By Rekha Singh (Psychologist)
Parent’s role is very important and effective in children’s psychological growth and behavior. The foundation of children’s social attitudes and skills are laid at home. Parenting can be more enjoyable when positive parentchild relationship is established. Whether we are parenting a toddler or a teenager, good communication is the key to building self-esteem as well as a mutual respect. Communication is the art of connecting with others, of breaking down the walls and building bridges . Parents who communicate with their children build strong and healthy relationship. But it doesn’t always happen naturally. Some important psychological patterns we must develop while communicating with children are-
Listening to understand- We want to communicate with our children, but most of us do not “listen to understand”, we “listen to criticize.’’ Instead, we must try to understand the children’s point of view and his or her feelings. In this way, we open the door to real communication. When we get our adolescents to talk, we need to put aside our own purposes and really listen. If you rearrange the letters in the word listen, you can discover an important word in the communication process: “SILENT”. Give your undivided attention- Put down the newspaper, turn off the TV, keep aside your mobile and look at your child when she or he is talking. Listen to the feelings being expressed- Listen to not only what is said, but also how it is said, and watch the body language that goes with it. Listening is between the goes with it. Listening “between the lines’’ helps you understand the meaning behind the words. Check for understanding – Never get judgmental by your child’s words. Understand his or her feelings and build strong emotional relation. Encourage more talk-When you really listen, you can almost hear your child breathe a sign of relief. But often this does not mean you always agree with what he or she has said, but you have established an
atmosphere of openness and trust. Perhaps your child is even ready now for some gentle advice. Parent’s interactions with children of often tinged with odd combinations of tradition, personal prejudice, emotional regard, and rule-of-thumb procedures.
It is true that affection tendencies which are so important to psychological adjustment in adult life are dependent on the nature of parent-child relationships; the home is truly the greatest socializing place in all contemporary cultures. In view of the importance of home experience in child’s life, it is surprising that most of the children’s psychological conflicts turn to traumatic experiences during the first four or five years of age.
Understand the child’s thoughts, feelings & beliefs- Changes in emotions are stronger and more changeable than any other stage of life. Coping with so many changes, they tend to have extreme mood swings they are likely to cry, laugh, sulk, argue, and become excited. Changes in thinking- Young adolescents are better able to think of new ideas and understand abstract concepts. They need correct guideline, direction, and limits. Understand the complex feelings- Be a role model for your child show them that having difficult feelings is part of everyday life and teach them how to deal with complex feeling. Encourage your child to express his or her emotion in healthy ways, such as talking about sad feelings or saying why they may be feeling angry and help them to become calm and move on to more pleasant activities . Remember that children are affected by the feelings, behavior, and interacting of others. Help, your child and give support of ‘feel good’ emotions such as happiness, joy, enthusiasm and positive thinking. The mother’s strong role in child rearing- In terms of time spent with the child, the mother has more opportunities than the father to influence her off spring’s psychological growth and
behavior. Since child rearing in our culture is generally recognized as primary the mother’s privilege and responsibility. One of the effects of this extreme degree of maternal attention is that both boys and girls prefer their mother’s presence when they are in personal social difficulties. So, to be successful at positive parenting, parents must understand the child’s feelings. This allows a parent to better know what children are able to do physically, cognitively, (with their minds), emotionally (with their feelings), and socially (with their relationships). With this knowledge, parent’s expectations for their children are more realistic.