There are the words we don’t realize hurt our children with our want for them to follow us. These express our intentions, but our child reads through words- they see a frustrated Mama, a disappointed Daddy, trying to be in charge. Our child ‘sees’ the raised voice and the angry glare more than what she or he needs to do.
These words, commonly employed in the situation of a tantrum, speak of our past experiences and what we often don’t want to admit- our desire of control.
1. Ginagalit mo nanaman ako, ‘wag mo ako hintayin. Don’t you dare try me…
Hey, Mama, your child does not in any way want you angry. That makes her scared, too.
2. Stop it; you’re a big boy now! Why can’t you do it ba, it’s so easy!
Your son is 2 year and 8 months old. He’s had a tiring time at playschool, and you’re also tired from the chores. He wants to be carried. You tell him, ‘Walk, you’re a big boy now.’
He stomps and then sits on the ground, refusing to walk. You tug his arm, he still won’t move; he starts crying.
He isn’t a big boy yet, Mama. He gets tired too. Just hold him. Now’s a good time to show him you’re with him in his tired moments- because we all need someone to pick us up when we’re downright exhausted, too.
3. How many times do I need to repeat myself?
How old is your girl, Daddy? 3? She can’t remember your reminders even though you’ve said it 5 times, and even you say it with your big, scary voice.
She’s still exploring, Daddy. Please be patient. She is onto learning the limits you set.
4. Isa, dalawa… You won’t stop? Go to your room… Face the wall
Your child doesn’t really know what is at the end of that counting, Mama. Or what help it can bring her to spend time in the room or face the wall or sit on a special time-out chair. That might be a good idea even as her toys are there, and no one to tell her to stop playing.
Face the wall? And then do what? Maybe you can give her markers too?
5. ‘Di ba love mo si mommy and daddy? Listen/ Follow na. ‘Di ka na love ni Daddy, ‘pag ‘di ka sumunod. (I thought you love mommy? Mommy doesn’t love you anymore if you don’t follow.)
Really, Papa? Will you stop loving your child just because he throws his toys?
Will we ever stop loving our child at every point he does something bad?
Our child deserves our love, unreserved and without conditions like we all do.
Stir the Power Struggle
We want our children to grow up responsible, capable of making the right decisions in possibly every situation. Do we think that by asking them- or making them follow every command will lead them to be responsible, thinking adults?
This is not a power struggle where we expect ourselves to win. This is not ‘patigasan’, or a situation where we are the adult- one to be followed, always right, never to be questioned.
You’re tired, I know. WE ALL ARE- trying to hustle so we can give our child the brightest future. Let’s shift our perspective and deal solely with our personal drama.
How about we look at our children as little humans, capable of listening and following, and thinking at their level? It is just that circumstances make it hard for them to fully follow as they are still discovering.
How about we think of our child as someone who needs to be understood more than trained?
Our child takes time and needs us to provide that patient guidance.
Let’s rethink our words, put our drama aside, and let love win, always.
If you need ideas on how to add love in discipline, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org