7 Ways To Help Your Child Become The Best Version Of Themselves
Learning from our faults is a vital part of growing up, and indeed, our entire lives. Everyone makes mistakes, not just children. However, as parents, it is our duty to help our children improve and learn from them. Our intention is to instill good values and principles in them that is why knowing how we can help our children learn from their mistakes is vital for their personal development. Adopting the wrong approach may very well lead to counterproductive results.
Here is a list of tried and tested methods to help you mold the leaders of tomorrow:
1) Differentiate between the important mistakes and the unimportant ones
Mistakes can vary in significance – from stealing, lying, cheating or being rude to one’s parents, to trivial matters such as forgetting to do things, not tidying up behind themselves or not helping with clearing up after eating. Because everything is varied in significance, it’s best not to shout at your child for every mistake they make. Determine what mistakes are of more and less value.
For example, stealing is more important to correct than not eating all their veggies. If you do not tell them that stealing is wrong then it will mold who they become in the future. Whereas not eating all their veggies does not do that much harm in comparison.
2) Avoid reacting — rather, respond
Avoid instantly reacting to their mistakes, but rather respond appropriately. Reacting can lead them to develop a negative approach while responding can create a comfortable and positive situation for them to talk about their mistake, seek right understanding, and find a solution for it.
3) Think before you speak
Be clear on what you would like to convey to your child and address your child with love. Speak to them in the same manner you would like to hear from them in return. Above all, you should not speak to your child in an authoritative tone as this will just antagonize them.
4) Allow them to accept their mistakes
Ask your child whether or not he/she has thought about what he/she has done and if it felt right? They instinctively know when they do something wrong. Therefore, you should first give them a chance to verbally accept that they have indeed done something wrong. If you start to criticize them, then this makes the situation worse and they will become rebellious and indignant.
5) Give them some space and time
There can be times when children may not realize their mistakes right away and can get defensive about what they have done. During such situations, you have to deal with them with a lot of patience and care. Give them their space, time, and freedom to understand their mistake and learn from it rather than continuously prompting about it.
6) Lend an ear
At times, your child can be scared or find it difficult to own up and approach you when they feel they have done something wrong. Under such situations, it becomes important to lend them an ear, comfort them with your love and trust, and ask them to share their thoughts freely and have a healthy discussion over it. This will help them obtain some right understanding of the matter.
It will also prevent them from making bigger mistakes in an attempt to hide the previous ones, out of fear. In addition, it will help them gradually build up positive confidence in you, which will allow them to be more open next time.
7) Stop nagging, try a different approach
If you have repeatedly told your child about the same mistakes on many occasions and there is little improvement, then clearly the message is not getting through. Try a different approach. Determine the best way to deal with your child. No one knows your children better than you do! You will be able to determine the best way forward. Remember it is easy to point out mistakes, but it takes time to correct them, not to mention it’s difficult, even if you know what you have done is wrong.
- Let the situation calm down and then discuss the matter through as friends.
- Try to be open-minded.
- Share some experiences of mistakes you have made, let them know what you learned from your mistakes.
- Praise them for being honest and for admitting their mistake.
When talking to your children, Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan, a spiritual teacher, explains:
“Always speak calmly and use gentle words. Never use bitter and ugly speech. Use your words sparingly and speak with love and affection so that one day you will win [them] over. Otherwise, you will not succeed. Bitterness on your part will only serve to make [them] vindictive and harbor hatred towards you. [They are] helpless at the present time, but from within [they are] binding negative karmas to get even with you when [they grow] up. Love will work wonders for you although you may not see the results immediately. Just keep showering [them] with love and affection and later you will be rewarded with the fruits of this love.”
He further explains, “No personality [person] is a waste, but you have to discover what it is useful for. You do not have to keep saying, ‘You do not know how to make this sweet. You do not know how to do this and how to do that.’ But instead, discover what he knows.” Once you identify what your child is good at, then you should focus on developing those skills further. Do not nag them about things that they are not good at.
Children are very impressionable, so as parents the onus lies on you to mold your children into the great people they have the capacity to be.
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