How to raise an emotionally responsible child - Part 1


Neha Somani

Organizational & Counselling Psychologist

Parenting is the probably the wildest roller coaster ride we will ever take in the adventure called life. Let’s understand how we can help our children become emotionally responsible adults.

Emotions make the world go round. If one is tuned in to oneself, one can understand, identify and differentiate between one’s emotions well. Having knowledge about the plethora of emotions that flow within us and the varying intensities they occur in, definitely makes us more adept at handling challenging situations. This holds true especially when it comes to parenting. It takes oodles of patience and extreme swiftness. No matter how knowledgeable we are, parenting makes us feel like a novice.Here are some guidelines:

1. Stop being a control freak: Most parents unfortunately stubbornly cling to the belief that they are solely responsible for the way their child behaves and that it is their birthright to assert control over whatever their child does. Such parents begin to drive and even unknowingly manipulate their child’s responses and behavior, doing more damage than good.

A good parent does not control, but ensures appropriate consequences to their child’s behaviour. Here’s what can be done. When one sees a positive behaviour or witnesses one’s child doing something good or indulging in an act kindness, one must leave no stone unturned to appreciate. One can ‘reinforce’ the behaviour of the child with positive responses like appreciation, a pat on the back, sharing the deed with others, spending extra time with them, etc.

On the other hand, when they misbehave or do something negative, we need not reprimand or punish them. Negative reinforcement does not mean getting a punishment. We can make them run an errand with us or involve them in a chore that we were supposed to do for them. This may also help to show them some of the effort that we put in for them.

2. The empathy factor: Empathy lays one of the strongest foundations for strengthening our children’s emotional quotient as well as teaching them about responsibility towards others. When the parents are empathetic to children in tough times, the kids learn a lesson that no matter what they might be going through, they are understood. They also begin to support others who might be down in the dumps well as they know and understand what it is like to feel gloomy.

Watch out the next article of this series for more guidelines !

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