The power of Choice
As it is with any other relationship, with children to the power play is involved. Would you rather have an ice cream now and no sweets for the rest of the week? Pose your imposition via a question of either-or to give the child a sense of power to make their own decisions. Not only does this lead to taking control or ownership over their decision but it also establishes a strong sense of problem solving ability.
Not all consequences need to be bad. Educate your child on repercussions behind decisions they make whether good or bad. Reward good behaviour as you would discourage bad ones. This helps your child understand the effects of bad and good decisions.
Consistency is key to good parenting. Sometimes you and your spouse might not be on the same page but you have to display teamwork when it comes to speaking to your child at all times. Also, when it comes to rules and regulations do not change it with different child. For example, impose the same bed time for one child as you would to a niece or nephew who is visiting. Saying they come from a different place gives mixed signals to your child. At all times unless special care is required, stay steady with your policies in the house.
Children learn the most off us. They constantly watch our actions and pretty much imitate our personality. Be your own critic. analyze your behaviours patterns and see where you need to set better examples for your children. Be careful with the choices you make. Also, respect your child’s care and allot time for the same. Whether you are multitasking a job and the role of a parent or your home, take care to see to your child as much as needed that they feel respected and able to reason.
Also, the 3Fs of Effective Parenting
Firm: Consequences should be discussed and the need for them explained. Be pleasant yet assertive when imposing them and explain why their behaviour was inappropriate or unwelcome.
Fair: The punishment is equally proportional to the bad behaviour; nothing more, nothing less. It should also benefit the bad behaviour. For example, if your child is caught running with scissors after being repeatedly told not to do so, explain why it was wrong and give them a short time out. Grounding them might lead to hyper behaviour.
Friendly: Use a friendly approach as and when necessary. Actively reward them for good behaviour. Discuss punishments with them and do not impose anything that might scar the child for good. Understand why they indulge in bad behaviour and assess their reason. Make sure they can tell you anything.
Signs and Science of Abuse
Neeraja Jayaraman from P.E.A.C.E, the NGO that deals with child sexual abuse gives some pointers. “Being a mom myself, mothers are all connected by the universal thread of wanting to protect our little ones. Having a son and a daughter, my fears are just the same for both of them; No less than the other when it comes to safe guarding them from abuse. Boys are as much at a risk of being targeted as girls are. There’s no way out of battling abuse than to arming your child with information and enlightening ourselves in the process. An aware child is a safe child is our motto!”
Teach your child!
– Personal space : The whole body is their personal space and private to them! Not just their private parts. They have the right to say ‘No!’, when someone violates their personal space and touches them without permission.
– Kinds of touches :
1) Safe Touch : When the child feels safe and comfortable with the touch.
2) Unsafe touch : When the child feels uncomfortable and unsafe with the touch.
3) Confusing touch : When the child is unable to understand and feels confused by the touch.
– Trusted Adult : Ask them to identify trusted adults whom they can confide when in need of help. Make sure you approve of them as their trusted circle.
– Golden Rule of Prevention: Say No and Run. Tell a trusted Adult.
How to read signs of Abuse:
* Loneliness and Withdrawn Behaviour
* Depression anxiety and sudden mood swings
* Cringing from being touched
* Emotional Outbursts
* Sudden use of sexual words
* Repeated UTI and STD
* Self Harm and Sexual harm to others.
* Sudden Bed-wetting
Create a safe home environment:
- Get Safe Adults Involved
- Set clear family boundaries
- Start Talking
- Educate everyone in the family