In line with my goals of becoming a better mom, I attended a half-day Know Your Child Workshop last month. The goal of the workshop is to help parents deal with issues that they have with their kids by understanding the root cause. The objective is to open up the eyes of the parents to the vantage point of the kids to give them an insight about who they are and why they act as such.
It started out with the parents listing all their problems and complaints. The list of issues ranged from the kid watching too much TV, being shy around strangers, being hyper all the time, too dependent on parents or nannies, too much TV and the like.
We first parked that list on the white board and tackled the nature of a kid to better understand their psyche. By nature, they are:
1.) Naturally comfortable – They were born with a clean slate with no concept of right and wrong, what is proper etiquette and without a manual of what to do and not to do.
2.) Always HAPPY :) – The seminarian cited a study that indicates a child smiles about 100x/day, teens at 19x. They are happy unconditionally and sad conditionally.
3.) Always “live in the present” moment
Keeping in mind the issues listed above and items #1-3:
Problem: They are shouting outside when they are excited, running around. You view this as the kids being hyper. In reality, they are just overwhelmed with life and are just expressing their amazement. You tell them NO, don’t do this, don’t do that. They feel restricted. In a social setting, you tell them to stop running around and just sit down.
- They become restrained when outside thus becoming “too shy”.
- They become dependent on you to tell them what to do or not to do because they are not sure anymore what is the right thing to do.
- They cannot enjoy just sitting down so they turn to electronics or TV. Then you get mad when they become too attached to the TV/iPad
4.) Intelligent logically
5.) Daring little people – Unfortunately, we transfer our fears to them subconsciously.
Keeping in mind the issues listed above and items #4-5
Problem: Fear of Dogs, Swimming, Darkness, etc.
Outcome: Kids are intelligent logically. They are very observant and can sense a lot of things especially with the parents or caregivers. They are very attuned to what is happening around them.
Example 1: You are holding your child’s hand and you come across a dog. You inadvertently squeeze her hand extra tight. This very subconscious action signals to the child that the dog may not necessarily be a safe animal. The next time, the child will also tense up when he/she sees a dog.
Example 2: If the parent doesn’t know how to swim and he/she is holding the baby in a pool or beach. They will also pass on their fear to the child.
6.) Independent thinkers
Problem: They see a giant trampoline or a bouncy house and quickly scamper for it. You stop them, tell them they can’t because it’s too crowded, too many big kids, the place isn’t clean, etc. Admit it, the last reason has crossed your mind.
Outcome(s): They are naturally curious, don’t care about the dirt and hey, it’s a trampoline, I want to jump and jump even if I have to be stuck in a crowded place with a bunch of sweaty kids. Not allowing them to makes them feel repressed. They are hampered by your NO. They become more stubborn due to loss of freedom or go into a shell (shyness).
1.) Positive – Always take on a positive attitude when it comes to your kids and their experiences. Try to see the world in the eyes of a child and am sure all your NOs may turn into a lot of YESses!
2.) Exercise – More oxygen into the brain creates more happy moods. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts – ‘Nuf said!
3.) Ask questions – Constantly challenge and stimulate the minds of your kids. They are naturally intelligent and quite the thinkers. Don’t let their minds be stuck in a rut with just mindless TV. Engage with their minds. They’ll have all the time in the world to become couch potatoes later on when they’re older.
4.) Creative – As parents, we should always find creative ways to stimulate their minds and handle our personal issues with our kids. To each his own. No 2 kids are alike. What works for one may not necessarily work with the other. i.e. If getting a kid to drink her medicine entails a puppet show, then so be it.
5.) Ear – Always take the time to listen to the stories of your children. Ask them what they did in school and what they did after. How their day was… highs and lows. Asking about them also lets them fall into the routine or habit of telling you about their lives. Believe me, this will come in mighty handy next time when you have a secretive, moping, sulking teen in the house. Take an interest in their lives constantly so that you get to know them more. Let them help you understand why they do what they do and why they are who they are.
That’s it, pansit. I hope you can use some of these tips on your own kids. Have a PEACEful weekend y’all!