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Kids not only learn and influenced by us but also through other external sources
As a parent, we always want to provide all positivity and expect our child to learn only valuable things. We hope they observe and learn good stuff all the time. We spend lots of our time providing excellent exposure to wonderful morals and ethics during their childhood so they can follow them throughout their lives. But is it possible that a child can remember and follow only our words all the time? Do they observe and get influenced by us continually? Not, this world is a vast area, and they get to meet so many different people at an early age, and the trend is going to be there forever. They observe, listen, and are inspired by other people as well, especially their friends. I witnessed one such incident with my daughter last week, and I want to share my experience with you all.
Healthy conversation -way for positive parenting
We went to a restaurant, and as usual, we talk about many things, play games until we receive the food. Suddenly my daughter saw a man with long and started to laugh at him saying “He looks like a girl,” “Whether boys can have long hair,” “It’s a girl thing, and only they can have it”. For obvious reason, I got shocked for a moment as we always talk about gender quality and show any difference based on gender. Even though we have discussed it a lot before, as she said in a public place, it has put me in a strange situation. I took a minute to breathe and come to my sense as I don’t want to jump right away on her to pour with my advice. I need that time to calm myself down first before I talk to her. This moment of pause is more important for us as we need to be in our senses to handle any situation gently and positively.
Later I started to ask her questions instead of providing my point of view and stuff with all the suggestions which I have in my mind. Questioning the kids and getting some answer from their mouth is more important for any positive behavior than providing any advice right away. They feel suffocated If they need to listen and hear things from us all the time. The conversation went as
Me: Ahhh !!! Aditi am a bit surprised to hear it. May I know why you said that
Aditi: Amma, that uncle is having long hair like a girl. Only girls can have long hair. How come a man can have it? It is not good, right.
Me: I can hear you very well. So, you are saying only girls can have long hair and boys don’t.
Aditi: Yes, Amma. That’s correct. Boys have short hairs only
Me: I got it. So, do you remember the book “Pink and blue” which we read at home?
Aditi: yes, Amma.
Me: May I know what did we read? Can you recall, or shall I help you?
Aditi: I don’t remember as it is long back.
Me: Oh yeah!!! It’s been a long time. So, in that book, it is mentioned as “Girls can have short hair or long hair and at the same time, boys can have short or long hair. And some people don’t have hair at all. So, everything is excellent.
Aditi: Ahhh!!!! Yes, Amma, I remember that.
Me: Vow!!! That’s great, so you remember anyone can have long/short hair or no hair at all. Then what makes you say, “The uncle looks like a girl with long hair.”
Aditi: Amma!!! We talk like that with friends, Amma. That’s how we all do. We play with only girls, and princesses are only for girls etc.
Later she has explained different situations, whichever comes to her mind.
Me: I get you, Aditi. But, do you understand now that anyone can have any hair and wear clothes as per their choice?
Aditi: Yes, Amma!! I will do that. Maybe I want to convey it to my friends as well.
Then she happened to see different kinds of men/women with varying hair types and some with no hair. We read the book as well after returning.
I hope this conversation creates positivity in her mind regarding the scenario.
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Although we teach, read, and help the child to understand any new things, they always get influenced by the outside world, especially friends. Always try to be in your sense and have a healthy conversation with the child for a better understanding. Once the child starts schooling and happens to meet the outside world, they come up with different opinions other than our learning. And we as a parent can help the child to understand everything in a positive way. Questioning and letting the child to talk provide more healthy conversation than providing any advice right away. Letting the child talk helps them to think more and come up with their own solution. Kids love to converse and keep it as a two-way communication always.