Kids and their mistakes

“To err is human, to forgive, divine.” But, as parents, we wonder what the right punishment could be so our children learn from their mistakes. We often do not forgive that easily, right? Kids and their mistakes both live a really long life, unfortunately together.

Children will make mistakes, as they experience the world. They will lie, they will act stupid or even impatient sometimes, and make a blunder. Sometimes they shock us with their actions, so much that we end up doubting our parenting. We must realize that we aren’t the only ones. Each kid on the block has made his/her parents ashamed, at some point of time. Haven’t we done plenty of mistakes that made our parents mad?
Of course, gone are the days when parents used to thrash us for our mistakes, and we think oh, we turned out alright! But, the world goes by the books now. Maybe we can do a better parenting. Each mistake, with the level of extremity can be dealt with differently. It is not necessary to be angry at them for every petty thing they do, but we can communicate and teach them the difference between appropriate and not so appropriate.

Attention Span

Attention span is the amount of concentrated time a person can spend on a task without becoming distracted. Wikipedia

Distraction hurts. In today’s always connected mobile phone world, we get distracted all the time. Attention span has been continuously reducing for most of us. Concentration challenge leads to tasks not done or done clumsily. Yes, there are ways to increase attention span in kids and young adults.

Meditation, listening to music and regular exercise leave a lasting positive impact. Moreover, encouraging kids to ask questions is also a proven way to help kids grow their appetite for concentrated time. However, if your kid is not able to cope up with age related activity for a prolonged time, consulting a child psychiatrist is a must do task.

Focusing on things that matter

In our day to day lives, we lose sight of the bigger picture, and fret about things that do not even matter in the long run. Our attention span is reducing and our focus works like a decimal scale.

Children crib for petty things as well. They want the toy they saw in the advertisement, they want the dress just like the girl wearing in the movie, they want the ‘magic pencil’ like in the TV show. They have no idea what matters and what does not. When they are upset for they scored less in an exam, or that they had a fight with their best-friend – we can tell them, how these are only small things in the long-run of life. Let’s help them be emotionally strong, by guiding them the way out of distractions, and build their focus on important things of life.

Managing Tantrums

Tantrums are the most difficult to handle, eh? Those angry outbursts by our children, often drive us crazy. It gets too hard to control the overwhelming emotions bursting inside us. And, we often snap-back. Of course managing tantrums needs knowledge and skill.

We have to understand that children are likely to throw a tantrum when they are unable to express their emotions in a healthy manner. Tantrums are an easy approach for them to convince people around. Thus, when a child is being difficult, we must encourage him/her to tell what is actually bothering them. Reason with them, and try to understand what they want, why they want, as a meaningful conversation always helps.

Frequency of tantrums thrown may dramatically come down if the kid understands what is negotiable and what is not. Talks leading to, during and after a tantrum are key to next tantrum being thrown up and when.

Constant Worry

We constantly worry about our children. Are they studying enough? Are they interactive enough? Is their score good enough? – and in the conundrum of thoughts, we don’t realize that we are teaching kids the same habit of chronic worry, which snatches life out of human beings. Constant worry doesn’t help, neither our kids, nor us.

It is normal to find our child worried about their exam, or about their homework. They might be a little too anxious before visiting the doctor. But, how can we figure out that his/her worries are over the edge? Today’s generation is likely to develop anxiety, due to the increased competition and numerous mid-term exams they have to give. And, we can only try our level best to help them get rid of their irrational fears, and figure out if their “constant worry” is getting out of hand. Let’s look into life from their eyes, and help them be at ease.

Failing Gracefully

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failing is another stepping stone to greatness.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
We put our heart and soul into an idea or an execution, but many-a-times the idea/execution fails. It is not the end of the road, however. It doesn’t make you a failure, right? We might be defined by our successes, but our failures form the crucial experiences that we need. Although, it only happens when we accept failure gracefully.
Kids are tender hearts, and they may take failures a little too sensitively. They may rebuke themselves or blame others for it. But in this way, they shall never learn. People often give up when they are so close to a win, all because of the probable embarrassment that they may suffer if they fail. We must teach our kids, how to take failure gracefully. Only then will they bounce back up and show the world, who they really are.

Who Am I?

We spend our lives finding an answer to “Who am I?”. It is easy for most of us to judge others, and often we know “our friends better than ourselves”. We are shocked with our impulsiveness, or lack of decision making. We are shocked by our angry outbursts and mistakes. So much, that when we stare into the mirror, it gets tough to recognize the person looking back at us.

While we struggle with our identity, our children are struggling too. They may hate that they cannot speak up in the classroom. They may hate that they have no best friends. They might be insecure about being an introvert. It is highly likely that they do not know what they want to do in life, and getting frustrated whether they should pick up “science” or “arts” for their future. In these times, we should let them know, that we are not a “constant.”

With the innumerable experiences in life, we learn and we evolve. Let’s help our kids pick all the right pieces from their experiences, so they can also evolve into a better version of themselves – someone they want to be.

Grace

Knowledge can be acquired. Etiquette can be learned. DNA is derived, but Grace, well, it is what we develop on our own – to stand out in the crowd. Can anyone teach us grace as a soft skill? No. Can we teach our kids grace? No.

But, our children can perceive the importance of grace, when we set examples in front of them. Teach them how to smile at a failure, ask them to wish their competitor “good-luck”, guide them that if someone hurts you without an intention, you need not take it personally. By sharing anecdotes, and experiences, we can help our children learn the importance of being magnanimous and benevolent without being in your face. And yes, with time, they will develop grace.

Show Off

People show off to attract attention and admiration. In fact, with the advent of Facebook, flaunting has become a part of our lives, more than ever. Often, the flaunting is a way to hide one’s own insecurities. We never want people to see us in the dark, hence, we put on a mask.

Showing off may have both positives and negatives. Impressing a  client by flaunting one’s successes, is a way to grab that business deal, and in no ways is it harmful. But, in day-to-day personal lives, unnecessary flaunting could turn into a personality disorder.

Why are we making a purchase? To fulfill our own requirement, or to show it off to someone else? The line between both becomes thinner. We start seeking things, only to satisfy that we “look good” in someone else’s eyes.

Children tend to be attention-seekers, but they must not develop a snobbish attitude as their motto to gain admiration. Otherwise, they’ll turn into individuals who make people cringe, when they start talking about themselves.

Admiration

Admiration brings learning. Look around, there is a lot to admire. The world is a lot bigger than our own troubles, right? There is talent in people, there is beauty in nature, some movies are admirable, some songs have impressive music.

If we don’t admire, we’ll have nothing to compete with. But, when we admire the skills of someone else and find it better than ours, we’ll want to be as good. We always learn from our role models. They inspire us towards improvement.

Nowadays people seek to find flaws – in the government, in the movie, in the air, on the moon – sounds familiar, eh? We are so busy proving everyone else wrong, that we turn a blind eye on things that could be admired.

Let’s take out time for a little admiration. Let’s teach our children its importance. Striving for perfection, without looking at the work of other people will do us no good. Stop looking for things to criticize. Rather, let’s indulge ourselves a bit more in appreciation and admiration.