Whether you are young or polished with maturity, you would have come across a child who is misbehaving. The moment we encounter such behaviour from a child, the judgmental gavel starts announcing its conclusions – Oh my God! What a brat! So spoilt.
Why don’t the parents do things differently? Is this the way a child is supposed to behave?
Now, let’s pause for a moment. Ever wondered if the mother knows that her child has become a “brat”? She definitely knows that she is dealing with an adamant child. But do the parent acknowledge that the child is a brat? Most brats are work in progress till they reach maturity, that is, adulthood, and then this quality becomes a lifestyle.
So, Who is a Brat?
Let’s rewind some more. The term brat definitely has a negative echo to it, so what does it entail? A child or an adult who has mastered the artsy craft of tailoring their surrounding as per his/her changing demands, basically getting what they want, when they want and how they want it. Such a personality is generally complemented with a rude lingo, which makes it rather difficult to enjoy their company.
Every individual is certain about the kind of parent they want to be. This notion alters itself, sometimes greatly; when the doors of parenthood are flung wide open. Every parent is certain of the attributes that they want in their child. Now achieving this is a stupendous task and the journey is filled with so many unknown twists and plots and unexpected pathways, that no parent, ever, is truly prepared for it. To put things simply, even though most of us are parents, no one talks about how very difficult it is to be one every single day. Since there is no proven guide to being a good parent or raising fabulous amazing children, let’s try to simplify few aspects of parenting to avoid “brat-ilicious” offsprings.
United Colours of Parenthood
Parenting is a serious task, one that is not given its due importance even by parents. We tend to go with the flow. There are very few parents who sit and lay down the basic structure of parenting together and find a common ground even on subjects that they tend to disagree with. For example, has your child ever come to you complaining about the other parent? And have you intervened in some way and the child gets his way? Before we know it, this becomes a norm and your child has found a convenient way of getting his way out.
What is really happening is your child is not accepting the word ‘no’ from his parent, and unknowingly parents are encouraging this behavior. Parents need to project a united front to the child and work as a cohesive team. It is only then that the child realizes the true meaning of the word ‘No’ and rejoices when permissions are granted by the parent.
The Imitation Game
Our kids are pint-size sponges that take in all our mannerisms, our gestures, our attitudes, and our personalities. And believe me, it all starts from the day that they are born. If they don’t understand the intricacies of the situation, they definitely feel the vibes. It is rather impossible to be a role model for someone who is with you all day every day.
We all do try to be the best version of ourselves for our children. And we should definitely practice what we preach. The virtues that you want to instill in your little ones need to be portrayed by you as an example to follow. If you want your kid to pick up her plate after her meal and leave it in the kitchen, you cannot have your plate lying at the table to be cleared by someone else. If you want your kid to be an ardent reader, he has to see you or a household member engrossed in books.
Contagious Dance of Selfish Behaviour
The company you keep and the material you watch adds a layer to your personality subconsciously. Interaction with a peer group, rather than the correct interaction with the appropriate peer group is so vital for the blossoming vivacious smiles of our young ones. It is only through play dates, park outings and siblings do kids learn to be more outspoken and to share. And the seeds of empathy and understanding for the other are sown.
Every child is reluctant to share his belongings with friends or siblings. This attribute needs to be kept in check from the very beginning. It is a battle for the parent to deal with these recurring episodes. Proper communication about the importance of sharing, again and again, will at some point someday show its vibrant colors.
Even when you have engaged your kid in some activity, I am sure you’ve had many telephonic conversations with the child playing his recorded voice-over tune ‘Mumma, Mumma, Mumma…’ Scenarios like these and our response to them do matter a great deal. Firstly, because episodes like these happen very often, and secondly, we can’t encourage selfish behavior over and over again. And it’s best to ignore tantrums. Just make sure they are not in harm’s way and mute your ears to the drumroll till the show is over. After the episode, talk to the child about her wants and needs. Try to explain to her that the best way to fulfill them is through proper communication and not improvised tantrums!
The Attitude of Gratitude
The power of being grateful for the smallest accomplishments in life is an asset. A tiny prayer before starting your day, touching your meal, and at the end of each day makes us realize the importance of what we have been blessed with and how fortunate we really are.
This aspect is so important yet so difficult to teach small children. How to make a 5 year old grateful for all the toys he has. And also all the gourmet treats that are readily available in the house? There is someone working hard to provide the necessities and luxuries. We need to bring that aspect to the forefront to appreciate and be thankful.
On the contrary, if the child has a feeling of entitlement for everything he has or needs, there will be no sense of responsibility and hard work. It doesn’t matter if you have a house-help or not, folding a blanket and keeping it in its place, tidying the room every day, laying the tables, folding clothes are more about inculcating the gene of responsibility rather than the task itself. Even when the child has got a job, contributing monetarily towards the household in small amounts makes the child feel responsible and have a sense of pride. You may or may not need that money to run your house. However, that monthly contribution invariably enflames the love, responsibility, and gratitude within him towards the parent.
Royal Saga of Parenting
Today, with one swipe you can roughly estimate the personality of young adults. Social media has become like x-ray machines of most households. And sadly, the button to which is accessible to the public at large. What we want for our children and how we want to raise them has become stubbornly difficult to achieve with the multiplying trenches of social media. It is now, more than ever, that parents and parenting styles need to adapt and improvise. We need to ensure that every generation carries on our culture, tradition, and values.
Whether our kids turn out to be greedy, selfish, or down to earth, in most cases, it all can be traced back to us. The parenting styles we were exposed to and the one we are showering upon our kids can be the same or drastically different. As an individual and as a parenting team we need to alter, adjust and delete norms and notions. This is important to create stronger, tougher, kinder, and well-rounded human beings. What we do and all that we have done only stems from the gooey sticky place called love. With this enlightened emotion, we shall chart out our parenting maps and raise kids that we are wholeheartedly proud of.
Hope you found the article useful! Do share your thoughts and advice in the comments.