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June 30, 2012 / Gul Malani

Independence, Expression, Communication & Socially Acceptable Behaviour

Parents are generally very proud of children who are obedient! This means that the child does not question whatever the parents says or wants him/her to do. Unfortunately, this also means that the child has not been allowed to use his/her Intellect at all and so he/she is relying on the parent’s Intellect! The child is functioning like a robot with the remote in the hands of the parents!

Do we parents really want this? Are we bringing up children to be disciplined and obedient so that they can fit into our Armed Forces?! We are in effect preventing the child’s Intellect from developing, thereby handicapping the child!

Parents goal should be that the child is able to function independently and discover his own truths at the very earliest! Human children, also like animal and bird babies, start expressing their independence from the time they are born. They start with deciding how much and when they will take a breast feed! Soon they start to crawl away from their mother, an indicator of their natural instinct to be independent!

Parents have to help the children in their endeavour to become independent! There is no rigid timetable for this but it should be suited to each individual child’s capabilities and strengths! However, due to their own insecurities, many parents delay or deny independence to their children. When the child is seeking independence and he is denied the independence, it is possible that the child’s behaviour pattern changes and sensitive parents will recognise this and modify their up bringing methods immediately!

Parents have also to help the child develop its expression, communication and discussion capabilities from a very young age. It is preferable that parents discuss all matters relating to the child with the child! Post discussions, the child should be allowed to make decisions that he/she is capable of making! Parents should consciously help the child make more and more decisions for him/herself, the sooner the better for the child as well as for the parents.

The word ‘No’ should be used sparingly and should generally be followed by an explanation to the child as to why it was used! ‘No’ should preferably be used only when it is unsafe for the child or the child can hurt someone else! More often than not, parents use ‘No’ when they lack patience or are afraid of losing control over the child’s behaviour or if the parents already have a plan in their mind as to what the child should be doing right now! Instead, be very observant of the child and its activities and allow the child to enjoy fully what he is doing! It is not a good idea to drag a child from playing to do his homework! Watch for a break in his play and then request him to do his homework!

There comes a time when the child keeps on repeatedly asking ‘Why’. This is the beginning of the child’s search for his own answers! This has to be patiently and carefully addressed by the parents for building their knowledge, expression, communication and understanding capabilities in the child. Ignoring the child when he asks why, will develop poor knowledge, communication and other skills in the child! How we respond to the child will have great impact on the child’s Intellectual capabilities! Great amount of patience in the parents in communicating with the child is required for the child to be strong physically and psychologically!

Many parents spend a lot of time and energy teaching, training and disciplining children to have socially acceptable behaviour patterns including saying ‘Thank you’, ‘Sorry’, ‘Please excuse me’ etc. whereas there own behaviour patterns may leave a lot to be desired. Such imposition of behaviour is akin to asking the child to wear a mask and not be himself! It is quite similar to teaching the child to lie!

Instead of teaching, let it become a process of learning so that it becomes the child’s nature and the changed behaviour pattern is lasting. This can be done by the parents setting an example by their own behaviour which children generally tend to copy and then it slowly becomes their nature!

Exercising strong control over the children‘s behaviour by the parents, leads to children putting on their masks and behaving well in their presence and misbehaving when they are not around! This, wearing of the mask and taking off, is not an psychologically healthy activity. Whereas, being our own self at all times is emotionally comfortable and stable activity for children as well as the parents! So, parents should give their child the space to be themselves at all times!

Behaviour that needs improvement or change can be pointed out to the child, but never in public! It should be done in privacy with the child alone so that his self esteem does not get damaged. Further, he/she should be given adequate time to improve or change his/her behaviour. But at no time should the parents attack the self esteem of the child! The child is never bad, only the behaviour can be pointed out as being not acceptable!



Leave a Comment
  1. Ajay Lalwani / Jul 11 2012 7:22 am

    Very informative article uncle…Ahaan is at a stage where he is asking a lot of questions…it can be irritating at times, but I know we have to patiently answer all his queries.

    • Gul Malani / Jul 11 2012 7:30 am

      The purpose of this blog is served by you with your comment, as the purpose is to protect our children from poor parenting which makes them weak, dependent and incapable of helping themselves or others!

  2. lakeland golds gym / Jun 16 2014 12:14 pm

    Wow, this piece of writing is fastidious, my younger sister is
    analyzing these things, therefore I am going to let know her.

    • Gul Malani / Jul 11 2014 3:07 am

      Thanks! Would love to hear from your sister too!

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