How to Say Dont to My Children?
I haven’t made any survey nor having any real statistic report, but I believe that this is a question that tickles any parents in the whole world in all era. In the end, each parent will find their own answer and we can even see them as live examples all around us.
I don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer for this question. What’s work for a child might not work for another. So I’ll just share how I try to answer this question. I always try to put myself in somebody elses shoes before starting to judge them. So by instinct I would just do the same when I interact with my children.
I think you should know that I’m not an experienced parent. I currently only have a 2.5 years old boy and an upcoming new baby at the end of this year. But hey, you could have 20 children and still not doing it right every time. You can’t wait until you have lots of children and learn from each children for years, it would have been too late until you finally find your perfect answer. Well, I believe we already have the necessary experience. Don’t forget that we were once children (as a matter a fact we’re still are). We should use our own experience as a child. The key is not to copy it, but to learn from it. What was our parents method and how did we react to it.
Learning from my own experience, my answer to this question for myself is, I should avoid saying it. Why? Do you know that everyone likes to be heard? I like to be heard and I’m sure you do, too. A simple sample: When we say “Don’t” to our children, of course we want them to listen and obey. But will they? Well, my first reaction to the word “Don’t” is a BIG WHY. Especially if I don’t know the reason or if I don’t know what will happened, which is exactly the case for children. Forbidding them to do something will only stimulate their curiosity. But we still can’t let them do as they like, right? So, start by listening to them. Ask them, “Why?”, “Why do you want to do this?”, “Why did you do that?” or “What did you do that for?”. Hear their answers, listen to them, then you can tell them why they shouldn’t. After that, let them decide if they will still do it or not, but warn them also that there will always be consequences for every decision. Give rewards for every good ones and punishment for every bad ones. Because before you realize it, there’ll come the time when we can no longer do much with their choices. So before that time comes, we should make sure we’ve trained them well.
They will make bad choices, trust me, they will. But it’s ok, it’s also a part of learning. Tell them that it’s ok to make mistakes, just make sure they learn from it. For this, we need to be reliable with what we promise them as a reward or a punishment. Don’t give them false promise for a reward or set them free from punishment just because you feel pity for them. Try to always give a suitable reward and punishment based on the choices they made.
Just a simple sample, when your children draw on the wall, ask them why, ask them if they know that wall is not for drawing. Listen to their answer, then don’t forbid them. Suggest them to draw on books, or canvas, or whiteboard, whatever you could supply as an alternative. Then you can promise them a reward that if they stop drawing on wall you will buy them 2 new coloring books of their favorite cartoon on next weekend. But if they don’t stop, you will have to punish them by hiding the crayon (or whatever they use to draw) for 2 days. Let them decide, just make sure they really get the consequences of their choice.
Well, what do you think? Do you have your own answer?