Childhood is a fragile phase of a human’s life; events in
Labeling Tears The Child Apart Without Leaving A Scar
It all starts at home and school before spreading out to the society. Just like how they learn a language their parent teaches them, the child registers and believes every label their parents use, and use the same for the rest of their lives (until their beliefs somehow change).
When you label a child with names such as “introvert,” “black,” “shy,” “fat,” and other objectifying words, the child starts to believe there is some problem with them, and in the later stages of their lives, they are confined by these words. As a parent, you may not do this intentionally; however, you are subconsciously passing on these labels. But these words impact the child on the receiving end, who feels the depth of the words even more than it was meant to.
For instance, when parents go shopping, they want to buy a dress for their child. And let’s suppose the child is has a darker shade of complexion. Parents look for low contrast clothes to “suit” their child’s skin color. When the storeperson shows a bright color, the parent may reject because it will not mask their child’s skin color. The child, who listens to this conversation, starts to believe that there is something wrong with her color, and becomes conscious of her complexion. This will destroy the child’s confidence and morale.
Misconception: Shouting & Punishing Are A Part Of Parenting
An age-old myth many parents believe is that shouting and punishing a child is a part of parenting and that it will nurture the child. However, the reality is quite the opposite. The child who is hit will fall in a trap of emotional trauma that will keep deepening throughout their life. The child may even grow apart from the
Society Is The Root
Society becomes more influential in a child’s life as they grow, as it is where children spend their formative years of life. Human beings crave entertainment. This entertainment often includes gossips. And these gossips may sometimes be about someone’s child and how their parents raise them. When I say society, that includes the collective group of all of us. When advising a child or the child’s parents, the society assumes they have known the child forever and starts giving parenting 101. They even judge the child and brand them. This affects the child’s own perception of themselves.
What Needs To Be Done
I am not generalizing here when I talk about parents or the society. Parents in general love their child. However, there are certain aspects to be taken care of (especially in this Internet-driven world). And if you were a child who grew up observing any of these things in your childhood, I have good news. You do not have to follow that path, and what you can be from here on entirely depends on you. I have only covered minor issues that may not extend to all cultures and societies in the world; but this topic is deeper and I shall discuss it in another blog.
- Don’t yell at your kid
- Don’t compare your child with their siblings or any other child
- Don’t introduce your child with labels (for example, “here is my ‘introverted’ son).
Ever wondered why a speaker talks about the achievements of a speaker before calling them on the stage for a speech? To draw the attention of the audience. We believe what we hear, we judge and give importance to a person based on the first impression. When you introduce your child at a party (before a bunch of strangers) with taglines, people will judge your kid as you said and your kid may never open up to them.
- Don’t be physical with your child
Nurturing a child may be a difficult job, and every child is different. A parent can inculcate discipline in their children without hurting them mentally/emotionally or physically.
- Do tell your child what is right. But give them the correct reason why you don’t want them do a certain thing (playing video games for long hours, for example). The child may not understand in one go. Give them alternatives, be patient, let them know how the screen can affect their eyes when they play for long hours. Although the child may not understand deeply, they will eventually understand, and instantly admire your patience
- Do remind them that you love them
- Do not ask to fulfil your dreams; this is a heavy subject and I need a separate blog post to talk about this. Just to give an idea, talent shows pressurize kids. If you take your kid for a competition, don’t ask them to win it. Instead, teach them the value of experiences
No doubt you will make a great parent. But there is a need to learn, and to understand the world from your child’s perspective. Because parenting is no less than a job, I suggest gaining necessary skills through these two books.
- The Rules of Parenting by Richard Templar
- Conscious Parenting by Lee Lozowick