No matter how old we grow, our parents will never stop telling us what’s good and bad for us. They will always be on their toes to keep a check on whether their kids are going in the right direction or not. They do this not only because they gave birth to us but also because they consider it to be their responsibility. The same did my parents and they still do the same. For them, I and my brother are still the same babies that they lifted for the first time.
I remember, like every other parent, my father used to say, “You have to be the first in your class and sit in the front row.” Upon being asked, he used to say that this will help you in scoring the first position. However, I was born rebellious and therefore, I did the exact opposite of what I was asked to do. I never had any liking for the front rows and I would be extremely happy to sit on the last bench. To my utter surprise, I scored good marks and was one of my teacher’s favourites too. When my parents said, “See how sitting in the front rows helped you in scoring good marks.” I said that I never sat in the front rows and I scored while sitting in back rows. I don’t remember what happened next but yes since then, my parents never asked me to sit in the front rows.
I understand why our parents laid emphasis on sitting with the topper of the class or sitting right in front of the teacher. But what I think can make things easier for children is that parents can use a different perspective. For example, instead of pointing at a beggar on the road and warning their children to study hard else, they may face the same problems as the beggar, parents can explain the benefits of studying hard. They can say, “Studying and working hard will help you in becoming whatever you want. You can also buy whichever toy car or dress you wish to have.” This is because children at their tender age cannot understand the harsh realities of life. For them, not having their favourite dollhouse, toy car or motorbike is much more painful than we think. So why can’t we do something to make them understand in a way they can grasp easily.
My parents asked me to score 95+in exams and said this will help me in getting into an engineering college. Trust me, initially, I thought it to be quite easy but then I couldn’t understand why is it so important for me to go into a college. My mom told me going to a college will help me in becoming an engineer and make everyone proud. But all I wanted was cookies, color pencils and regular visits to the zoo. I couldn’t see how becoming an engineer would help me in getting what I wanted. As a result, I decided I won’t become an engineer. Today I understand how going to the college or becoming an engineer could have helped me in getting my cookies and other things.
Let’s take another example. These days young children are often seen holding gadgets and replacing their play-time with YouTube and video games. Parents initially allow their children to watch cartoons or videos on their smartphones, thinking this would keep them (read: children) engaged. But in no time, they (read: parents) often scream at their children, thinking that this way the children will give up on smartphones. However, the reality can be different. Instead of screaming on your child to stop watching videos, you can invite him or her to play football, chess, or any other games. As a parent, you can make your child aware of the consequences with some real-life examples.
I am not a parent and therefore, I might not be knowing what a parent feels for his/her kids. But yes, from my experience, I can feel that instead of shouting, intimidating and keeping vague answers, you can never convince a child. You need to see the world through their eyes and explain them in their language only. They will never understand how scoring 90+ in exams can help them in becoming scientists or doctors and how important it is to get into a good college if you don’t understand their perspective. He/she may do the opposite of what you ask him/her to do.
I am not saying you are doing the wrong thing. But you can do something better by understanding their perspective and explaining things accordingly. This way you will be able to help your children in a better way.