Handle your kids with love

By Julia Fernandes

September 3, 2011

 

“You will always be your child’s favourite toy.”-- Vicki Lansky

 

The best gift any parent can give their child is love. Children can do without toys, games, sweets, friends -- but they cannot do without love. I came across a very strange notion. One of my neighbours who has four little kids (2 girls and 2 boys) would often tell my mom that she would never physically demonstrate her love for her kids. Her reason being that by loving them the kids sit on their heads. I really found it strange.

 

I found it even stranger when I learnt how some working women withdraw physical affections for their child as they fear loving them would make them attached towards them and prevent them from going to work. Such children have mothers and yet they remain devoid of mother’s love. Just as food is important for a child’s growth so is love as important if not more for a child’s healthy overall growth and development. As parents you would never starve your children, yet so many parents do not realize that they starve their children for love!

 

A child lives in his/her own make-believe world and expects the parents to also join and share the fantasies of their world. When my nephew was around five to six years old, we would both watch cartoons together. And I myself love cartoons. So, I would ask him if given a choice which cartoon world he would like to live in? Very happily and animatedly he would select the choice of his cartoon world he wants to live in and I would state my choice and both of us would dreamily, even if it was just for a moment, relish the thought of living in our respective cartoon worlds.

 

To an adult this may appear as bordering on escapism, but it is not. Childhood is the only period in our life where we are given the luxury of dreaming the impossible. As children grow up, the realities of life gradually unfold. But till they are small allow them to dream and also join them in their dreams. Nothing can be more delightful for a child than to see parents joining them in their dreams and being a part of their world.

 

I don’t have a child of my own, but I did have the privilege of being a part of the most beautiful formative years of my darling nephew. And I can confidently state that nothing works best with a child except love. Bring up your child with love for when you do so you automatically learn to respect your child. Respect for a child? Yes, it is very important to respect how a child feels, his thoughts, his wishes.

 

Many times I see parents forcing their children to eat, drink, sleep or study. This is where respect comes. If a child says he does not want to eat, respect that feeling. Do not force-feed your child. He knows his body better than you. A child’s routine can be regulated and disciplined maintained in all the areas of his/her life with a little room for adjusting to what a child feels. Of course, needless to say, parents must be on guard to understand when they are being taken for a ride by their child...:), you see all kids are very smart!

 

Never underestimate your child’s intelligence. Kids size up their parents and the weaknesses of their parents much before parents get to know or understand how their kids are. So, do not get fooled by your child. Learn to say 'yes' to your child’s small demands and learn to say 'no' to the big demands. If you don’t look sharp, you won’t even know when your child is outwitting you!

 

When there is a conversation going on among adults, I know it is bad manners for a child to interrupt. But, it is also rude when insensitive parents just brush away the opinions of their children as if it does not matter at all. Hear them out. By doing so you show that you respect their thoughts and their feelings. It is a nice feeling when a child is made to feel important.

 

Bringing up a child can be one the most beautiful and enriching experiences for those parents who are brave enough to forego all that they have learnt and to re-learn about the world through the eyes of a growing child!