The world has always paid attention to the noise created through the wars and fights. However, the media has never paid heed to the peaceful measures being propagated through different spiritual leaders. The reason seems to be simple to me! Fights and arguments catch our attention more than the sereneness of the calm river flowing by. It is striking for everyone. The louder it is, but might not be better.
A similar kind of approach is witnessed when a parent or a teacher handle a child either at home or in a classroom. Each day, that child might give ample of opportunities to the adult to look and appreciate the good deads. He or she might have helped in daily chores or might have set the bed right or might have not engaged in an argument. But sadly no one bothers to smile when he waits for a pat on his back. No one literally bothers! On the contrary, if that child takes a ride, indulges into a fight or spills the milk, then all the adult suddenly wake up from their dream and pay attention to the child through scoldings, shouting. How surprising, isn’t it? Now, I personally am feeling bad recollecting moments when I scolded my 8 years old daughter on misbehaviour she had exhibited. While I reflect back, I ponder, was that misbehaviour so huge that I had to shout? Was it a matter of life and death that I could not have waited for my anger to settle? More important is what exactly happened when I shouted at my child? Did she change her ways or did she just freeze to what I said?
The answer is she simply froze to my shoutings, her thinking mind had stopped working due to which she could not register my instructions. Whereas, if I would have explained her calmly (without raising my voice) she would have heard me better and understood me better. She might have altered her behaviour in that situation. Now, the question arises, what else could I do as a parent? How else can I approach my child so that he listens to me? There are two ways to approach or deal with it. One is the long term way and the other is the short term method.
As a part of the long term strategy, the parent or the adult need to ensure that the child has high self-esteem. That is the child thinks and feels good about himself or herself. To make the child trust his own abilities the parent needs to trust the child’s abilities. As a parent show your interest in the child and CATCH THEM DOING RIGHT! Appreciate them when you see them keeping a plate in the kitchen. Cuddle them and tell that you really liked when he carried the grocery bags at home. These ways the child will exactly know of the ways which make you feel happy. The verbal praise will stay with the child and will go far with him. Certainly, they would repeat those behaviours and would look with those little eyes and waiting for you to smile at them. For us as humans, appreciation is a basic psychological need which when not fulfilled leads to unacceptable behaviours.
Many parents ask me that they understand the long term strategy, but what should they do AT THAT moment when the milk is spilt. At that moment take a deep breath and count till 5 in your mind (slowly). This will help you settle down the immediate reflex or reaction. If you could curtail that immediate impulse to shout, your mind will then train itself to think and respond. Please do not get me wrong, I am not saying of not showing your disappointment to your child, nowhere do you have to show that you are happy when the milk spilt. It is not at all like that. Instead, you should show your disappointment but in a way which makes the impact to the listener. Gandhi ji in his book My experiments with truth shared his first encounter with Ahimsa was when his father did not scold him knowing that he had stolen the money to buy cigarettes. Instead, he just went away from the room. The lesser the noise the more impact it makes. You are also teaching the child of the ways to respond to conflict situations when they encounter with their friends. Remember, you are and will always be their ROLE MODELS! So you will have to live up to it each day!
Thus, each day the child will give us many opportunities to appreciate them and scold them. Now what you do with those opportunities is in your hands. The more you fill your child’s bucket with appreciation and unconditional love, the more will your child blossom. The more will you become the wind under his wings. So each day, find those little moments of REAL appreciation so that the world becomes a better place where the silence makes more noise and fights sound like chaos. The country wherein the child is filled with love and compassion, success and happiness can not keep away. so how will you appreciate today and strike the iron when its cold!