I went to see my sister yesterday who lives in my neighborhood. We were having tea at her house when her boy who is four years now, fell on the ground and started crying Immediately my sister got up, lifted her crying son and said “Come on, let’s hit the floor Let’s kill an ant.”
This struck me hard. As a parenting expert and certified NLP practitioner I could see flaw in the parenting of my sister which she could not. All her life she has seen other parents, including her own, doing the same with their kids to make them stop crying. This is quite normal for her. She is oblivious to the damage she is doing to her child.
When we ask our children to hit back lifeless floor, we are unconsciously teaching them that they have a right to hurt back and take revenge from anybody who does not act as per their demand. When we ask our children to kill an ant, we are making taking life a normal and fun activity, Life of others loses its significance for the child. Such children starts showing violent nature from a very early age. Parents of these children usually complain of their child hitting other children in school or in playground. In some cases I have also received complaints of children hitting their parents and elders as well.
Parents often ask me, if not this, then what should we do when the child is crying after getting hurt? Well first, allow them to cry. Yes, however intimidating it may sound to you, it is important to let them cry and offer a hug without judgements. Never use statements like “I told you to not jump on sofa, now sit and cry!” Second make sure to ask him to check the floor or furniture if they are alright. This will teach them and important lesson of empathy.
With so much violence around us, it is the need of the hour that we teach our children empathy and not revenge. So next time your kid is hurt let them cry, hug and ask them to see if the floor is alright. You might save an ant.