Why Children Turn Out The Way They Do

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Together we may give our children the
roots to grow and the wings to fly

You will be forgiven if you think that what influences children’s development in our current world, apart from their genes, is the way their parents bring them up. The truth is that parents matter less; peers matter more. Parents don’t socialize children: children socialize children. But can parents tilt this balance and have important and long-term effects on the development of their children once again?” The answer to that question has to be —“Yes, absolutely!”

This is what God said of Abraham: For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of Jehovah, to do righteousness and justice; to the end that Jehovah may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him (Genesis 18:19). Joshua could confidently affirm: “… but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). This great leader was not oblivious of the fact that as the twig is bent, so grows the tree – he purposed to exert influence in his household.

We need to recognize and appreciate the great disaster of delegating the responsibility of “nurturing” our children entirely to the government, schools, church, babysitters, day-care centres, or our friends or relatives as we pursue other interests.

The price which translates to ruined futures is eventually too costly.

Children need to understand the connection between bad behaviour and consequences and this need be done in a clever way.

Don’t be too critical

Bullying should not start at home. Children hate those who demean them publicly just to humiliate them. They are more at peace with those that demonstrate that their emotions matter. Nobody will share their lives with you if you keep giving judgement, criticisms and negative perspectives about this and that.

Be consistent not sometimes nice and on other days downright sarcastic, rude and cold otherwise the child gets tired of such a volatile relationship.

Give meaningful praise

It is perfectly in order to give praise to a child when a child does something noteworthy. It is however not sufficient to say a “good job!” to the child because the child may not understand the message behind this statement.

Praise becomes meaningless to kids unless they learn from it.  Just as they learn from constructive feedback on academics and homework, they learn from well-communicated praise.

Be specific

Praise their enthusiasm, honesty, kindness, teamwork, fairness, humility, etc. By making your praise more specific, you help kids learn that character strengths matter. And you communicate appreciation for who they are, not just for what they do.

Remember little eyes are watching, so model by example

Tell parallels that will enable children create connections between bad behaviour and consequences. Let them learn that, “if you plant bad seeds, you are going to get nasty weeds. If you plant good seeds, you’ll get a good crop.” They relate.

First Day of Kindergarten: Through the eyes of a mom

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Let them be little, ’cause they’re only that way for a while. (Billy Dean)

They scream, they shout, they cry their lungs out.
They struggle; they kick and can sometimes bite…
This is a survival instinct all in the name of wanting mommy to come back.

The first day of school is always a challenge for the parents, the teachers and care givers but most of all, the little one. We can never be too prepared.

The previous night we sleep early so that we are in time for the first day of school. For most first time parents, the months leading up to this day are filled with anxious moments. We want to find the perfect school, the one that has a serene environment. We often wonder if our child will be able to cope away from home and the list goes on and on. But here we are finally, the first day of school. Everyone is ready to go and out we go. We arrive and begin to make that long walk towards the class.

Already you can hear screams from a distance and you tightly hold your little one’s hand. You expected it but here you are, tempted to turn back and go home. Bravely you march on with an anxious smile as you come face to face with parents who are through with registration and you say to yourself, “These must be veteran parents, who are used to first day of kindergarten.” Finally you find yourself standing at the class door. You pull your child to the side to capture those sweet moments. They smile back and it melts your heart. You take their hand and open the class door, and your heart wants to leap out of your chest.

The chaos in class, it is a battle zone with children screaming and crying. Some are seated on the floor ready to leave class at every opportunity when the door opens. You see this little boy and girl clinging to you and asking, “Where is my mommy? I want to go home”. You cannot wait to be through with the teacher but then again, the pictures of those tear filled eyes are stuck in your mind and you imagine your child crying to a stranger the same way.

Now it is time to leave and your child calls out to you. And your legs almost freeze. You turn and say, “Bye baby, I will be right back”. Did you just lie to your child? Why does it feel like you did? You walk away hastily as possible to avoid hearing them cry. You are tempted to go back and peek to see if your little one is crying, but you know well that they are in safe hands.

What was your first day like? Share your views and tips on how you survived the first day of kindergarten.