The other day, my 5 year old little daughter, Pihu, became furious at her grandmom. She lost her temper and snubbed at her quite badly. My husband, Saurabh, admonished her for being impolite with her grandmom while she cried profusely at being scolded. Obviously, Saurabh or any other parent will want his ward to be well behaved with elders in the family. So will I, for that matter!
But unlike Saurabh, I knew what transpired a minute before the whole scene. Actually, all of us were watching the popular show ‘ Junior Masterchef India ‘ on TV that evening. Pihu was also watching the show intently. In awe of little children cooking yummy looking dishes, Pihu commented, ” Wow! they cook so well. I don’t know to cook yet.”
On that, her grandmom responded subtly, ” Yes! But you don’t know to eat as well.” She was hinting at instances when Pihu was fussy with food. Well, no matter how fussy she gets with food, she did not appreciate the comment coming at that point. She fumed for a while and then displayed her angry self, which no one liked for obvious reasons. After all, anger is considered a vice and not a part of human emotion. And if it is about a kid, he is expected not to react/get angry or express displeasure at anything that might have irked him… just because the person who irked him is an elder.
biting habits go away with time.. so relax!
I feel differently on a subject like this. Most of you may differ.
I think, as elders, we must consider little children as human beings first. They too come with emotions. If a randomly passed comment can irk us, how on earth do we expect kids to understand that piece of rationale and react accordingly?
What i mean to say is – don’t respond with anger on such a scenario. Instead, find out what prompted him/her to react that way. That might help you counsel the child into behaving differently next time. Encourage him to express displeasure but calmly. And when they express displeasure, ‘do not’ rubbish it.
I too spent some time with Pihu, heard her out and counseled her into being calmer in such a situation. By doing that, I earned her trust, instilled faith in her and ensured that she came to me every time she felt any elder has been unfair with her.
Talk to them, motivate them and be their guide!
At times, we comment on our little kids oblivious of the fact that they too have a thought process, sentiment and emotions. Any comment that may seem very light might be a huge cause of hurt to him. If we can feel a certain way at being told something rude, why can’t kids feel?
Who says elders are always right and kids should not react at anything just because others in the family love them? Well, I’d encourage Pihu to react but with calm.
In fact, the moment kids realize that there is no one in the family they can depend on, they tend to misbehave even more. So, please, assure them that they will be heard, come what may!
In fact, I remember something my father in law quoted years ago and that echoed my feelings completely. At the age of 2, Pihu began expressing her anger by spitting. Everyone in the family found that quite worrisome. However, I and my pa in law believed that instead of scolding her, we must correct her politely 4 times out of 10 instances, and ignore the behaviour in the remaining 6 times. Believe me, we did that and it worked!!
Do not allow the child to reach at a stage where his behaviour begins to affect others outside the family. Bad habits should be dealt with love for sure, but a polite assertiveness is also required.
Scolding, accusing, lecturing a kid or ignoring all his mistakes and ill behaviour ‘does not’ help at all!! Try something better.
All parents know their kids well and depending on that knowledge, be a guide to your children, be their friends. And stop assuming that only you or other elder family members can be right all the time!!
I know, I know… bringing up kids is no mean thing. But hey, being a little sensitive always helps.
Love to all