FUNDAMENTAL NO: 2 – WALK THE TALK
As the child begins to move around on its feet, it wants to experience the freedom of movement and explore its surroundings. At that time, we restrict the child’s limbs and carry the child to prevent it from running around. In the case of my children, I had the luxury of the forest for them to run amuck! They moved around and met snakes, centipedes, frogs and dogs, cats and even cows! Animals both wild and domesticated. They learn directly from the interaction. Sometimes small accidents happened. But each time the learning was deep and profound, and it was a lesson for life!
In our interaction with the child, we have spoken to them about our values, our beliefs, our problems, our fears and limitations. Now is the time to WALK THE TALK. That means the child must see us live by our words. We cannot escape the observation and the related questions. In fact, we must invite them. The child becomes our conscience!
The child’s actions are like a mirror to our actions. When we observe our child do something that we think is not to be done, we must examine our actions and our beliefs. We need to unlearn the taboos, the unnecessary pretense of respect, and the false appreciation and look at all do’s and don’ts with a freshness. Understand why there is a taboo, what is respect and why would anyone want to be appreciated for being who they are! All the questions that we should have asked about the society, the rituals, the norms are now awakened. The question why becomes the burning question again and this time we can ask it with our child. The answers are not important. Every “why” can be retorted with “what do you think?” This way we encourage critical thinking, can understand logical thinking and appreciate the process of absorption that is happening in our child.
Often there is a situation where the child wants us to buy something or do something and we don’t want to consent. These are the times when the child cries or throws a tantrum and after a while we get embarrassed and give in to the wish of the child. At such times we have taught the child that only when the child makes a lot of noise and throws a tantrum we listen to the child. Instead, we should talk to the child and explain our situation and the reasons for not being able to consent to the wish of the child. Now after the chat if the child is throwing a tantrum to make his/her point we must hold the child and calmly allow them to finish crying or rolling on the ground or throwing things around. We have to say again and again that after they have finished expressing their dissatisfaction we can talk about the issue. The message to the child here that we are open to reasonable talk and understand the disappointment of the child for things not having gone the way he/she wanted them. But we do not change our decisions under the pressure of a tantrum, so throwing is tantrum is not going to get them what they want if we think it is beyond our means (Expensive), or harmful to the body (Junk food), or harmful to the environment (Plastic toys, packaged goods, unnecessary clothes or gifts).
When we demonstrate calm and composure through the tantrum the child learns to manage its emotions, understand the difference between need and desire, listen to reason and learns to think logically. This improves intelligence, reduces impulsiveness, provides space for them to listen to their intuition and makes them understand who they are. Who am I? What is the purpose of my life? Why I am in this situation? What is there to learn form this? These are the real questions to which we cannot find answers in any book. These answers are unique for each person. These answers show us the path ahead in our lives. What do you think??? Please put your comments down. Lets open a dialogue …