Maturing my child to adulthood?

Develop a culture of honor and respect
TIP: Needs and feelings are the driving force behind a child’s behavior. Recognizing the need or feeling by the parent is the first step to building a culture of honor and respect with the child. –Getting Kids to Help By Mirish Kiszner*

Recently my 16 month old granddaughter began biting other children at daycare. My poor daughter in law was advised by well meaning people on how to deal with the problem.
From “you should bite your daughter back” to “just ignore her” was the wide range of parenting advice from family and friends. In defense of friendly advise any one of these things could be done to resolve the biting issue. On the other hand we are looking for a solution which will help the biting problem while fostering healthy environment of honor and respect. You may be thinking that 16 months old is a bit young for building this kind of relationship. There is a resounding NO, this is not to young.  As important as discipline is in a child’s life so is the lesson of honor and respect. Discipline without relationship breeds rebellion. My wonderful daughter-in-law realized that most of the time this behavior occurred when her daughter became frustrated by her inability to communicate. Therefore the biting was the mechanism to get attention on a matter she could not communicate. Example, my playmate has a toy I want. He cannot understand me because I cannot speak English very well. So, I’ll bite him and he will understand that I want that toy. Mom decided to take the extra time to work with her daughter’s communication skills and carefully observe her daughter to assist her in communicating to others. Even though my daughter-in-law was careful to discipline her daughter she also was careful to build her relationship with her daughter.

TIP: By remaining calm and composed rather than becoming emotionally involved, disciplining problems can become opportunities for communicating values, providing insight and strengthening self esteem. –Getting Kids to Help By Mirish Kiszner*

Solution: Authority calls for brevity.

A concise one minute scolding is enough. Label the misdeed, not the person (“That’s a lie”, not “You’re a liar“). Be technical, focus on the solution not on your emotions (Let’s wipe the window, not I feel so mad that he smudged the window) This approach avoids fault finding, guilt producing and the meting out of punishment. –Getting Kids to Help By Mirish Kiszner*

Grow with your child from being a parent to peer.

  1. Establish the common ground.
  2. Build on the common ground mutual respect
  3. As the young man or woman steps up in responsibility the parent has the opportunity to show favor and respect.
  4. A teen who accepts the yoke of responsibility early should be able to enjoy a place of honor among his parents.

Give your children roots to help them grow and wings to let them fly

The biggest challenge in raising mature children is a parent’s ability to grow with them.  Many conflicts can be avoided in late adolescences and teen years if the parents can transition from caregiver to mentor then to peer.  The dynamics of this transition can be difficult but if one carefully navigates through the emotional pitfalls with a focus and determination, it can be done. Check back to this website to fined practical steps to developing you child in maturity.

Mirish Kiszner is a teacher, counselor and lecturer living in Jerusalem. She is the author of Dear Libby (Artscroll), a compilation of questions and responses for kids about real life matters that stimulate parent-child discussions through helping kids identify with other kids. And author of “Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary People

©Reuven Dovid

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