Being a parent is a new experience, posing its fair share of challenges that can seem quite daunting at a first glance. There’s a reason why there are so many parenting guides available in bookstores or online – everyone on the verge of parenthood feels that they aren’t fully equipped to deal with the challenge of growing a child, which is understandable. Thus, staying informed about the modern world and how it can affect a budding child is important so that you can settle on an approach to take while dealing with their kids.
This is especially true when your child requires guidance in controlling his or her emotions. In today’s day-and-age, gauging a kid’s mood mandates the need to consider several internal and external factors before providing advice that will genuinely uplift your child’s mood.
Positive and negative reinforcement – use both, abuse neither
Sometimes, the reason why your child might be feeling down or is frequently giving you a hard time might stem from your own faults as a parent. Human beings are hardwired to get attention – just take a look at the evolution of social media to witness this dynamic first-hand – and this is especially true for children and teenagers. This can lead to situations where your child will try and do something to capture the attention of people around them, which can either be a positive or negative action.
Gauge what your child is doing and adopt a suitable parenting stance to deal with this problem. It’s good to praise your kid for accomplishing something or doing a morally good thing, but going overboard in this regard will spoil your kid and instil a sense of entitlement in him or her. Similarly, your child should be made aware of an immoral act that he or she has committed – unintentionally or otherwise – but being too hard with your criticisms can lead to your child developing a sense of misplaced resentment towards you, which will compel them to try and find excuses to help feel that he or she was never in the wrong, to begin with.
Unlimited access to the internet can be both a boon and a curse
In the age of information, it’s important to teach your child about the nuances of the internet and how to use it optimally. Various online sites strive to elicit negative emotions in people just for the sake of clicks and views, and it’s easy for young and impressive minds to get sucked into this depressive wormhole.
To combat this problem, you should slowly and carefully introduce your child to the internet. Getting him a phone from the get-go is generally not recommended since uninterrupted access to the internet coupled with a multitude of distractions on the Smartphone will lead to your kid developing a screen addiction early on. Instead, sit with your kid and show him how powerful – and dangerous – the internet actually is. Teaching your child about the prominence of fake news, exaggerated facts, and misleading information on this platform will allow him or her to develop an independent mindset that is free from any external bias.
Be a positive role model for your child
Children are curious by nature, and they want to explore the world around them and understand how different people interact and behave in varying surroundings. However, having such an impressionable mind means that your kid might be tempted to emulate behaviour that is morally reprehensible, simply to ‘fit in.’ Hanging out with and looking up to people who emanate such negativity can cause your children to think along the same wavelength.
As a parent, your control over your child and the people he or she interacts with is limited to a certain extent. Therefore, the next best thing that you can do is become a relatable persona that your child looks up to. A big aspect of this is practising what you preach – chastising your child for doing something immoral and then proceeding to act in a similar manner in front of him or her can send mixed messages.
Stay consistent in your mannerisms and your child will soon follow suit.
Peer pressure, access to information, academic stress, and social obligations – your child’s mood and emotions can swing from one end of the spectrum to another whenever any one of these elements becomes unbalanced. As a parent, it’s important to account for all these factors and adopt a positive mindset that will help your child cope with the struggles of growing up by keeping their emotions in check. After all, a big part of growing up is becoming more mature, and one needs to be in control of their mood if they want to develop this sense of maturity.