Throughout the stages of your child growing up, he or she will have typical behaviours that will simply make your blood boil. In order to understand how your child functions, it is important to take into account the different factors of their stages in life such as their maturity level, age-related tasks and proficiency in psychomotor skills. It’s a common trend amongst younger children to disobey their parents or do things that may hurt others. All these can make you wonder what you did wrong in your parenting and may be extremely frustrating for parents.
What you need to understand is that children need time to understand and realise that actions matter and the different social dynamics at play in the world. As such, the role of parents is to ultimately shape the personality of their children and guide them away from self-centredness hardwired in their brains.
Serving as a role model – It is true that children imitate adults and react accordingly because the mirror neurons in kids are exceptionally active. By making use of this, parents should try to perform actions which embody a certain value when together with their children. These actions will help to not only increase the awareness your child has for other people; it will also develop their feelings for empathy.
Stressing the importance of goal setting at a young age – By this, we don’t expect your child to magically know how to set goals from their tender age, but rather to start small and slowly incorporate ideas of goal setting for your child. This can mean giving them rewards for achieving a target at first, and slowly let the rewards become more intrinsic in nature. You don’t want to spoil them however, as many parents seem not to be able to distinguish between rewards and over-indulgence.
Learning Judgement and Consequences from their actions – Although childhood is often described as a time where life is easy and carefree, it shouldn’t deter you from instilling a sense of right and wrong in your child. Give them the opportunity to make their own decisions and allow them to bare the impact of it. It doesn’t have to be something major, but don’t shield them from reality.
Your child has a long time to learn what it really means to be human, and that could take years for some. In fact, we never really stop learning about the world around us as we age, and we owe it to our kids to ensure they learn the proper values at their age when they can’t tell the right from wrong. Be patient and supportive of your children and definitely be realistic in your expectations. Don’t be quick to berate them for every mistake they make and ultimately give them space to grow if that is what they want.