Let your child make mistakes and watch them learn. I remember my father let us three sisters take our own decisions when we were younger. It started out as what to wear, where to holiday and later on what subjects to opt for and certainly choosing life partners. He always believed that that’s the best possible way to make his kids responsible for their actions and making them more confident.
I agree kids these days are smart enough to start taking decisions for themselves early enough. My son when three started choosing his t-shirts and what food he wants to order in the restaurant. And that too without even me trying.
But you must have noticed. as parents we try and protect our children in so many ways. Maybe from getting hurt, or hanging around with the wrong company (I mean bullies here), playing with fire and kitchen tools etc. But what we don’t understand that this is hindering our kids in making their own decisions and instilling fear in them.
So make sure, instead of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ we teach them ‘right ‘ and ‘wrong’. And explain the consequences of doing the wrong things. Instead of saying- don’t go near the bonfire, try telling them- you will burn your hand, and it will hurt. And to be frank, let them get hurt once in a while if they are not listening to you. I know that may sound harsh and un-motherly… but they will learn. Well, my child has learnt quite a few things the hard way.
One incident I clearly remember when my son kept swimming towards the deep area of the swimming pool and I kept shouting from outside- “stay this side… stay at the kiddie pool!!!” In a few minutes when he did not listen, I cautioned a few life guards to follow him closely (of course safety is important) and let him swim in the deep. In no time I could see him losing his breath and he tried calling my name. Anyhow the lifeguards caught him. The first thing he said when he got out of the pool was- I should have listened to you Mumma!!!
So involve them in small little decisions of the family. Take their genuine opinion. You will be surprised how well they respond and react to certain situations. When you give them this power of making their own decisions, trust me they realise the thin line between right and wrong.
So the next time, you see your little one making a safe mistake, let them. Don’t stop them. Watch them experience what life is actually all about. I truly feel that mistakes and failures shape who we are. So let them make a few and see how it makes them more confident. This will help them later on in life in taking their own decisions.
I know this means seeing them getting hurt more often, but haven’t we all learnt this way!
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