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July 3, 2012 / Gul Malani

Patience, Love & Care

No matter how much is written about these three attributes, it will be less than they deserve. Parenting is all about these three attributes being in force at all times for bringing up children. Double Income Nuclear families have to be very careful and watch out for inadequacy of the above attributes in them due to limited time and energy available to such parents. Parents who have separated or divorced also need to pay special attention that these three attributes continue to be available from both parents to the children!

Lack of these three attributes in parenting may result in children growing up into adults who are unhappy with themselves as well as with life; adults who are unable to use their Intellect properly, adults who are neither able to help themselves nor others!

To be a continuous source of these virtues, parents need to discover themselves first. This subject is comprehensively covered in the blog Discovering our own self will also help in the parents having a very healthy relationship with each other and will definitely reduce the possibility of separation or divorce which generally affects the children very badly!

Patience, Love and Care can easily replace punishing a child which has only a temporary and a negative effect. Parents have to realise that what the child does is correct from his/her point of view. However, parents may not accept what the child is doing based on their own knowledge and experience and feel that the child is misbehaving. It is quite unfair and unjust to punish the child for what the child thinks he/she is doing right. Instead, whenever there is misbehaviour, try to understand the child’s point of view and then work on the knowledge and understanding aspects of the child’s Intellect and help him view and understand the situation differently! This requires a lot of PLC! One can easily do away with punishing a child as it instills fear as well as lowers the child’s self esteem. Parental appreciation of improved behaviour and performance is better and more effective than punishment for misbehaviour!

Dr. Ginott in the book titled ‘How to talk so Kids listen & listen so Kids will talk’ states that a child should experience the consequences of his misbehaviour, but not punishment. He felt that in a caring relationship there was no room for punishment. Dr. Ginott said that the problem with punishment was that it didn’t work, that it was a distraction, that instead of the child feeling sorry for what he has done and thinking about how he can make amends, he becomes preoccupied with revenge fantasies. In other words, by punishing a child, we actually deprive him of the very important inner process of facing his own misbehaviour.

The book states ‘We have to stop thinking of the child as a “problem” that needs correction. We have to give up the idea that because we’re adults we always have the right answer. We have to stop worrying that if we are not “tough enough,” the child will take advantage of us.’ *

The book continues to state ‘It requires a great deal of faith to believe that if we take the time to sit down and share our real feelings with a young person, and listen to his feelings, together we we’ll come up with solutions that will be right for both of us’. *

PLC will always yield good and permanent results. It gives the child the chance and time to correct its thinking, understanding and its behaviour. In so doing, the child ends up making a permanent change within himself/herself! Whereas punishment instills a fear in the child to correct itself. The fear itself is not a healthy phenomena in the psyche of the child! Most of us adults spend a lifetime trying to overcome the fear instilled in us by our parents, family, friends, teachers and others! Fear should really never be used as a tool in parenting unless it has something to do with the safety of the child or other children and adults ! Fear permanently damages the child! Fear resides within the Ego of the child and then it can become an overriding driver for decision making! Will the child’s or a young adult’s decisions be good, if they are based on fear?

Discard fear and punishment totally as tools to change the child’s behaviour!


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