Children learn to live by observing the life of people around them. From an early age, their sense of observation, tendency to emulate and inquisitiveness is high, and every life situation holds some meaning for them.
Instead of stopping your child from asking you so many questions, as a parent, you should actively be a part of their conversation and answer their doubts wholeheartedly. By understanding what your child’s thought process, you will not only help him in his growth and development, but also connect with him at the most fundamental level. As an adult, you may always find it difficult to empathise with your child. However, a trip down the memory lane can definitely make you better equipped to understand your child. Realize that you were also in the same place once, and were as inquisitive as your child is now.
Bridge The Generation Gap with Empathy
Generation gap is a real problem, when it comes to understanding your kids. Thought processes, values and reactions to situations vary dramatically across generations. In order to appreciate and help your child, you must remember your own childhood. Remember the time when everything was new and exciting, yet confusing at the same time. Your child is also going through the same growth path, physically and emotionally, as you did.
In an effort to consciously empathise, try to think or remember the following –
- Imagine, if you weren’t guided properly by your parents, your perspective and meaning towards life would have been so different
- Things which influenced you back those days can influence your child as well
- What did you expect your parents to tell you, whenever you were going through a stressful time
- How did you expect your parents to behave if you shared an incident pertaining to bullying with them
- If you were not getting good grades in school or were finding things difficult to understand, then what were the magic words from your parents that helped you sail through the year?
Keeping yourself in that situation will help you understand that your child also deserves the same attention and care which you received as a child, may be even more. Comparing your time with theirs will help you realise their feelings and how you can be part of your child’s routine.
How To Get To Know Your Child Better?
The biggest impression on a child’s mind is created by his parents. The kind of language parents use, the way they behave and treat others, their values, their habits and their emotional intelligence; everything is observed and adapted by children. If you want your child to behave in a certain manner and develop a tolerant and understanding disposition, you have to start behaving in a similar manner as well.
You must open all the channels of communication with your child, so that he doesn’t seek advice on the internet or some other source that shall prove to be fatal.
Following tips can help you better understand your child’s thinking and feelings:
1. Parents should accept and appreciate their children’s mind set and encourage them to gain more knowledge. At the same time, any faulty thought must be clarified and ruled out logically.
2. Your child would appreciate being consulted in important domestic matters. While, their opinions and contributions may not always be practical, this participation will make them feel involved and connected with you.
3. Try to be involved in your child’s daily routine and Develop a beautiful bond with your children. They develop better competencies and decision making capability, if they are given responsibilities from an early age.Give them small responsibilities, so that they learn faster.
4. It is well said that – ‘ Give respect and take respect .’ In order to get respect from your child, you should give respect as well. Your child must feel secure and admired in your presence. This way, he will always make an effort to share his aspirations and achievements with you.
5. Always celebrate small achievements and reward good behaviour. To a learning mind, this conditioning will go a long way – personally and professionally.
6. Take every small question of your child as a challenge and answer them by relating it to real life situations.
7. Make a conscious effort towards learning new things together, even if on the internet.
8. Play a game, read a book or simply go for a walk together. Every minute of the quality time that you spend with your child will make you understand his feelings better.
9. Maintain honesty and transparency in all the communications with your child.
Children are a part your reflections, your legacy and yourself. To understand your child, you should bring yourself at his level. Prioritise his needs and communicate with him regularly. Between the age of 7-11 years, children have a broader mindset; as a parent, it’s not the right, but your duty to paint that clean slate with motivation and proper guidance. Your efforts will definitely be visible to your kid. You never know, may be one day he will come down the memory lane to realise what you have done for him, and that now is his turn to continue and pass your legacy to the next generation.