First and foremost keeping an eye on the child’s behavior as he/ she grows is the first step to understand and gain insights if the child is facing difficulties or going through something he/ she is not ready to share, this can be emotional, mental or a physical cause. As teenagers, there have been times where we have been taken aback by our mom’s simple question; “Are you alright? Or is there something bothering you?” they always knew something’s up by the way we talked, our actions and our response. This is not some magic trick, but efforts to know your child well as he/she grows. What we call as a “mother’s instinct” is expressed when mom’s guess the situation of the child to be affirmative. It is not just mothers even teachers are able to do the same, in short it takes efforts to observe and perceive the child’s behavior patterns.
There are days when our child surprises us with unexpected actions, which would cause us distress. If the child has done something wrong which is socially unacceptable, we need to figure out what was the reason behind the child’s behavior and ask a question; “WHY?”
Certain behavior or action is performed just for the sake of satisfying the child’s own curiosity. For example; touching their genitals, pinching the mother’s breasts or any women who carry the child, etc. As a mother or a father, this brings us shame especially when such acts happen in public or is witnessed by our relatives and friends. The child performing such behavior has very innocent intentions unlike adults, they see the world with honesty, with no judgments and embarrassments. The child isn’t wrong…but he/she isn’t right either.
What can be done? Ask the right questions
You cannot have a pep talk or give advice to a 3 year old, they don’t plan to listen because they haven’t developed the patience to do so, as they are just getting there. In such times, it is best to correct the action that very moment the child performs it. Ask the right questions to the child why he/ she did it and why not to do it, etc. asking questions encourages the child to think and access the situation.
Express what you feel
I know the child can look very innocent, that you just want to forgive and forget but without correction of that particular behavior, expect the same to be repeated later…the last thing we want is to see the same happening again! Being stern in putting forth a statement is acceptable, it is imperative you express what you are feeling to the child, as they are learning the same from you. If something is unacceptable express it but do not blow it out of proportion. Being stern doesn’t mean you shout at your child or show extreme annoyance, your statement needs to be sharp and straight.
Some lessons are learnt through experience.
You know it doesn’t matter how many parenting books you read, videos you watch or gather a ton of knowledge…there are some things as you go about nurturing your child you just learn. As for the child, it is the same, there will be points when they would not listen to you, that is when depending on the situation just let them be, when they make mistakes, they learn. Ultimately, this is a part of life, learning through experience. The earlier children learn this, the better.
“A wise parent humors the desire for independent action, so as to become the friend and adviser when his absolute rule shall cease.”― Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South