HAN­DLE WITH CARE

Ev­ery child is dif­fer­ent, so his or her suc­cess and fail­ure will vary too. Par­ents need to han­dle such sit­u­a­tions with care and not let it af­fect their equa­tion with them. Ex­perts tell us how

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - City - - CITY | LIFESTYLE - An­jali Shetty ■ an­jali.shetty@htlive.com

Be­ing a par­ent comes with re­spon­si­bil­ity and ac­count­abil­ity. You may think you have mas­tered the art of parenting, but, with ev­ery year, there is some­thing new to learn or un­der­stand. One such as­pect is that of deal­ing with your child’s fail­ures. While suc­cess is easy to han­dle and hail, fail­ure, on the other hand, leaves you con­fused on what to do next. Ex­perts state that one must never ever ridicule or scold the child. This can be very de­mo­ti­vat­ing, hu­mil­i­at­ing and hurt their self-re­spect.

Dr Nazneen Ladak, psy­chi­a­trist, Axis Hospi­tal, points out that guid­ing your child through fail­ures is very im­por­tant. Be­ing more friendly and sup­port­ive of your child will help them in the fu­ture or present. She says, “Let the child learn from his or her mis­take. The most im­por­tant fac­tor is aware­ness. Ac­cept what they have done and sug­gest bet­ter so­lu­tions.”

DEAL WITH IT

Par­ents should first ac­cept that they can­not al­ways pro­tect their child from fail­ures. They can only guide their child to work through the distress and im­prove their abil­ity to suc­ceed in the fu­ture. Ri­tika S Ag­gar­wal, con­sul­tant psy­chol­o­gist, Jaslok Hospi­tal and Re­search Cen­tre, says, “How par­ents re­act to fail­ure (their own or an­other’s) is ex­tremely im­por­tant, as chil­dren learn by watch­ing their par­ents. Thus, par­ents must model the be­hav­iour they wish to see in their child. If they re­act to their fail­ures by get­ting up­set or scream­ing, the child is likely to learn the same be­hav­iour, whereas if they view it as a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, their child will do the same.”fa­tima Agarkar, ed­u­ca­tion­ist and co-founder, KA Ed­u­as­so­ci­ates, shares that ac­cept­ing that our chil­dren are gems in wait­ing is im­por­tant. “Their im­per­fec­tions are a part of their grow­ing up story like it was with us. The dif­fer­ence is, we had less scru­tiny and these kids have every­thing un­der a mi­cro­scope. Once you ac­cept, you will ap­proach it as a work in progress ... and that means they hit their peak when it’s the right time. Till then, it is about learn­ing.”

THE FLOP TALKS

When ad­dress­ing fail­ure, chil­dren must be taught to view their abil­i­ties with the per­spec­tive that hard work can im­prove or change their abil­i­ties. This is more likely to en­cour­age them to work harder to achieve suc­cess, and in­di­cates that fail­ure doesn’t al­ways im­ply a dead­end. Ag­gar­wal adds, “When we shield our chil­dren from fac­ing and cop­ing with any­thing less than our ex­pec­ta­tions, we don’t al­low their own cop­ing mech­a­nisms and prob­lem solv­ing skills to de­velop. In­stead, al­low them to try new things while guid­ing them, thus set­ting them up to take on new chal­lenges with con­fi­dence and re­silience.”

If the fail­ure doesn’t re­sult in any se­vere bod­ily harm or any dev­as­tat­ing em­bar­rass­ments that could have a long term ef­fect on the child, al­low them to make their mis­takes with­out run­ning to their res­cue. Al­low your child to take own­er­ship for his or her fail­ure.

SHOULD A PAR­ENT BE STERN OR NOT?

Ag­gar­wal shares that this would de­pend on the sit­u­a­tion and be­hav­iour ex­hib­ited by the child. Hav­ing said that, it is a dif­fi­cult tight rope walk be­tween the two. Be­ing very stern re­peat­edly could cause the child to fear the par­ent, thereby cre­at­ing a sit­u­a­tion where the child hides his fail­ure from the par­ent for fear of pun­ish­ment or out of shame. Tak­ing it lightly could in­di­cate to the child that fail­ures are more than okay, and don’t need to be worked upon.

Ar­chana Goenka, trus­tee and aca­demic direc­tor, CP Goenka In­ter­na­tional School, says, “A par­ent to­day, more than ever, can­not be stern. In­stead, sit­ting down with the child and un­der­stand­ing the rea­sons for not hav­ing achieved the de­sired re­sult, will help both the par­ent and the child an­a­lyse what are the changes they need to make, and how the child should go about try­ing to bet­ter his chances of suc­cess the next time.”

Let the child learn from his or her mis­take. The most im­por­tant fac­tor is aware­ness, ac­cept what they have done, sug­gest bet­ter so­lu­tions.

DR NAZNEEN LADAK, PSY­CHI­A­TRIST

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