We all know that we have to teach our kids about good touch and bad touch but did we tell them that it is completely acceptable to disagree and say a “No”?
Children learn to react to situations and questions in their early years. And during those years, they are confined to the world we bring them up in “Home”. In those initial years of learning, when we say that their brain is developing and that it’s the best age to make them learn everything they possibly can…do we make them learn how to make decisions. How often are we prepared to hear a “No” from our kid? We want to hear a “Yes” and the child understands it. Your kid knows that a “Yes” will make things easier for him. A “Yes” makes him/her your good, obedient kid, isn’t it?
No school teacher will ever teach a toddler how to choose and make decisions. The school will only teach them what is right and what is acceptable in the outside world, which is a “Yes”. Very convenient and very pleasant to hear. “Yes”
And that’s what we teach them too. I still remember when I was preparing my 3-year old for her first day to school…I told her “Listen to your teacher!” “Obey!” which indirectly meant, agree to whatever the other person says.
How often do we ask them to decide?
How often do we ask them how do they feel about something?
How often are we ready to hear a “No” from our kid?
Kids cannot or rather “should not” disagree with his/her parents. Parents are always right. Being a parent myself, I disagree! I don’t always know what my child wants or has the potential of doing unless I let my child speak and decide. I cannot always understand her ability or disability to do something unless I’m ready to hear a “No” from her.
We are grown with the legacy that kids are too young to decide for themselves and therefore, parents make decisions on their behalf. In India, we can easily find such kids (some are even 35 years of age now) who still cannot make decisions for themselves and rely on their parents or someone else to make decisions in their life. They just agree and go with the flow.
And as a result…
In a study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, researchers found that poor decision-making might actually be a cause of anxiety, rather than an outcome of it. The study showed that people who are prone to anxiety are worse at making good decisions in the face of uncertainty because they struggle to decipher whether the situation is stable or changing. [source]
Now, think about it!
We all know the growing number of mental health issues and we still want our kid to go for that swimming class, which is important…that tennis class, which is important, dance class, which is important; but, we forget to take our kid to the most important class in life- decision-making class. Make them choose between stuff… I started with a simple one – between a kinder joy or an ice-cream. They need to learn and understand how to prioritize. To understand that they will have to let go of something to take hold of something else in life. This is also a skill and it cannot come overnight.
As parents, we can suggest to them what’s right and share our experiences with them. Of course, developing this skill does not mean letting your kid do whatever they want to but to give them the liberty of thinking and understanding what is right and what is wrong.
Enlighten them with your knowledge and life experiences.
Hold their hand and let them lead their way…let the little one decide!
I would love to know what do you feel about it..please comment below and share your thoughts!