27May2019

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Kids Conflict – What Parents Can Do?

It's normal for children to rival, compete against each other. Perhaps out of jealously, need for attention, especially the eldest child when they have been used to gaining 100% attention from the adults, it’s difficult to ‘share’ with his/her younger siblings, hence the conflict. 

 What can you as a parent, do? Yes, plenty.

1. In the conflict moment when the emotions are highly ‘charged’ use this opportunity to train your children to make friends with their own emotions. Need not suppress nor deny it. Emotions are real and it’s there. Importantly is that as parents, all you need to do is just acknowledge – It seems that you are upset/angry/mad. I know you hate your sister/brother now but you cannot punch/bite/hit him. ‘Be firm and gentle and acknowledge the emotion. This will go along way for them to learn to tame and befriend with their own emotion. It’s a wonderful lesson for both your kids and yourself too! Very often we ‘try’ to correct their manners only when there is inappropriate behavior. Almost all the time, your effort will go down the drain, simple because they are emotionally overwhelmed and won’t listen. Acknowledge the emotion and set your limit still. 

2. It is during the non-conflict time that you have the best moment to teach them appropriate manners. Encourage them when they are behaving well to each other, when they help each other & playing peacefully with each other. Give them a hug, praise them etc as a reward for their good!

3. Use play to foster relationship.
Ask dad to be the eagle, mum as the hen protecting her chickens from being stolen by the eagle. Rotate the role of eagle between dad, mum and your elder kid. Your elder kid will learn to protect their younger one from “threat”. You are grooming your elder to be the leader.

Ask the elder to teach or help out the younger one. Give them appropriate responsibility and tasks to support you in taking care of the younger ones. There are many ways to get elder involved. If you elder likes pet, you may try hamster/tortoise/fish as pet. This will help them to build the “caring” attitude for smaller living beings.

Strong willed child
It also required expressing warmth so that a child knows that he or she is cherished and appreciated for his or her uniqueness. As children grow older, their relationship with their parents needs to evolve to match their expanding developmental needs. Effective parents support is crucial for their children’s adaptive functioning by fostering their emotional growth, independence and communication skill.

Parents, let us allow our children to grow as a whole person and not just a performer. Very often in this hyper-competitive world, we may unconsciously implicate our children into the rat-race endlessly by judging them in every single task and exam.

Be aware, our children may associate performing as the only way to be recognized to be loved and being judged is the only way where they will be validated as a worthy human being. What happen if one day, they couldn’t perform to the expectations?

Will that diminish their worth as a human being? Do we want to condition into their mind that their self-worth will always be judge by others depending on how well they performed?
When parents judge less, children will enjoy learning more. When parents criticize less, children will contribute more.

Remember, children are born to grow and learn. It’s their instinct. It’s only because some learn differently, by experiencing and experimenting rather than by sitting quietly and complete their homework. Learning is beyond school homework and exam too. Learning is a life skills, let us teach our children living skills instead of pushing them merely on academic performance.

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