraid of it’ (dismissing) when the child is narrating some fear or confusion or dilemma to the parent, parent is preoccupied in some other demanding task and simply say, ‘Uum….Oh! I see……Ok, it’s time up. Go to bed. (ignoring) Yet some other might simply say, ‘Oh! you’ll feel better tomorrow. It will be alright once you forgot it’ (patronizing). Worst of all, some parents take such soul searching sessions of their child as selfish opportunities to start advising their children. ‘Oh! You ought not to have done that. It’s is shameful. You have to mend yourself’.
In the miler of all this, the child’s woes are completely lost and the only message they carry is that ‘you are not Ok’.
‘So what do I do’, asks a parent.
The answer is very simple yet the most effective. When your child is talking over a problem or concern, you can convey your acceptance, by simply doing nothing but just listening, active listening or further still, a simpler acknowledgment of just giving your child a gentle, warm hug.
Many a times, we may also have noticed that even as adults, when we share a concern about an issue, maybe at our workplace, we only want a sounding board, not a solution counter. Say for instance, when I have a problem at work, I come and share it with my spouse. Only as a way to unburden my tension, believing and trusting my spouse to be a safe haven/place or person. I am not looking out for a solution from someone who is not responsible for the issue under concern. Solutions could be sought only from the people or place which harbour the problem, not elsewhere. Because, all solutions are part of the problem. Where the problem lies, there lies the solution too.
So, coming back to the topic, when your child expresses his/her woe or concern to you, all you have to do is refrain from advising or patronizing and just send the non verbal message ‘I’ m there. I trust in your current potential to solve your issue of concern. I’m sure you’re capable of it. Teach your child to think positively about it. Teach him to make self affirmative positive statements, ‘I can do it’. ‘I am capable of doing it’.
Active listening sends the message, ‘I understand the seriousness of your concern. But I respect you, your ability and your potential. I am sure your are capable of dealing with it I am always there if you can’t take it up further. I shall only extend my help when you ask for it, in case your meet adult intervention’.
This approach helps your child
- Recognize his potential
- Build trust and respect mutually
- Enhance his self image and self worth.
And above all, mould him into a person responsible for his accountability in all situations.
Disclaimer: The information contained within this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for obtaining advice from professional experts. The ideas and views expressed here are all from the authors of the content and not from Yokibu. Please seek assistance from professional experts for your specific needs.