How many times do we lose control when our own children, siblings or relatives are being unreasonably cranky? How many times have we witnessed domestic violence, seen parents hitting their children for trivial mistakes and have done nothing? Some of us even think it is right and the poor child deserves it. Children are likely to believe what you think of them. When you hit a child, you teach him that anyone can make him feel pain and it is okay. That is NOT okay.
Most Pakistani kids start going to school at a tender age of 3. They are burdened by teachers, they have to do homework and give exams at a mere age of 6. Often, they join tuition for extra help after school and when they meet their parents at the end of the day, they are all cranky and tired themselves and all they want is a bit of your attention.
“All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy”
Upon asking a few relatives and friends of mine whether they agree with the fact that their children need to be entertained, the mutual reply I got was, “sure, they can watch television or play games on their computer/IPad.” I realized how parents underestimate the effect of their own presence on their children. They are satisfied by providing them quality education and buying them toys or a PlayStation, and then they get upset when the child is not able to perform well in exams. “My child goes to school and tuitions regularly, I don’t know why he is not scoring as well as his friends,” is what we hear most mothers say. What they are not aware of is the fact that ‘all work and no play’ has indeed made their ‘jack the dull boy’
What You Should Do
The key is to spend quality time with your child. Whenever you see your child complaining of boredom or watching repetitive cartoons on television, spending the glorious days of summers inside, or after a hectic school routine day just take out an hour of your time and gift it to your child.
Tip #1: Do not let your child spend the entire weekend either doing homework or watching television. Set up games that adults and children can play together. Croquet, badminton, hide and seek and tag are the oldest games in the book. These games not only prove to be fun time for your children but improve their stamina and hand and eye coordination.
Tip #2: During winters do not let your kid get too lazy. Pack up, call your friend and their kids, and go for a camping trip. Huddle together around a bonfire, have marshmallows and tell stories. Nothing instigates a child’s mind more than a descriptive, funny story. You can spook it up a bit to keep them interested, but not too much.
Tip #3: Do you know what pure joy is? The sun, shore, sand and castles! Grab your favorite hat, shades, bucket and spade. Let your child pick their own stuff and take a trip to the beach. Help your child build castles, with a story connected to it. Under strict supervision let them enjoy the waves and watch them play. Help them collect sea shells, ask them to describe each one, and maybe name them.
Tip #4: Not every entertainment session has to be out of the house. Make your child take a trip to the kitchen. Let them have your cookie dough and come up with their own shapes and sizes. Hand them decorations like M&M’s, chocolate chips, cream etc. to customize their cookie. However, never let a child handle the oven/stove. Make sure they are seated well away from any hot pans and utensils.
Tip #5: Make sure you child has at least one of the following: a bicycle, roller blades, a skateboard or a scootie. Let your child taste freedom. Take them to a nearby park while you take a stroll, secure your child with knee pads and a helmet and set them free.
Effect on us
As the old proverb goes, ‘the soul is heated by being with children’ see your child having fun and enjoy yourself. You can be as creative and innovative as you can according to the likes and dislikes of your child. Never be afraid of trying new things, it will let you know more about your kid.