Freedom of a child
From the time children are born, they are constantly being told what to do by adults. “Don’t do this..don’t do that…” There are so many rules and regulations from adults and teachers. If children are so focused on what not to do (do not touch here, do not wear that, etc), how can children truly be themselves?
As parents, we want to protect our children. But at the same time, children must learn from their own mistakes. If a child touches a hot stove, she will learn from that experience and not touch a stove again. We have to let children experience life for themselves, and not shelter them from life.
Childhood expert, Kathy Walker, says “It’s vital that parents provide children with more independence, but within a familiar and safe environment,” she says. Walker writes that even though parents are limiting their children’s physical freedom, at the same time, they allow their children to play violent video games. As a result, it is important for parents to pay attention to what they are restricting. In addition, Walker says that it is necessary for parents to keep children within their line of vision, but still allow children to explore their environment. The job of the parents is to find the right balance between safety and freedom of the child. We want to protect our children from harm, but at the same time, we must let them explore their environment.
When a child does something wrong, it is important not to yell at them. Yelling at your child can cause long-term effects and can traumatize him or her. These effects of yelling include, “Poor self image and esteem, lack of self control, impulsiveness, anger and temperament issues, lack of patience, and mental childhood issues” (Yahoo). Also, if the parents were yelled at as a child, they will more likely yell at their own children. As a result, there is a vicious cycle of yelling in families, which can become emotional abuse. This abuse happens when parents are constantly criticizing and threatening their children, which damages the child’s self -esteem.
Almost all parents yell at their children at times, but it is important to deal with anger constructively and not use yelling as a form of discipline. Children who are shouted at regularly can start to develop aggressive behavior. Lisa Mooney writes, “When children who have been shouted at consistently reach the age of 4 or 5, they are likely to display aggressive behaviors themselves.” According to Mooney, children who have been yelled can act out, by pushing or hitting other children. In addition, continually being yelled at makes the child fearful and anxious.
Professor Carolyn Larente, a professor in human development, says it is important to know your child’s developmental ability. She says, “If you know your 1-year-old is going to put things in her mouth, you can’t yell at her, because that’s how she’s learning about her world. If you know that a 2-year-old is going to touch everything, get the breakable bowl off the table instead of constantly yelling at him to leave it alone” (Gordon). Children at these young ages are learning about their world, and it is important to let them be and not yell at them.
Ways to talk to your children:
- Be respectful to your children and let them know your expectations. Make clear statements. For example, “Please eat your dinner now.”
- Make positive statements to your child. Tell them what to do rather than what not to do. “Please clean up your toys” is better than “Stop making a mess!”