Posted by: Shalini Verma | October 8, 2008

When was the last time you heard your teenager’s side of the story?

When children have setbacks the first reaction parents have is an emotional involvement to the whole situation. There is danger that they fall prey to taking the situation personally and feel shamed by it.

Do you assume, before you have heard his/ her side of the story all the way to the end, that your son/daughter is at fault and tell the child off for putting you in a difficult position with maybe the teacher or school or neighbour?

Well, the good news is that we have found the problem.  Its you !!

Try this one: The next time your teen is upset about something that you consider minor, try to see it from the child’s point of view. Adults and children percieve things differently, so avoid applying your judgements unthinkingly. Saying things like, “Stop making such a fuss,” “It will pass,” or “I can’t understand why you’re bothered by that” are no options in this game.

These are ruled out because they don’t help the child to get over the issue. Instead helping him think through will help.

Also by listening to his side of the story, you show to the child that you take him seriously and respect his point of view, are treating him fairly and don’t always assume the worst where he is concerned. All of this will go a long way in maintaining his self esteem.

Just a few Do’s and Don’ts

  • Assume the best of him not the worst.
  • Let him tell you about his dissapointments, don’t belittle him.
  • In arguments between brothers and sisters, listen to everyone’s story, then ask each one of them in turn to suggest a possible solution.
  • A child may not always be looking for a solution, he may just need space to vent out and feel lighter. So keep your opinions to yourself unless asked for by the child. Please!!
  • Do not assume the child is wrong if he has grievance against a teacher. Suggest he go to the counselor/principal to be heard in a neutral space.
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