This blog post has been reproduced with permission from ParentEdge, a leading Parenting magazine in India. The post is written by Raina Bajaj, Educationist. .
The first people with whom the child starts interacting and develops his understanding from are his parents, especially the mother. Not just because of the fact that she grows and nurtures him inside her body with utmost care and love, but also because she understands his unspoken words and gestures first, followed immediately by his father. The child is bound to be the replica of his parents, both genetically and by virtue of spending the maximum time with them, till he steps into the outer world.
We as parents complain that our children don’t listen to us. The solution to this problem lies within us. You need to simply do what you want your child to do in a particular situation, that is, model the expected behaviour. Your children are growing up in an environment where they see you day and night reacting to different situations, be it dealing with people or material things. They will intentionally or unintentionally imitate you. It is you who has to lead them by example.
Your child is another chance of living your life, all over again. If you feel satisfied with things that have happened in your life and the way you have dealt with different situations, your child is learning that from you. But if you are not satisfied with the same, change your ways as this is your second chance to rectify it and lead your child by example. Remember, it is easy to digest your own mistakes than knowing that your child is repeating the mistakes once made by you.
Imagine a situation where your child is throwing tantrums or is showing his anger in some way or the other and is not listening to you. The only remedy that strikes you is to get him to stop is by shouting at him so that he gets scared of you and gets quiet. This might make him quiet at that point of time but he will also learn that it is alright to shout at the weaker person and that anger can be suppressed by anger only. Do you really want your child to learn that?
You want your child to be honest with you always. But you go to watch a movie by telling your child that you are going to visit a doctor and he gets to know the truth later somehow. Would you still expect your child to tell you the truth when he goes for a movie when he grows up?
Stop worrying that your child doesn’t listen to you, rather start worrying that he is watching you. You are his role model. He will be led by your example and not by your advice.