When your child does something that you consider bad behaviour, how do you react?
Do you launch straight into blame, name calling and retribution “why did you do that? you’re naughty, you need a good smack!” Or are you more generous with your approach?
Think for a second, if your friend forgot your coffee date, or dropped one of your glasses, is that how you would react to them? Probably not, you would more likely check in, “Are you OK, missed you today?” or “don’t worry about it, they were old glasses anyway”, not wanting them to feel bad. Why do we treat our friends with more love and acceptance of their mistakes than our children?
Why is it that as adults we have such high expectations of our children’s behaviour, but moderate and even low ones for ours and that of our adult friends? We all make mistakes and we don’t expect to get punished for it. Children have “L Plates” on, they are bound to make more mistakes, but for some reason they are also more likely to be punished for them.
If in your family, you hold a value that you want your children to be able to come to you in good times and bad, then how does dishing out a punishment every time they do, something “bad” foster that? The likely result is that they won’t tell you and instead of feeling a sense of unconditional love, they will believe they are only lovable when they are perfect so will hide their imperfections.
Next time your child does something you consider is “misbehaviour” think about it as “mistaken” behaviour and try to have the same generous approach you would with your best friend.