Experiences are the building blocks of our personality. It’s because they decide how we perceive the world, how we look upon things and carry what type of mindset. The experiences in the primary stage have the greatest impact on our personality. The events and occurrences in these times form the greater part of our personality. It is, thus, needless to say that we should be extra careful about the way we deal with our kids in their primary phase.
The primary phase consists of three parts: Infancy, Childhood and Adolescence. Children undergo different types of changes and just like a single key cannot fit every lock; a constant behavior cannot be used to deal with kids at different stages. And those who are thinking about Master keys; well, there are no ‘Master techniques’ to deal with kids.
What infants need is the opportunity and time to take in and figure out the world around them.
Generally, the first 12-24 months are called ‘Infant Age’ and in this stage the baby picks up the most basic lessons of human life like walking, talking, listening and many more. So, basically the baby is on a full-fledged exploration mode.
- Babies explore a lot. So, it is crucial to keep a check on whether they are picking up the right things or not, while at the same time, letting them assume that they are free to venture.
- Behavioral aspects also play a major role in their sub conscious mind. Never raise your voice in front of your little one, as a loud voice is sort of intimidating for them.
- Pay a lot of attention if the baby is trying to express. Though it sounds very ordinary, but the seed of self-worth is sown at the earliest age in a person. So rule 3 is simple: Never ignore them.
- Pampering the baby is a good thing and makes them feel important. But don’t overdo it. Let them figure out the solution of their little problems on their own. You don’t have to go fiddle with their LEGO, every time they bring their castle down.
- Learn to say ‘NO’ to them for right reasons. You may find it hard, but a habit of hearing NO at times, for the right reasons, gears them up for the fact that NO is also a part of life.
- Participate with them in activities and show signs of appreciation every time they do something good. It gives out a message that they are doing something meaningful, hence encouraged for more.
If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.
The second phase is childhood and involves the development of mainly the cognitive skills. The age range of childhood is 2-9 years. This is time when the kid has developed a basic awareness of his surroundings. And as they now have more dimensions in their thought process, the way we deal with it also has to evolve in certain ways.
- Be very respectful towards your kids. Listen to what they have to say and discuss their ideas, no matter how primitive it may sound. It makes them expressive and we know how important that is.
- Encourage them to play a lot of learning games because they provide a direction to their wondering, which in turn shapes their reasoning and cognitive skills.
- Don’t put a lot of pressure on them for excelling in academics. Forcing your child to fetch good grades might result in merely mugging up the syllabus, without actually learning anything.
- Put great emphasis on sports. While many think that academics and sports can’t co-exist in equal proportions, the truth is; Sports and Academics are interlinked with the simple fact “A healthy brain rests in a healthy body”.
- Encourage them to choose a hobby of their liking. Having a hobby is a great source of self-confidence and creativity. It is a great time-pass, but ironically (in a good way), the kid is not actually ‘just passing time’. There’s way more to it and it shows in the later stages.
- Stay in constant touch with their school and interact with the teachers. Take note of the subjects they are academically weak at and try to help resolve the issue by discussing the problem they are facing in that subject.
- Forget the use of physical force or even threatening them to get things done. Association of fear with an activity will eventually kill their interest in it. Besides, punishing them to make them learn something is demeaning and can never be fruitful.
Adolescents are just people trying to learn how to make it among the adults in the world, who are probably not sure themselves.
Adolescence ranges from 11-19 and is at a stone’s throw from adulthood. This, in general, is considered the rebellious phase of their lives because at this stage they start forming their own opinions. And as it suggests, a person moving towards adulthood must be treated like an adult so that they are familiar with it. Few important points that need to be taken care of while dealing with adolescents are as follows:
- Adolescents easily tend to drift away from unsympathetic minds. So, it becomes very important to know how to present your opinion that is different from theirs. Have the patience to listen to their part and develop a comparative approach in presenting the right idea.
- Respecting their friends is as good as respecting them. Your grown up is most connected with their friends because of the level of empathy they share. This makes their friends, one of the most important people for them. And respecting what’s important for them is a symbol of acceptance.
- Probably every parent complains that their 15-year old listens only to his/her friend and not them. So, what’s the issue? In fact, that’s a great solution right there. Have a friendly approach with your kids and discuss their problems like a friend would. Relate your experiences with theirs and tell them how you would deal with it. But always set some boundaries and make sure to stick to them.
- Children go through changes in this phase and especially they are concerned about their appearance. And that’s what some parents are bothered too much about. Let them do experiments with themselves. Don’t comment on it. Don’t try to pull them down. Appearance is just a way they want to look like. It has nothing to do with their academics or skills.
- Make sure their schools are free from narcotic influences. In a hope to deal with their emotional turmoil, adolescents often get into the vicious circle of addiction. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to be aware about the type of influences your kid has.
- Don’t force them to choose a career. Taking up a career just for the sake of money often results in disinterest, and switching a career in later stages is not considered a smooth ride. Help them in discovering their passion and advise them to come up with options before making the final choice.
And Always remember, every child is different. Not everyone can excel in academics, neither can everyone play a guitar. And it is your job to carve out the right path for their children. And if you think going off road to become an artist is not a very good choice, take a moment to think about your favorite painting/song/movie.