Parenting is a difficult task by itself, and sometimes, we forget that we also need to be careful about the kinds of actions we (do or don’t) take. Your children are affected by everything you do and while it is difficult to always put your child’s needs before yours, it is necessary to do so. Parents may think that by buying gifts for their kids and showering them with love and affection, they’re parenting right. Yes, they are, but there is so much more to parenting and it’s always a learning process.
Being a parent doesn’t just mean loving your kids. It also means understanding them, caring for them, appreciating their feelings and being there for them. As parents, you also have to ensure that your children don’t feel neglected or alone. This is not easy to find out because kids don’t always know how to express their emotions. A child’s emotions are reflected in their behaviour. If a kid is angry, then s/he might start crying, or throw a tantrum, or even go into a shell and stop talking altogether.
At this point, you must remember that correcting your child’s behaviour is only half the problem solved. You still haven’t addressed the cause for the behaviour - his or her feelings and emotions. A child’s behaviour depends on his/her emotions, and if we understand and talk about the emotion, the behaviour will take care of itself.
While there is no quick and easy solution to solve this problem, there are a few things you can do to make your kid feel better.
1. Find out why
It is easy to react when your child is angry or sad. You would normally try to react to the child’s behaviour and ask them to correct it. But usually, emotion is hidden behind behaviour, and emotion is also what drives behaviour. It’s important to identify the emotions that are affecting the child. For example, is your son really angry or actually frustrated, but is just showing anger? It would be much better to try and understand what they’re going through before advising them.
2. Identify the emotional trigger
Once you’ve identified whether the kid is angry or actually just frustrated, try finding the emotional trigger that set off such a reaction. Why is your son frustrated? Is it because he can’t seem to understand his homework? Once you figure out what is triggering their emotions, you can help your child get over their situation.
3. Tell them it’s okay and to forgive themselves
As a parent, you might be tempted to use guilt as a mechanism for your kid to correct their behaviour, but while that might stop them from behaving a certain way, it might not take care of the emotion. You should also ensure that your kid doesn’t feel guilty for feeling something, and learns that their emotions, while they can’t be controlled, can be dealt with.
4. Boost their self-esteem
Kids who are neglected are usually looking for some emotional support and attention. You can help them by boosting their self-esteem a little bit. Pay attention to their needs, give them space, but let them know they have someone that cares for them. Little gestures that show your kid you love them go a long way in boosting a kid’s self confidence.