(Enjoying An Independent Childhood)
Translated by: Salma Syeda
Key Words: Children, Parents, Behavior,Puberty, Attitude, Social Relationship, Irresponsible, Respect, Child Privacy, Responsible citizen.
Excessive dependence of children on parents will cause weaknesses such as: behavioral instability, delayed puberty, irresponsible attitude and failure in social relationships.
One of the main characteristics of children’s dependence is their extreme reliance on other people to respond to their need for approval. It has been scientifically proven that excessive dependence causes irritability in children. Research shows that dependence begins in families and is passed down from generation to generation. Thus preventing the growth and development of healthy people and the creation of independent function in them. When parents are dependent on their child, the reflection of this behavior is passed on to their children, unless they consciously try to interact with their children in healthy ways and at the right emotional distance.
Children are at risk from emotional and physical neglect as they grow up.The problem is that addiction is accompanied by denial. Some of the main symptoms of severe dependence are:
• Extreme Focus on someone or something
• Low self-confidence
• Lack of determination in social interaction
• Problems with decision making
• Lack of self- control
Children consider their parents as role models, they learn how to identify and value themselves, their needs and feelings through interaction with their parents. Therefore, how you communicate with your children is crucial in shaping their identity and largely determines how much they need to feel confident and self-respecting. You should try to take precautionary measures
Here are seven key pointers that would help your children to move from dependent person to an independent one:
- Allow you child to express his/her thoughts and feelings.
One of the hallmarks of healthy families and organizations, even countries, is freedom of expression and observation. Keeping secrets and making “no-talk” rules is common in dysfunctional families. For example, children are told not to mention mother quarelling and father smoking. It teaches children to be afraid and to doubt their own perceptions. Children are naturally curious about everything.
Curiosity is a sign of being healthy and we should encourage them, not repress them!
- Respect your children.
Respect means that you listen to them talk and take them seriously to encourage them to communicate; It makes them know themselves better and feel that what they think is valuable. You do not have to agree with what they say, but listening to them shows that you respect them.
Talk to your children in good faith. Avoid harsh criticism that is detrimental to a child’s self-esteem. You can set boundaries and explain the negative consequences of the behavior you do not like without naming the incident, such as: “Eating alone is not a good thing, all members of the family should gather to eat when the table is set.” Instead of “You do so much bad that you stay in your room while eating!” When you treat your child with respect, they treat others with respect and expect the same in future relationships.
- Accept your children’s feelings.
Many parents do not allow anger, grievances, sadness, or even excitement; Their children learned to suppress their emotions. This can be a problem in their adult relationships and can even lead to depression. Parents often say in good faith, “Do not feel sad, [or jealous, etc.]” or “Do not raise your voice.” Allowing children to express their emotions promotes healthy growth.Emotions are neither logical nor should you “fix” them. Instead, reassure your children that you love them, instead of trying to stop them from expressing their feelings. Expressing emotions, however, does not mean that one should be free to act on them. For example, your child may be angry at his sister, but he should not think that hitting her is okay!
- Respect your children’s privacy
Respecting your children’s thoughts and feelings is a way to respect their privacy. Verbal and physical abuse destroys their privacy, such as unwanted touching and forced kissing! In addition, children’s property, space and private belongings must be respected. Reading their letter or diary or talking to their friends behind their back is definitely out of the realm of respect. It also involves tickling or hugging the baby in a way that goes beyond their comfort level.
- Allow children to make age-appropriate decisions, responsibilities and independence.
Children need support in learning how to solve problems and make decisions. Parents often go to extremes or deviate in the face of this issue. Some children may take on the responsibilities of an adult too much, in which case they will never learn to rely on anyone. Other children become so controlled and restricted that they eventually become dependent on work and do not learn that choices
Children resist being controlled because they want to be controlled. Of course, independence should not be confused with being rebellious. When they are ready to test their wings, they need guidance to help them make their decisions freely and also to learn from their mistakes.
- Have reasonable, predictable and respectful laws and punishments.
Dependent children often grow up in homes where there are either no laws or the rules are harsh, or uncoordinated and arbitrary. Children need a safe, predictable and equitable environment.
When laws and punishments are arbitrary, harsh, or inconsistent, instead of learning from mistakes, children become angry and anxious and realize that they are distrustful of their parents and others. Rules should be clear and consistent rather than based on momentary feelings, and parents should be united in enforcing them. Explain the rules to older children, let them question you. Research has shown that corporal punishment can lead to emotional problems in adulthood
- Do not love your child too much.
You should not love and understand them too much, because this approach to their education disrupts them.
Some parents use gifts or limitations to show love and avoid authority in dealing with their children, but this is not a substitute for empathy and love!
Our child’s dependence or independence is greatly influenced by the type of behavior and how we communicate and interact with them or with other family members. These relationships should be such that the home environment becomes a safe environment for healthy children to grow into strong, confident and lovable adults. Making the right rules, as well as planning and managing family discipline, can help us create such an environment.