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"Don't you love me, baba? Can't you just do this small thing for me?" said my friend to her four-year-old daughter as she coaxed her for the tenth time to give her the TV remote.
In the last 10 minutes she tried at least five different ways to get that small piece of gadget from her and in the end, when she did not listen she shouted,"Let papa come and I will make sure that you see no television for 10 days!"
"She has to be dealt with harshly, otherwise she does not listen. This is the tried and tested threat. She can do anything for TV," she said as she turned towards me with the remote in her hands. She didn't notice, however, that her child was still standing there and listening to our conversation.
We always think of abuse as something that hurts someone physically or actions that produce physical scars on one's body. But when it comes to kids, many times your words can speak way louder than your actions and hurt your loved ones for life.
A hurtful thing that you said to your five-year-old can have a deeper impact than a slight whack that you must have given on his bum when he misbehaved at a party. Here are 4 ways in which you are emotionally hurting your child. Chances are, you might not even know about them!
We Indian parents often like to show off our child's special skills in front of our guests and if they fail to comply we have some very harsh things to say them. Often times we do that in front of the guests and in such situations, the child is left feeling rejected and humiliated.
Another mistake that we make is that we treat our kids to be babies, even though we know that they understand and feel everything and jokingly pass a few comments in front of others.
"See, how she is doing it? Why can't you be like her?" Often when we say such things or compare our kids to others, it not only makes them feel inferior but also like someone who is good at nothing. Now let me ask you, how would you feel if you were in their position?
How many times have you said the following to your child: "If you don't do this right now, I will ask Daddy to hit you" or "Do your homework or I will slap you" or "Please listen to me and I will make you watch TV for the next one hour."
I am guessing if not many then at least a couple of times, right? This is nothing but emotionally playing with the feelings of your child and showing him that if you have to get things done, you have to be do something to please your parents.
We often have too many things to say to our kids. "Don't play in the mud, wash your hands before eating your food, do not step out of your class without your teacher's permission, do not talk when your teacher is talking": we have zillion things to say to our kids on a daily basis.
But how many times have you sincerely paid attention to what your child is trying to say? I don't need to tell you that kids open up only when they feel comfortable and one way to make sure that they are at ease is by letting them speak. If they hold their feelings from you, they'd only feel neglected and lonely and this would have a deep impact on their psychology. Besides, they would start hiding things from you.
"I never hit my child. I make sure that he understands what I have to say without hitting him," said my friend one day. "But how do you do that?"I asked.
"Nothing yaar, I get angry and yell at him. And when I do that he knows that he has to do what I say. But even in my anger, I remember that I don't have to hit him," replied my friend proudly.
I felt so sorry for my friend and her son when she said that. Yelling, swearing, shouting and even physical gestures that show your child that you are angry are nothing but another way of emotionally hurting your child. Chances are, your child would be happier if you just slapped him once, instead of yelling at him at every single day.
Also read: How to discipline your child without hitting
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Avantika Kukreti is a mother of the cutest five-year-old daughter in this world, who keeps on amusing her everyday with her amazing storytelling prowess. She also happens to be a multi-platform media professional with 9 years of experience in lifestyle writing and editing.
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