This is the third article on the subject, ‘How to raise healthy children’. So if you haven’t read the previous articles, I recommend you do so. In my article, ‘How to raise healthy children (Part 2)’, I stated that children exist to discover their dreams, while we are there to guide and support them in their quest to achieve their dreams. They are not an extension of us, but a gift to us, to be nurtured and shown lots of love. A child who does not feel loved and cared for will grow up to become antisocial and hostile.
Send care-signals to your child; make your child feel that he or she is cared for. Teach your child to be emotionally stable. If you are not emotionally stable, your child may adopt your attitude; every parent is after all a role model to his or her child. People who are violent, aggressive, and rude are exhibiting these antisocial qualities with the belief that the world is a dangerous place. They were never made to feel safe because they never had the unconditional love and respect of their parents.
Stop trying to make your child aspire to meet your incredibly high standard. While you must establish your core family values, your children should know what is right for them, and what is required of them. Do not withhold your love punishingly. Because your child needs your love and approval to somehow gauge his or her own self-worth and self-approval, the child may begin to feel emotionally insecure, insignificant, and worthless if you withhold your love. Such child grows up compensating for his or her lack of love through incivility, insecurities and egocentrism.
The reason we dish out destructive criticisms to our children and to those around us may be that we don‘t know very much either. Our parents and those in our society didn‘t know any better. We have been exposed to such unhealthy treatment, without realizing that they were actually bad for us. Misguidedly, we behave this way thinking we are doing the right and appropriate thing. Maybe we should blame other people for not giving us proper education, but ignorance is never an excuse; we understand and sympathize with you, but try harder.
Deprivation of love in a child’s life can lead to slow mental development, and in some cases, death. Like I said, love-withheld manifests in personality problems when a person grows up, and can have a lasting effect in a person‘s life. All the grumpy folks you see around, the aggressive louts, and the abusive people you come across day by day are people who were shown very little or no love in their lives. Their parents didn’t know how to raise them any better; probably because they were also shown very little love by their own parents.
Those bad-tempered folks you see weren’t well taught how to be emotionally composed in what seems like a mean world. And their parents were not emotionally composed to begin with. These parents also had a misguided idea of how to train their children. This is why parents must be careful when they want to put their child‘s behavior right. They should make it clear to their children that no matter how badly they have behaved, they will always be valuable and worthwhile- that is to say you will never love them less than 100%.
Rather than use destructive criticisms on your child, use constructive criticisms. Constructive criticisms demonstrate an understanding and express a fault. For instance, constructive criticism may go like this: I know you were nervous and that made you make some rash decisions, but this is not pretty at all- Please understand that this is not fair on either of us; remember I love you and I don‘t want to see you get hurt.
Do not make everything seem an obligation. Let your children know that it is an honor for a child to respect and obey his or her parents, but most importantly, let them be able to hearken to your instructions because they love you, and because they know you love them. Don’t always try to be their boss. Show them that you appreciate them, and teach them how to appreciate. Teach them the value of humility, self-control, and self-respect.