Parenting 101: How Do We Raise a Non Violent Child
As parents, we can help our children work on those skill sets that can make the world less violent.
We all are familiar with that one person we’ve crossed our paths with at some point of time. The bully who is always picking on someone less powerful, the one who knows how to be brutal.
Violence, particularly among children has been in the recent media attention. Yes, kids can be brutal and we are crying hoarse on “this has to end”. Yes, this is true, it has to end, and the one question on everyone’s mind is, “how will we end it?”
As parents, we can help our children work on those skill sets that can make the world less violent and a better place to live in. We need to ensure that they imbibe the non violent traits to be better people.
Here are some ways to teach your child to be non violent.
Even before you teach them about empathy and kindness, teach them about how to be aware of violence around them and the importance of letting you, the parent, know.
Often children choose to not let their parents know about a potential act because they feel that the parents would not do anything.
Don’t let that be the case. More often than not bullies are aware of the fact that the parents do not know of the trauma the child is undergoing. Ensure that you make your child understand that it is their job to create awareness.
As a parent, let your child feel empowered about letting you know that they are being bullied. Don’t reprimand them for being a coward.
Empathy starts with you! To be aware of your child’s feelings or knowing what they are going through, and supporting them, can work wonders to make them more empathetic towards others.
Make it a role play or teach them to identify emotions of others that can help them take a non-violent approach.
For instance, if you are watching a movie that can invoke emotions in them, ask them questions like, “how do you think the person is feeling” or “what should they do to make the situation better?”.
Don’t expect a correct answer, instead let them discover & learn about empathy and feelings.
As a parent, know what your child is going through. Try to understand their feelings to be able to help them better.
Bullies often choose children who don’t respond, this makes the victim feel lonely and powerless. Teaching your child to be assertive can be effective in countering bullying. Being assertive ensures that your child has a hold on the situation not allowing it to escalate into a fight.
When you teach your child to be assertive without displaying fear or anger, you are teaching them how to portray confidence. Not expecting a reaction that they want makes a bully step back.
Teaching them to be assertive also ensures that you allow your child to consider a variety of possible motives for other people's actions. This enables them to act cautiously and diffuses any probabilities of a violent behaviour.
Your role as a parent must be to let them know that violence is NOT a way to resolve conflicts.
Being respectful to differences is something that your child will learn from you. So, you need to set an example.
Ensure that you behave well with everyone each and every day. If you are having a conflict moment with your spouse, handle it in the privacy of your room, if required.
And if you haven’t got the privacy of a room, resolve the differences amicably. It helps your child understand that it is perfectly fine for two people to have varied opinions and despite that they respect each other.
Choose your words very wisely! One particular child I know, grew up thinking a particular community was bad because his father always spoke ill about the community and its practices.
Choose your words carefully around your children, for they will learn from you.
As a parent, you must embrace differences and be aware of what you say. Choose to be polite to everyone you meet to let your children know that everyone is worthy of respect and love.
Incidents of children hurting children, bullying and violence is on the rise.
While these incidents are worrying, there are ways to help your child grow up to be a better human being.
Teach them to control their anger, be kind, develop empathy, be assertive and resolve conflicts. Teaching them to be non violent is a foundation for your child to be a better person.
(Pratibha spent her childhood in idyllic places only fauji kids would have heard of. When she's not rooting for eco-living or whipping up some DIY recipes to share with her readers, Pratibha is creating magic with social media. You can view her blog at www.pratsmusings.com or reach to her on Twitter at @myepica.)
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