Criticism, nagging and scolding by parents in harsh or soft words, on major or minor issues destroys the self esteem of the child. But it may also rouse a very dangerous feel-ing in the child, that of guilt. This feeling of guilt can distort the way the child thinks about himself.
How do you react to his ‘misch-ief’?: Children are children. We often lose our patience when they act the-ir age. But little do we realize that our repeated remarks like ‘every time you go out, you create a fuss for having something or the other’ or ‘you are such a stubborn child’, can make the child feel guilty of being a ‘trouble maker’. As a result he may become conscious of his actions and gradu-ally stop expressing himself.
How do you deal with his unreason-able ‘wants’?: Children don’t under-stand why he cannot have every-thing he wants nor that one should pay to get something. But when chi-ldren insist on taking some toy from the shop or somebody’s place or bring home something without the know-ledge of parents, mostly parents criticize the child for being greedy or accuse him of stealing. This makes the child doubt his intentions and feel guilty for being mean.
How do you take their naivety?: Innocent remarks by children may cause a rift between the parents or the family members. Blaming the child for causing misunderstand-ings makes him feel guilty for the unhappiness caused to you. Don’t burden your little child by holding him responsible for issues arising in the family.
How do respond to his failures?: When parents express their dis-appointment or how ashamed they feel when the child loses in a comp-etition or doesn’t score good marks, it is the ultimate blow to his self-con-fidence. The child begins to feel he is not good enough. And he’ll operate all his life from the understanding ‘others are good, I am bad’.
How do you make him realize his mistakes?: While disciplining the child, parents indulge in soft emo-tional blackmail like ‘we love you so much, we have given you every-thing, still you misbehave or don’t listen to us’. This can make the child guilty of being ‘unworthy’. He may feel he is someone who doesn’t des-erve good parents. Well, the fact is that every child deserves good par-ents and good parenting which is entirely in your hands.