Respect is when you regard someone as important and you are careful not to harm or treat him rudely. Children are born with senses and abilities albeit directionless. No one teaches a baby her behavioral patterns or helps a child attain the various milestones of development.
Toddlers do not watch wrestling to acquire innate abilities to challenge their siblings to routine contests and fights where punches, bites and kicks come in handy as inherent defense mechanisms. “A 3-year-old toddler’s brain is twice as active as an adult’s brain”, says family science specialist Sean Brotherson.
Allowing children a block time of play in the sun as well as letting them become adventurous in their surrounding greenery is a sure way to learn and overcome timidity as against staying indoors only. “ “According to Brotherson, what children need most is loving care and new experiences, not special attention or costly toys. Talking, singing, playing and reading are some of the key activities that build a child’s brain”.
Some children are not allowed to speak out on what is bothering them. It is oppressive to believe children should only be seen and not heard; their opinions should be respected in any situation that concerns them by parents asking for their views. Their Creator respects their unadulterated minds and speaks through them, if only we can pay more attention to them. The Bible acknowledges their temperament when saying “parents do not provoke your children to anger”. Children should be respected because respect in itself is reciprocal.
According to child science experts: “Respect does not mean you should not set boundaries for the child. You are not respecting the child by leaving her to herself.”
Respecting their feelings and challenges is important, as each child comes with his strength, and weaknesses. Parents should not compare children as they grow up. “Telling your child, ‘look at your little nephew’s result sheet, she is better than you’ or ‘she the dullest of all my children’ is not building the child but destroying her self worth and letting her down. The so called dull child will excel if you try to locate her area of strength.
Respecting the child’s individuality and temperament entails accepting his nature and emotions just the way he was born. While one child is rowdy, restless but fit, the other could be the articulate and calm type . The difference does not make one child better than the other.
The restless one could use that quality as a witty go-getter, while the articulate one could use her’s as a successful lawyer later in life. Meanwhile, create a wide play area for the restless child to assert himself and also do well. However, the parent must be in control by not being won over in every argument with your barrister in-the-making.
Respect his body and space. Let the child know that her body is her’s to protect, and she has the right to stop an abusive adult and run away to report the assault – or say NO to the maid who wants to touch his private part. It is an important lesson to teach your child the extent anyone can go with him and know when to scream for help.
Discipline a child by praise and affirmation as against shouting down orders and see your three- year old go the extra mile for you. When you say words like ‘that’s a good boy, look how he takes his plate to the sink’ or ‘Annabel, waoh! its nice of you arranging your bed’, deliberately make the praises larger than life and enjoy the attention of a distracted child to make her do your bidding.
Rewarding good behaviours encourages the child to carry out same actions again.
Disciplining in love is key to moulding your child. “Do not over-react to every fault neither should you overlook it. Do not discipline out of anger so that you do not miss the point of instilling the right behaviour. Do not label the child with negative names like ‘you are a naughty boy’. “It is his behaviour that was naughty and not the boy”, says the child expert.
Maltreating children is common place. We kill their spirit by our ignorance on parenting skills. In our society, all some parents would ever do is to rain abuses on the child while mistaking that for correction. There could be so much you are yet to teach your child- teach him empathy- a problem solving skill; teach him how to show sympathy to others by you doing same to him.
Teach him to share and take turns, teach him courtesy, teach him to show love with practical examples. One parent says she would always insists on one sibling holding out a helping hand to pick up another who trips and falls. According to the parent, “this gesture instills mutual respect in my kids as they’re growing up”.