Understanding little children

Parents worry that certain ‘unacceptable’ behavior of their children like not sharing, dominating, becoming aggressive etc. may become a habit and eventually become part of their personality. However these behaviors are normal and part of growing up. Don’t overreact, condemn or criticize your children.

Being ‘self centric’ is normal behavior:

Children between the age of 3-5 believe that everything revolves around them. ‘I’ is the most important person in their lives. The views or interests of others don’t exist or hold any value for them.

Not sharing doesn’t mean being selfish:

When children refuse to share their toys or eatables, parents feel they are acting ‘selfish’. The only way children at this age feel secure is by showing that they ‘own’ the thing. So don’t be judgmental.

Boasting doesn’t mean being egoistic:

Children at this age love to talk, exaggerate, compare their achievements and expect appreciation. Maintain the delicate balance of praise and humility. Inculcate in the child the fundamental principle of ‘I am good, others are good’.

Creating stories doesn’t mean lying:

Children love weaving stories out of their imagination. They would make a simple trip to the market an adventure of sorts. These are however harmless exaggerations. Problem arises when children’s exaggeration is viewed as a lie. For a child, lying has no meaning. He is simply doing it out of innocence. Don’t label your child’s stories as lies.

Make every experience a learning experience for your children

Education of a child does not happen only in a classroom. Infact education through books is incomplete. Our surroundings serve as the real school for children. Learning by seeing, listening, touching real things is a thrilling and effective way of gathering knowledge about the surrounding world. Parents can make every experience-excursions, outings, daily routine activities etc. a learning experience for their children. Draw their attention to observe, encourage them to question and share whatever knowledge you can in an interesting way.

  • While you go for shopping, talk to children about kinds of vegetables and fruits.Talk to them about how they benefit us. If you are aware, tell them which state of the country is the highest producer of each vegetable or fruit.
  • The animals around you are a great source of knowledge. Which animal gives which product, what do they eat, what are their babies called etc.
  • While watching T.V., talk how things were invented and discovered, how does a T.V work.Rouse your child’s curiosity by asking him/her ‘Do you want to know how does a refrigerator works?’
  • Even ten minutes you spend in the bathroom can teach him things like what is soap made of, what is hard water, what are germs, why can’t we hold water in hands.
  • Talk about birds, insects, plants, trees, breeze, rain, seasons as you walk hand in hand through the parks or the forest area