Children could feel, among other things, undervalued, upset, and rebellious which cannot help the child focus on the message the parent is trying to convey because the child is feeling troubled. So, there is no learning. This is eroding the child’s self-esteem and also fracturing the relationship between the parent and child. We are conditioned to the way adults deal with children this way that there is disbelief when one says it harms the parent-child relationship. Many adults today are recovering from a childhood which has damaged their self-esteem. They might have successful jobs yet don’t feel good enough.
Parents first reaction is, ‘Why do we need to respect a child?’ And it’s high time we ask ourselves, ‘Why not?’ We believe that children HAVE to respect elders but do not think it necessary for an adult to respect the child. Why? When our children become teenagers the relationship they have with us depends upon our respectful communication with them. So, would we say the above three lines to our friends and parents?! NO, because it would cost us the relationship! So, why speak in a way that will damage our relationship with our children?
As small children they get used to this authoritarian way but get angry and rebellious towards adolescence. We are conditioned to parent by how we were brought up and what we see around us. Is this information enough?
Raising our children without questioning some traditional ways of parenting which may have been based on fear and authority may not always be the best for our children. We are parenting to the best of our ability as per the information available to us. Today, we have a lot more information and research which tells us that what children need most is a positive nurturing home environment. We can teach and guide our children without being disrespectful.
The aforementioned lines could be said differently, which will convey the message and keep the dignity of the ‘Come, let’s get a cloth to wipe up the spill’. As parents, we provide the supporting framework in our children’s life by understanding their feelings and needs. The way we speak invites the child to engage and cooperate with us. It builds their self-esteem and teaches them how to communicate and reciprocate empathetically to others.
So our children become individuals having a high emotional quotient which is the basis of other functions like social intelligence, cognitive etc. Today, employers are looking for people with effective interpersonal skills and a high social quotient (SQ). By communicating with empathy and respect, we are preparing our children for the world tomorrow. Let’s remember that a respectful environment is not a privilege but our children’s entitlement.