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How to communicate with Small Children? Many of us struggle a lot during interaction with our small ones. The way we talk to our child has a huge impact on them. Based on my experience of dealing with thousands of small children over years, I see 4 fundamental things that we need to take care of as adults: 1. Big No to “NO” – Generally we say “No” or “Don’t” to our child. “Don’t shout!, “Don’t eat junk food!”, “Mummy! I want that helicopter!”, “NO!”. So instead of saying No or Don’t you can tell him/her what he/ she can do. For example instead of saying, “Don’t run in the room.” you can say, “ Run outside in the garden or appropriate place where he/she can run.” Using ridiculing language like you are bad boy/girl leaves your child feeling worthless. Positive and kind words enhance child’s confidence, help him/her behave better, and make him/her happy. 2. Give Choices instead of instructions – Instead of giving your child instructions, give them choices. You can give choices to them by using four magical words: “When”, “What”, “Which”, and “How”. For example you can ask your child, “Which color dress you want to wear today?” “When would you like to sleep?”, “How would you like to enjoy with Papa?”, and “What would you like to eat?” By giving choice to your child you make the child feel that his/ her decision is important and matters. This way you make your child Independent, confident, and enhance his/her decision making power. So give simple choices rather than instructions. 3. Respect your Child as “adult in small body” – Talk to your child as you would talk to an adult. Would you simply give any instructions to an adult without giving him the reason of why you are asking him to do something? Do the same thing with a child and talk with full respect. Your child is not incomplete human being who is going to get complete when they become adult. They are Whole, Complete and Perfect at all times and growing at the same time. Just like you are a complete human being and growing (may not be physically) at all times. 4. Connect with your child – While having any conversation with your child connect with your child through eye contact. To make an eye contact be at the child level and make sure your child is making eye contact with you as it is very important to get child’s attention in any conversation.
#parentingtip #Children #sanfortsavitavihar http://sanfortsavitavihar.com/ Why threatening your child is a parenting no-no “ If you don’t pick up all your toys now, I will lock you in the bathroom.” If statements such as these have become an integral part of your parenting repertoire, it is time to stop in your tracks and rethink. As adorable babies turn into headstrong kids there is a perceptible shift in the way they think and operate. They start seeking greater freedom to express themselves as separate individuals including the right to do or not do certain things. Often children also say “No” as a means of asserting their independence. It is when we hear this ubiquitous word- “No” that our instinct to threaten a child with negative consequences kicks in, which can often prove to be counterproductive. Very often we tend to get so frustrated that we end up threatening them with consequences that we are simply not able to follow up on or are so harsh that they end up causing more bad than good. It is important to understand that even if threats can bring about short-term compliance, it is unlikely to work in the long term as the child is performing the task out of fear of punishment and not because he or she attaches any value to the behavior. In fact the kid’s choices get rooted in fear, so much so that they are unable to shake off these fears even in adulthood. Sample this: a child who is routinely threatened with dire consequences if he does not do well in exams may land up associating education with fear and may not be able to go very far academically. It is best therefore, to drop this toxic emotion of fear and replace futile threats with other positive parenting tools. Here are some useful ideas: Offer choices instead of threats: Threats send out a negative controlling message to the child that you don’t trust them enough. Stating the problem and giving your child a choice can help diffuse the situation better. For instance if your child refuses to come to the table for meal, let him know that he can choose to have his meal now or he can choose to skip his meal which means that he will have to go to bed on an empty stomach at night. This is as opposed to threatening him with getting no food if he does not come to the table that very minute. Don’t assume that your child instinctively knows the appropriate way to behave in each situation: Even if they do know they need constant reminding and encouragement to make the right behavior choices. Communicate your expectations clearly before introducing him to a new social setting. For instance if your preschooler is going for a play date let him or her know that while sharing is ok and snatching is not. Stay calm despite the provocation: Sometimes threats can aggravate your child’s behavior. This in turn could lead to increased friction and the tendency to rebel. It is imperative, therefore that you keep your cool and don’t let the conversation take a negative turn. Instead learn to calm your child down before attempting to resolve the issue. If you do happen to make an empty threat, admit it: In the heat of the moment you tend to make threats that you know you cannot follow up on, like throwing out all their toys, or making them clean up the entire house after a mess. Admit that you made a mistake and said what you did because you were upset with their behavior. This will help the child recognize anger as a regular emotion rather than denying its existence or fearing it. That accepting your frailties will help you bond better with your child, is an added perk. Ensure this does not land up becoming the norm though, as it will then lead to the child disregarding your threats completely. Remember good parenting is as much about encouraging positive behavior and actions as it is about disciplining negative actions. Turning threats into choices they make for themselves can help you teach them strong life lessons that they grow up to be thankful for.
You know your child’s challenges but does your child know yours? Several generations of parents have grown up with the worldview that children need to be shielded from adult problems. Even in our worst moments of grappling with multiple challenges, we shrink back from exposing our vulnerability to our kids. Our first instinct is to appear brave in front of our kids; after all we are their heroes and cannot reveal our weak side. While the thought behind this is genuinely admirable, delve a little into the issue and you know that this theory cannot stand the test of time. Holding back a piece of ourselves from our children does not bode well on many fronts, least of all on our future relationship with our children. The first and foremost lesson that we teach our kids by sharing our challenges with them is the fact that it’s okay to not have answers sometimes. Subliminally this can relieve them of the undue pressure of having it all under their control, as they move towards adulthood. Sharing your issues with them, in an age appropriate manner, of course, helps break the stereotype that adulthood is all about having control, when the fact is adults need to grapple with a whole lot of uncertainties. What it also teaches them is the value of communication in relationships. In fact an open dialogue where everyone can bring their point of view to the table, is the best lesson you can provide to your children. As your child starts hitting adolescence, the period from here to adult hood is when kids are most likely to try and work things out by themselves in an effort to assert their identity. If they have had parents who discussed their problems openly with them then they are more likely to mirror the same behavior, else they will also follow the same pattern of keeping their problems to themselves as the best means of tackling an adverse situation. What sharing your issues also teaches them, is to talk about their feelings unabashedly. This in turn prevents many a problem in later life that emanates from keeping their feelings all bottled up for the fear that they may be ridiculed and not be understood. However, to say that sharing your problem with the child will only provide valuable lessons to the child, and nothing for yourself, is saying only half the truth. Just as parents we are ever willing to lend a listening ear to our child’s problems, kids also have an heightened sense of awareness as far as parents are concerned and can sense when something is not right. While we tend to dismiss them as too small and naïve to understand our issues, in fact they are perhaps the only people in the world who can empathize with us without expecting anything. They can provide us the comfort we need in times of stress and the renewed vigour to handle the challenges of life afresh! As they say, tough times never last, but tough people do…..especially if they are surrounded by their families!
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