This is the fourth article on the subject ‘How to raise healthy children’. If you haven’t read the previous articles, I recommend you do so. In my article, ‘How to raise healthy children (Part 3)’, I stated that bad-tempered parents are likely to raise bad-tempered children, and emotional stability is a key to raising emotionally stable children. I also elaborated on some common mistakes made by parents when raising their children.
One other mistake that some parents make in raising their children is that they are fond of comparing their children to other children, or to their siblings. This is very wrong and can have an adverse effect on a child’s life. You are indirectly telling the child that he or she is not good enough, is inadequate, incompetent, impaired and worthless. It can seriously impair a child emotionally. You need to understand that no two human being is the same, because no two human being has the same brain chemistry, and every human being is unique- with unique purpose and unique soul.
Similarly, do not diminish your child. Destructive criticisms can have a terrible effect on your child’s emotional growth. In addition, your child may also think that he/she will never amount to much. For instance, by telling your child he/she is bird-brained because he/she failed an examination, you end up making him/her believe that he/she is an incurable failure. This then leads to avoidance of studying because there is no use pushing a mountain if it’s too mighty to be moved. Patience is a vital key when raising a child. Words can be soothing, uplifting, or damaging. You need to be emotionally stable to bring out the best in your child.
Some examples of destructive criticisms are: That was very stupid of you, and you should be punished for that- I am very disappointed in you- How could you have done such terrible thing- You should be ashamed of yourself- I wish I had a better child- You are not a good person- You are too slow for my liking -You are that stupid- What kind of stupid child is this- You are completely useless- you irritate me- You can’t make much meaning out of your life.
If a child lives with criticisms, he learns to criticize other people. He also grows up to criticize his own children- what he gets is what he gives because what he gets is probably the only thing he has. And of course, when we criticize harshly, we tend to condemn. When you ridicule a child, he grows up to be shy and self-conscious. But if you raise your child with understanding, he will learn to understand himself/herself, and will also be able to understand other people.
Every human being has a particular need for attention. Being attentive to a person makes them feel accepted, respected, valued, and loved. When you do not pay attention, you indirectly tell them that they are stupid, dull, or not worth very much. You make them feel emotionally insecure. This is why it is very important that you pay attention to your child, although what they are saying may not be sensible. If they happen to be a little bit of a bother, explain to them that you are busy and will spend ample time with them once you are done.