How to Address Your Child

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Parenting is one of the hardest jobs in the world because there is no manual on how it should be done.

Managing a child is not like learning to play a musical instrument. It is not subject to learning. As a parent, you have your child’s life in your hands.

You strive to meet their needs of food, clothing, and shelter which is constantly overwhelming. You need to not only meet their emotional and psychological needs but also identify when to be a parent and a friend.

This life you brought into this world depends on you to make them a productive member of society. It is one job you cannot run away from.

Jacqueline Gathu a child psychologist tells parents that the relationship between a parent and a child is the most important.

“You are your child’s first point of contact into this world. Everything you say and do your children will mirror”.

She adds that children look up to their parents for love, approval, affirmations, encouragement, and care as these are parents’ God-given roles to the child.

“So, one needs to have a relationship with themselves first to establish a relationship with their child.”

Communication is the most crucial part of parenting as it is fundamental to children’s development. Children need to understand and be understood.

The ability to communicate effectively is a key skill. How does negative or positive communication affect your child’s growth?

“Every one of us is born with an inner cheerleader and an inner critic. When a child is constantly criticized and ridiculed their inner critic takes root and builds in negativity within them” Dr. Jacqueline Gathu explains. 

If you constantly remind your child that you love them and they are amazing they will grow up feeling good about themselves. They will also grow up knowing that they don’t have to be perfect to be loved or seek people’s validation to boost their self-esteem.

You don’t have to always remind them that you love them and keep affirming them, kids will always be kids and they will make you angry but they are not responsible for how you will react and how you respond as a result of what they do. Be in charge of your feelings, you are the adult.

“In case you find yourself abusing your kids and you realize it sooner; apologize to your child and ask for a chance to rectify your behavior this teaches them that when one makes a mistake in life there are second chances of making it better”. Dr. Jacqueiline urges parents.

Talking to your child slowly/harshly/loudly or lashing out at them affects their relationship with other people. When playing and when communicating children tend to use the words and imitate whatever their brains had registered earlier on other people. They start shouting and using abusive words on other kids because that’s what they were called to express anger.

My neighbour constantly screams at her children. Insults them almost every minute, of their communication. The insults start from the oldest of 10 years to the youngest of 3 months. They use vulgar words on them and when they get outside to play with other children, they use the same vulgar words they heard from the mum.

When Eve got to ask the mum why she prefers that form of commutation this is what she said “I grew up in the ghetto and my mother used worse language on me so I don’t see any harm in this, they’ll get used to it”

Dr. Jacqueline disagrees saying that the woman practiced avoidance as one of the facts that affect our growth is the environment, a child senses a peaceful environment that is full of love “This woman is exposing her children to the same environment she grew up in and she lacks self-awareness which is detrimental to the children’s growth. She is passing generational trauma to her children” When a child is routinely yelled at they carry the stress of those experiences with them.

The child psychologist says that children interpret what they see, for instance when they don’t get what they want they apply violence to other people which eventually sprouts into bullying. Shouting and insulting your children affects their self-esteem. 

James a 42-year-old single dad to his 17-year-old son says “The relationship between my son and I is not perfect. I have given him room to be open and honest with me about everything, no hiding anything and this has made our bond stronger.”

A child grows to become what you teach them to be as a parent. They grow up looking up to you, doing what you do and listening to what you say, and most importantly imitating your words and doings.

Shouting at your kids is not the way to communicate.

Screaming at your child is inexcusable.

Parenting is not easy for anyone, yes and I can barely understand

Talk to your children gently. You’re the guardian shouting at them, transferring negative energy they walk with for the rest of their lives. Dear parents mind what you do and how you talk to your kids. Insulting your children affects them mentally.