My elder daughter is 6 years old. I still think she is a small baby, but she is growing and I am not growing and still thinking that she is the baby I picked at Mount Sinai Hospital. I should learn from the father in Abhiyum Naanum that I also need to grow.
We jointly do cycling over last few weekends. She had to some interesting activity towards her school and when I checked whether we will go out for a walk. she did not agree, but when I added for a cycle ride, she was all for it. I realized that I am taking her granted working on my personal work. She wants to go at high speed like vehicles Last week, I explained that vehicles run on petrol and cycle was running on energy provided by the person pedalling. Today across cycling she asks me to go to petrol bunk and put petrol for the cycle and the cycle will go faster. Lot of times tussles with her seems to be a losing game for me
She is observing me and my communication and she is growing, but not me growing in the interaction with her. I can see that she is taking control on small things. She now knows just what to do to get a rise out of you. I see nothing wrong to allow her to make choices over things appropriate for his age – what to wear, what friend to have over. Give him options whenever you can. when he truly has no choice, be firm and in control. But I need to learn the trick is to give her power without surrendering mine and also understand that the more I insist and get upset, she is going to become more adamant. I did the same with my father when I was young.
Learning these techniques takes practice and time, but start the practice.
I am making some notes for handing her environment the best for me and her. I have practised some of them already, started some, some are yet to start.
- She needs motivation. if you want her to read stories, you cannot ask her to read herself. I am learning to be there with her during the time she reads the book, motivate her, help her to read words that are new to her. I see that she is more interested. I need to make time for this activity.
- What you do is as important as what you say. If you expect your child to not see Television for a long time, the same thing applies to you too.
- A child this age is fully capable of reasoning, so explain what is the purpose behind performing a task and why she should not exhibit a specific behaviour. She is more keen on body awareness. My wife emphasizes healthier food choices (including snacks), sensible portion sizes, and lots of exercise and she understands.
- Look for games and activities that aren’t all about competition. We are teaching that games and sports are for fun and one can be both winners and losers in a game. Losing is not bad and she needs to accept failure gracefully rather than crying. I still try to lose her sometimes to make her not to lose.
- To stop a behaviour of the child, try to stay away from negative statements. I find that it is easy for me to focus on what a child is doing wrong.
- Be firm about what you do expect. If she continues to perform opposite to your expectations, follow through on whatever consequences you’ve discussed.
- My wife who is present all the time with here should be the one who is calling the shots in terms of discipline in any given situation; I should be aware that I do not undermine how my wife is handling a situation.
- When there are big differences on any matters with my wife, negotiate them away from the child’s sight and earshot. It is best for me and my wife to have a united front, and not to have debates and arguments in right in front of our daughters.
“Is life so wretched? Isn’t it rather your hands which are too small, your vision which is muddied? You are the one who must grow up.”
– Dag Hammarskjöld