How to build character traits in your child
Created by Parentune Support Updated on May 12, 2015
Homework tests our patience with our child. Regular studies are a regular challenge and to talk of the examination time or project submission dates….oh it’s just not possible to get the exam time over with without a few series of irritating, desperate fights.
Why do we take so much stress over something like studies which all of us, rationally know is a continuous process and until or unless it is the higher classes, does not make a serious difference to our success in life? Now, after doing a little research, I realized that the first and foremost reason is that we try and lay a foundation for our expectations from self and life through this process of structural education.
We say – “If she will not learn to sit and concentrate now, how would she be in the practice of doing it when it is actually required, like in the higher classes”. Habit building.
“He needs to do hard work in studies, and we are preparing him by doing the hard work now”. Exposure.
“She should know that to learn something, you must sit and concentrate on it”. Discipline.
“He must study with a focus in mind”. Responsibility.
So, we are trying to teach our child a lot of things through studies. But the question for realization is that “Are we not expecting her to know and act on all this, even before she is taught any of this?”
Asking her to be disciplined and responsible without ever teaching them what these words are….that brings out our frustrations. We know that we have not taught her this, not prepared her and we are expecting her to work on it. Trust me, we know that, and hence, we feel responsible, lost, desperate and frustrated.
Why not take a different approach, wherever we are standing in terms of the year in schooling. For once, let us not say that now it is too late…let’s just try!
My humble and tested-against-time suggestions:
This takes years. So does schooling. So, we first need to be sure of what kind of habits we want to inculcate in our child. Once we are sure of that, let it be one tiny step at a time. Give yourself and your child a luxurious timeline say 1 year to reach a stage, another year to reach a stage up and so on and so forth….it might take a few years to reach the final goal, but let me assure you here, foundation needs time, and a lot of steady, slow work. Be regular, patient and loving.
We try to create a world of tomorrow for our child right now, to prepare them for that tomorrow, but in the process we forget that this is all a rehearsal and assume it as real….. We say – “If she’s not able to do it now, how would she do it then.” Let us remember that we are preparing her for that “then”, which may or may not come about. She can fail now, and learn from that failure….which will prepare her to not fail in the real test of life.
So, alongwith telling your child where she fell back, and how to overcome that, be very accepting of her falling back. She has done it once, if she learns from it in a safe environment, in most probability she would not repeat it. Safe environment - where she is not judged, but supported.
My mantra – discipline comes for something which we find interesting. So rather than teaching discipline, if we focus on how to make and keep something as interesting, it would eventually lead us to discipline, an unforced discipline, even better, right?
So, let’s teach our child to make studies interesting for themselves: talk about it, create a play around history, play games around a math chapter, try to sing a book, and not read a book….there are so many ways. Through this process, we would build a very strong character in our child, of making things interesting, and once that is done, we do not have to bother about the dry, challenging discipline. It will become a by-product.
This is the best thing a parent can teach their child. Here, I want you to ask yourself – do you think one can become responsible when someone else is responsible for them all the time? To become responsible, we need to attempt, make mistakes, own up to those mistakes and correct them. Let your child attempt, make mistakes, help him understand that it was a mistake but that is okay, if we learn from it and then help him with options to correct that mistake. After this, leave him again to process all of it.
Get involved; be patient;….and be very very loving because you are not the world you are afraid of for him/her, when they grow up; you are the guru, the lesson chapters, the cushions!
| May 12, 2015
This was really helpful. I would like to add to this that a child is constantly learning ways to act and behave through role-modeling parents, family member, peers, and house helps and even cartoons characters. So a parent can choose to be a certain way always when the children are around for them to follow the foot steps.
| May 30, 2015
Thanks for sharing such helpful info! All babies are hardwired with certain personality traits; as parents it’s our responsibility to build good character in our little one. Like I always show respect for my spouse, my children, and my other family members. Because parents who respect honor each other, who share family responsibilities, and who resolve their differences in peaceful ways communicate a powerful message about respect. If children experience respect firsthand within the family, they are more likely to be respectful of others. Simply stated, respect begets respect. I had read a very helpful article related to building character development in babies at http://babycare[dot]babyhugz[dot]com/character-development-in-toddlers/
| Jul 03, 2015
Very rightly said.... If this minute details as a parents we follow than out child certainly bound to follow all the details mentioned above. It is very important to know that child learn from observation and we are the first teacher of our child. So all parents must follow this to build our future.
| Jul 18, 2015
Every time I find parent tune very impressive n informative. really nice n useful information as being a mother I m very aggressive with my 9year old daughter as I want her to learn everything I want I don't give her time but after reading this I will try to b cool with her. Thanks..