Every parent wants to raise a well-mannered kid, and does their best to make sure that happens with the resources they have in hand. But parenting is not an easy task, and a parent can get stressed, too. Which is why, it is important to acknowledge the efforts they make, and not get around to advising a parent on the best way to raise their child.
In this TED talk, Kim Constable, an unschooling mother of four children says that children act out at times, but it needs to be understood why they do what they do, and what the reaction of parents says about their own childhood.
She describes her own experience with raising her kids, and speaks about this one episode when she lost her calm and yelled at her kids because she was under a lot of stress and doing too many things at once, including driving a car to pick up her dog from the groomer’s. Constable says that till date, she remembers the look on the faces of her boys, aged one and three at the time, when she yelled at them and asked them to shut up, because they were not listening to her.
“Cory (her son) may have pushed my buttons, but he did not cause my response. My decision to lash out at my child is entirely that — my decision, my choice. No one has responsibility for my choices but me. There is a quote that I saw on Facebook once, and it says: ‘Freedom lies in the capacity to pause between stimulus and response.’ In the moment that I behaved violently to my child, I lost the ability to see my own participation. I blamed him for my limited coping mechanisms and I punished him ruthlessly,” she admits.
She goes on to say that parents need to understand how harmful parental anger is. And that recognising it is the first step to transforming it. “When you use anger to control a child, they register the shock in their body. You set them on the path to obeying fear… You cut off possibilities for them forever… But there is a silver lining in all this. And that is if you are open to emotional growth, your child will always show you where you need to work,” she says in conclusion.
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