As the time approaches for our first child’s birth–I have realized I have become slightly more aware of how children react and are treated around me. Maybe its because I want to be prepared to understand my own child when he arrives (or maybe I just enjoy learning from kids) but nevertheless being more aware of kid interaction and adult/kid interaction has made me aware of several things:
- Children think simply. Yes-we’re talking maturity. “You can’t play with that.” Child cries. There’s no discussion of why or how or when. The child just naturally gets upset. Or “go play with your friends!” the child runs off with toys in hand. They are happy. No questions asked. This has to improve as a child gets older because “you can’t play with that” initial does have answers. Response? Do not lie to your children. Please. There are simple answers occasionally and even if there are not (why the dog died, a fire burned down the house)-its okay to say that to a child and say “you know — i don’t know but i know I will stay with you while i’m here and let’s strive forward.”
- Most children look up to those adults around them–if nothing else for attention. Teens would argue against this but I would even say they do it subconsciously until as an adult they realize what they are doing and try to work it out in life. I have also watched and interacted with several kids who say “look at me” for approval, for looks, for ratings, for whatever. It’s noticeable and should be noted when learning some parenting skills.
- While structure and rules are not inherently bad–with children I truly believe there should be no “ultimatums.” Now–takes this at face value. I mean “Do this or else.” I do not mean “Do or do not do this.” You can tell a kid to stop touching the stove by saying “don’t touch the stove or you’ll get hurt” versus “don’t touch the stove or I’ll send you to bed without dinner.” While both get the same end, a child does not need extremities and should gradually learn how to respond. I have a book that provides “general explanation” of how kids 1-5 learn and that sometimes play is a good thing, curiosity is more a teacher than discipline and that even babies are watching what you do, think and say. Arguably raising children is 20% verbal and 80% non-verbal… if not more.
- Child raising = 90% like dog training. Like scary-like it. Reminder I am certified dog trainer & have read several books on the subject. The response and interaction I have with my dogs is equivalent of a toddlers interaction. Including the screaming (howling) and tantrums (just google husky and you’ll find a few.)
There are several more things I have discovered watching my friends or even the general public interact with kids. I pray that our family will learn how to guide our child into adulthood with a reasonable mind, a loving heart and a thoughtful interaction.