Gratitude

Gratitude is a quality that needs to be imbibed in children from an early age. But first, we must believe that it is more than just having good manners. It is a quality which, once fully ingrained, becomes a way of life. It is about saying thank you to someone who has been good to you or helped you in times of need, of valuing all that you’ve been given in life. Ungrateful children can often find themselves with fewer friends, and unhappy life.

Thankfully, it is easy to inculcate gratitude in kids. The best way is to start at home. For instance, thanking those who bring in gifts for them and remembering them as the life goes on. It would teach them to be humble and grateful, ensuring that they don’t take anything for granted in life. A lesson that is bound to stick around for a lifetime.

Satisfaction

Satisfaction, isn’t this we all yearn till the very end? The notion.. enters early in our kids’ lives, right from the classroom, playground, scores they get for curricular and extra-curricular activities. The love and support of a family also play a major part in it. The satisfaction rides on broadly 3 factors: higher performance, stronger social relationships, and better physical health. How many times do we sit down and ask them are they satisfied with the direction their life is taking? A little introspection would provide them with a mirror reflecting their desires, accomplishments, and unfulfilled expectations. This is a great starting point to begin exploring in depths what level of quality they want out of life and what are the factors that are stopping them.

Satisfaction comes from within and finding the path to it is also hidden somewhere inside them.

Perseverance

Perseverance is an essential life skill, sooner our kids learn it, better it is for them and us. It is all about not giving up and winning, maybe in second attempt, third attempt or maybe next year. Faith, hope and confidence are essential for perseverance to flourish. Fear of thrashing dilutes faith on parents encountering failure. This has a cascading effect, loss of faith on parents leads to loss of hope in winning which dilutes confidence and sets a chain reaction of failure.
At all stages between success and failure kids shouldn’t be given an easy way out. Going ahead with – “OK, I will do it for you” is not OK. “Let us do it together” may not also be OK. It is important to set up a training routine or a learning framework together. Within that framework kid must achieve her/his success.

Homework

Homework is an opportunity to inspire and engage the child with discussions and debates. When presented or perceived as, yet another monkey on child’s back, the purpose is defeated. Homework has schools confused, a few shun it off completely while most believe in overload.    

Burdening a kid with loads of workbooks before a long break doesn’t serve any purpose. Its pressure sucks out fun at the beginning and it kills a happy ending of the vacation due to deadline adherence.  Research and inquiry-based home assignments are positive and thought provoking among kids. When purposeful, homework is indeed a very powerful collaborative tool. It leads to discussions around it and its presentation/display is a true motivator.

Honor

Among life-skills, probably, honor is the most difficult skill to introduce to kids. It is always tough to tell your kids to honor you for what you do for them. Having said that, it is easy to teach kids to respect all, thank all and be loving to people who value you in their life.

Another way for teaching them about honoring individuals and events is to make their successes and days special. If they achieve a distinction, it works to go out of the way and make them feel special. Going all the way you can cook something they love, and present is as a gesture in honor for their success.

Honoring has zillion ways, introducing kids to a few would lead them to the rest on their own. A family which honors each other stays happy more often than those who choose not go that extra mile.

Studies

Studies may or may not come naturally to a kid, ecosystem around is a big motivator. If a kid sees books at every nook and corner, possibility of natural inclination towards reading as a habit are high. Studies are an extension to reading. Love for books easily extends to love for studies, though subjects may not be of our choice. Let us face it, almost every parent has to struggle to get homework done, or classwork notes made, or getting kid to sitting down for exam preparation. As long as it is a struggle it is fine, a fight over when to study and what to study seldom helps.

Talking helps. Knowing comfort level with subjects helps. Schools assessment about kid and kid’s assessment about school are often eyeopeners. For a parent there are no shortcuts, active participation and real life examples do help in attention towards studies.

Misbehaving Children

Often misbehaving children land up facing misbehaving parents, that’s no good. That’s not being a role model. Definitely, misbehavior of kids adds to layers of parenting stress but misbehaving back with kids is never an option.

Usually at time of misbehavior interpretation is – problem child. That’s negativity. Child is not the problem and there is a need to dig deep to reach to the problem child is encountering. Positivity not only contains misbehavior, it eventually eliminates it.  Instant reaction to misbehavior is certificate of approval of misbehavior as a strategy, hurts.

A thought through, controlled, delayed reaction lays down foundation for partnering rather than pointless preaching. Works!

 

Whining

Whining is essentially a communication gap. A kid knows that it bothers a parent and uses the same to get a message across which is not getting conveyed. When kids are stressed or overwhelmed, or simply way too stubborn – their “sweet voice” that we adore turns into an annoying high-pitch tone. Whining, what we call it, can get to our nerves. Young children do it when they want something, right then-and-there. They are kids, after all, and they are well-aware that combination of grumbling and moaning is the best ways to get our attention unless we prove it  otherwise.

Asking nicely works, whining just won’t work.  That’s the message kids must get straight. Generosity with praise, motivation and participation in decision making are strong counter magnets to wailing & hauling around.

Science suggests that whining could be a result of children wanting to spend more positive time with you. Usually, they want to feel loved at the moment.  Thus, we must ensure from our side that the family environment is healthy for children.  Negative displays of emotion is often a prominent reason why the kid indulges in murmuring and complaining often.

Listening Skills

Leadership has to be responsive, attentive and empathetic. Even if we have learned the ability to put our views on the table, and convince people about our ideas – we cannot be a leader unless, we have developed good listening skills. That is, we must not get distracted, simply because we think we have more interesting things to think about, than the topic of discussion going at the moment.

So much focus is on public speaking, that now-a-days we find only a few people, who actually listen. Everyone wants to be heard. Isn’t it annoying when you realize that someone you are talking to, isn’t even paying attention? Thus, we have to guide our children to be good listeners as well. Teach them that they must be fully present, when having a conversation with someone else. Only, then can a person be good in interaction skills.

Anger and outbursts

Display of anger and outbursts do no good. Nobody wants to be angry, yet there are times when we cannot control it. Moreover, It is extremely difficult to express anger in productive ways, and more so for our children. It is troublesome to watch them display angry reactions and outbursts. We don’t understand how such behavior can be handled.

Yes, genes also play a role in anger and irritability of children. Trauma, family dysfunction and a harsh parenting style could be one of the reasons why a child is exhibiting anger. It always works to have a calm conversation with our kid, when he/she is in a relaxed mood. We should be their best friends, and evaluate their life from their side of the table. If the situation is going out of hand, we must get a psychological or psychiatric evaluation. This will help in avoidance of ODD, ADHD and other such disorders.