How often do we see parents reaching out to slap their children for their behavior instead of hearing them?
Often, I’m sure! Why; even we are sometimes guilty of reacting instead of responding.
It’s easier and spontaneous to react, while it takes patience and a deep understanding about your own child to respond.
However, what happens is that when we react, we are unconsciously putting up a wall between us and our child. The child, who gets punished and shouted at once, will think twice before coming to the parent either with a complaint or with a concern.
We react not just to our child’s mischief but also to what we perceive as mischief.
So for example, you are at your child’s school and the teacher says that your child was caught sleeping in class or talking to his friends in class; your immediate reaction would be to look at your child and say; “Stupid kid, why can’t you pay attention?
Why are you so naughty? I should punish you.” You will then go on to tell the teacher to punish your child.
What you could so instead is ask your child, “Were you sleepy? Did you not get enough sleep at night? What happened? Maybe you should have asked mam for permission to go wash your face.” Or “was there something important for you to tell your friend? Would it not have been better to wait till the class got over to talk more freely? Don’t you think what you did was wrong!”
What happens with the second approach is that your child will be more willingly to open up to you and to reach out to you when he is in trouble or needs help. You are opening up and keeping open all means of communication with your child.
Isn’t that what we aim for a transparent communication channel between us parents and our children?
Reaction spoils the situation while response enables a better and deeper understanding. So respond, don’t react!
Riddhi Doshi trains and coaches corporate leaders, educators and parents on issues of mental health and behavior. She is an internationally certified Parenting & Behaviour Coach. In past 15+ years she has conducted 2540+ open workshops, delivered 87000+ hours of talks, 53000+ hours of counseling sessions covering 59000+ students and 62,000+ women from various fields. Parenting sessions conducted by Riddhi are housefull and recent;y she completed her 366th Parenting session. She has been a speaker and advisor at various institutions and organizations including IIM, Ahmedabad, Rotary Club, Tata Power, Larson & Toubro and The Time of India. She holds an MBA in HRD, LLM and numerous other professional certifications from prestigious international institutions including University of Cambridge, BSY University, London, City & Guilds, London, Tata Institute of Social Sciences and NMIMS, Mumbai. She has been awarded with “National Award for Cultural Activities by AVANTIKA- Delhi”, “Excellence in Wellness”, “Young Entrepreneurs Award”, “Self Made Diva Award” among various others. With a mission to “make corporate leaders, educators and parents empowered and more aware about mental health & wellness”, Riddhi regularly gives interviews on leading media platforms. She loves to interact with corporate leaders, educators and parents to discuss about women issues, child psychology and parenting challenges.