ARE YOU LISTENING TO YOUR CHILDREN?
We have a concept deeply engraved in our mind that children should be the ones listening to us. But shouldn’t it be two ways? In reality, listening to children, understanding their unspoken words and analyzing their behaviors is much more important than we realize. These are the crucial steps in promoting the healthy growth and success of your children.
A majority of kids (62 percent) say their parents are distracted when kids are trying to talk to them, according to Highlights magazine’s 2014 State of the Kid survey results, an annual survey that gives children ages 6 to12 a national platform to share their thoughts and feelings about major issues.
Parents usually force their children to pursue the profession for the sake of their reputation without considering the interest and passion of their child. In turn, children give priority to the happiness of their parents and force themselves to fulfill their parent’s demands. Pursuing the dream that the parents have for the children, they may start suppressing their own passion.
In the long term, such suppression could lead to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, self-harm, bi-polar disorders, disruptive behavior disorders, several other mental health problems and may trigger suicide in children. Parents have the right to guide and offer career advice to their children but they should be sure not to force them.
If you are a parent, let me ask you all some questions.
- Is prestige or status more important than the health of the child?
- Have you ever asked your child what they’re passionate about?
- Have you ever asked about the career they want to pursue?
- Do you even ask your child if they are happy with your decision?
- When was the last time you communicated with your child?
Most of the people get stuck pursuing careers they had absolutely no interest in and they never really enjoy. There might be various factors that lead them to this situation.
Some factors that can influence trajectories include the family’s culture, their income and family resources, and the quality of the parent-child relationship.( Holden, 2010). But no matter what the factors are they’re unhappy and unsatisfied with their life.
Most of the children are facing stress that’s affecting their physical as well as mental health.
The major risk factors associated with stress are parental education, family history of psychiatric disorders, self-esteem, and academic performance.
Parental style also affects the children’s mental health. The way you interact with your children not only affects the growth and development of a child but also influences him/her for the rest of their lives.
Researchers have identified four types of parenting styles:
- Authoritarian or Disciplinarian: They use a strict discipline style with little negotiation possible. Communication is mostly one way: from parent to child. Authoritarian parents are often thought of as disciplinarians.
- Permissive or Indulgent: Permissive or Indulgent parents mostly let their children do what they want, and offer limited guidance or direction. They are more like friends than parents.
- Uninvolved: Uninvolved parents give children a lot of freedom and generally stay out of their way.
- Authoritative: Communication is frequent and appropriate to the child’s level of understanding. Authoritative parents are nurturing.
South Asian parents practice Authoritarian Parenting. Authoritarian parents believe kids should follow the rules without exception. Authoritarian parents are famous for saying, “Because I said so,“.
Rather than teaching a child how to make better choices, they’re invested in making kids feel sorry for their mistakes. Researchers believe children of Authoritarian parents tend to be timid and have lower esteem.
There might be differences between parents and children due to the generation gap. They might not be interested in pursuing a particular career. And, when children collect the guts and speak about their dreams or passion of art, creative writing, fashion designing, dance, sports, music, etc, you end up embarrassing them asking questions like:
Is that even a job?
How are you going to make a living?
You’ve to understand that a child who is passionate about art can hardly succeed in the medical profession or jobs of business or accountant.
You’ve to support your children to make their dreams come true and support them in their journey so that they can reach the destination that they’ve actually dreamt of reaching. You need to communicate with them , know their problems and help them find out the solutions.
Make time for them. Ask them about their day and ask them if there’s anything that’s bothering them. Talk to your children from a young age about choices, interests, goals, plans, future, studies, careers, etc. Encourage them to focus on enhancing their skills. Tell them stress is a part of life and all of us face a little stress in our life.
But stressing over the same thing, again and again, is not okay.
Remind them that you’re always with them.
If you think your child is stressed and it’s causing problems in his/her daily life, do not hesitate to make an appointment for them to see psychiatrists, psychologists or psychological therapists.
Instead of always making your children listen to you, sometimes try to listen to them.