Setting the bar for self-respect
Around this age, the child’s horizons rapidly widen. Their social circle expands with the addition of many new relationships.
The relationship between the child and the caregiver builds the foundation for all the future relationships of the child.
One has to understand two basic principles here:
- The treatment the child receives from the parent is the treatment the child learns to give themselves.
- The treatment the child gives themselves sets the bar for the treatment the child receives from the world.
If we want our children to be treated well, we need to set that example in our relationship.
If we normalise shouting at our child, the message the child receives is that it’s okay to be shouted at by our loved ones.
If we normalise hitting our child (for whatever humble looking reason), the message the child receives is that it’s okay to be hit (for humble looking reasons too) by our loved ones.
If we normalise breaking trust of our child, the message the child receives is that it’s okay for our loved one to break our trust and forgiveness is natural.
Imagine what consequences this may have on our child’s future relationships.
Let’s call out these normalised patterns which are passed on from generations, sometimes with pride and let’s break them here and now.
What action/behaviour of the adults was normal for you as a child which you later discovered as something wrong or painful or unjust?
When you have friction with your child, what is your natural reaction? Can you change this reaction with one which is kind and compassionate yet firm? (unlike what we may hear being said around, kindness doesn’t spoil our children as long as we are not permissive.)