Do not handicap your children by making their life easy

Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy.

Let your kids learn to do things on their own, let them understand that there will also be disappointments, that they won’t get everything they want, that they have to work hard to get things they want. Don’t buy them every damn thing you come across, they will never realize its value then. Except for essential stuff, let them take time to come across other things, let them feel a need for it, let them ask you, sometimes even plead you, and if you find it useful for them, only then get it for them. Their happiness will know no bounds then, and they will also learn to preserve it, for they will know its value, the efforts they took to get it.

Teach them to do their minor tasks on their own, like putting on their clothes, shoes, folding their dress, to sit in one place and eat on their own, to keep things back in place once they are done playing. For every task you do for them, see if they have the physical and mental ability to do it on their own, if yes, teach them do it themselves.

Don’t make them handicapped by assisting them in every damn thing. Don’t get into the habit of running behind them pleading them to eat some food. That is the worst way to feed your kids. If they are hungry, let them sit at one place and eat. It doesn’t matter even if they find it difficult initially, spill around, etc. What is more important is to start eating on their own as early as possible. Don’t allow them grow up without knowing the value of food or what hunger means.

A small kid trying to eat on its own

Teach them that if they break what they have, they won’t get a new one every time. Teach them that they will have to share what they have with others. Don’t let them start getting into the mood of “all this is mine”. Don’t provide them with a separate room of their own at a very early age, “I, Me, Mine” factor will start kicking in then. Teach them that they will have to share whatever they get with others at home, just like how you share what you get with them. At a very early age kids easily pick up these things.

Do not mess with their eating habits by feeding them junk like chocolates, biscuits, chips at an early age. Let them get used to the taste of homemade food. If they fill their stomach with junk, or even taste junk when hungry, they will pick up its taste, won’t like home made food, will refuse to eat it, you will have tough time making them eat normal food. Also don’t allow them choices in food at an early age, they will have to eat whatever you provide them. It is too early for them to decide what they want. Make them eat what everybody else eats at home. Don’t get into the habit of cooking separately for your kids as they grow up. Else they will end up demanding what they want for every damn thing, and you will have a very difficult time controlling or convincing them later.

My 3+ year old daughter rarely gets any chocolates or biscuits, only once in a while, and simply loves “all” home made food. Even when she gets a chocolate on the occasion of somebody’s birthday, she brings it home and hands it over to her mother. Whenever we visit a restaurant, she complains that the food is not good, as it doesn’t taste homely to her! She loves eating raw vegetables including Bittergourd! Of course she loves chocolates and ice cream too, but doesn’t cry the hell out if she doesn’t get it. If you start buying things to your children just because they cry for it, they will grow up simply assuming that all they  have to do to get something is start crying! Slowly it will turn into stubbornness.

Start feeding kids raw and boiled vegetables at a very early age. Clean up and chop vegetables into small pieces and hand it over to them in a small bowl. They will get used to it, and will eventually start loving it. Will then grow up with healthy eating habits.

My daughter does almost all her tasks on her own except for taking bath, is not dependent on parents for small things like picking up and putting on her dress and shoes, eating, folding her clothes, sleeping, cleaning the floor after food – and she loves to do all this on her own, will get terribly upset if somebody does it for her. Its all about how you train your kids, start teaching them as soon as they start walking comfortably.

Let them have well defined timings for all their daily tasks – sleeping, playing, eating. Don’t let them miss their schedule. Sleeping late, not sleeping at all, eating at odd times, not eating at all, playing at odd times all will make them grow up extremely unorganized.

Most importantly kids learn by looking at your activities and imitating you, both in words and deeds. Spend time with them as much as you can, play with them, teach them, train them. Do not ever try to make them listen to you by force, convince them with logic, encourage their questions by answering them convincingly in their own language which they understand. Do not make them mechanical robots, let them think, be convinced of what they are doing, let them learn to ask questions, and understand things.

When you visit somebody else’e house or a restaurant, or even at home, if your kid misbehaves – picks up things without permission, breaks or spoils things, says something rude, behaves arrogantly, talks loudly, screams unnecessarily – don’t be a mute spectator, or don’t just laugh it off. What will your reaction be if other kids who visit your house behave similarly and their parents laugh it off? If you laugh when they misbehave, they will only take it to be a positive approval of what they did. How are they supposed to know that it wasn’t right?

When your kids misbehave punish them and teach them that this is not done. They won’t know it till you teach them. Punish them doesn’t mean you take a stick and start hitting them. You have to show your very strong disapproval of what they do right there at that moment, raise your voice and they will understand it. Start doing it at a very early age, and you won’t have a difficult time teaching them how to behave. If they still are not listening, then try denying them what they love every time they misbehave. If you laugh it off saying that your kid is naughty or mischievous, that’s what they will grow up to be, and it will be too late if you try to teach them later.

As a parent you know better what is good to your kids. Love your kids, but don’t let your love spoil their lives.

  • Archana

    Hi , very nice article on raising kids , each and every line is totally agreeable in today’s scenario and how are kids are growing up much pampered and not really self dependent in little activities and throwing tantrums for each little thing they need .Thanks for listing all the points so nicely .

  • Akshay

    I would only say, Your Daugter is like you…:). Anyways good note..

  • chinmay asthana

    I think you are correct generally, but certain things you did miss here. Error of omission or commission, hard to say. But nonetheless a good article as all others. I think your article is focused on a very small percentage of people, the ones who are highly urbanised and have no time. But the worst affected are the children of people living in towns, kasbas and villages (who are neither here nor there). They generally do what you have written here, i mean i remember my parents, and parents of my friend, believe you me that i ‘do’ know the value of things in general and life in particular. But see the other side, i remember my parents running after me from pillar to post to peel me away from “mundane and unproductive” activities like painting, sketching, playing, taking may be a trip and similar things to focus on the one thing that matters- studying, and it gets worse if your marks aren’t commensurate to “their” efforts. And it doesn’t end there. I think it would do a whole lot good to write one article about the dilemma of people such as these. Thank you, and keep up the good work.

    • itzguru

      yes this was a quick one written without any edits or proof-reading, focused on the urban population who access Internet regularly and at kids who are still very young, pre-school and before.

      And you are right, elsewhere in the society kids grow up without any individual attention that handicaps them in these urban societies with too much attention.

      The problem you mentioned about the focus on “marks” aimed at a good “salaried job” is an equally serious issue. I believe that it is the very reason why we have ceased to be an innovative society where in the interests, passion and natural talent of kids gets washed away in their parents worry for a “secure professional” future for their kids. The result is all kids are forced towards the highest paid or well established professions, their creativity and innovation goes for a toss, anything outside the school syllabus is thought to be a waste of time, marks gain importance over knowledge earned. In fact had written a detailed one on this some time back. We have so much talents who waste their talent as salaried individuals than achieve something on their own.

      • Kkuppa

        Thank you sir for your inputs, we parents definitely are blinded by love for our children and tend to help them in every small way thus making them sure handicaps.