Mutual respect goes a long way—and it knows no age limit. Children are reasonable human beings, too, who want to do well and be treated with respect. The idea is “you get what you give.” Educator Editha Buluran opines, “If you treat your child with respect, he will treat you with the same amount of respect—or more.” Consequences that injure your child or have long-term ramifications are not respectful. Power struggles are futile especially when dealing with very young tots.
Dwell More On Your Child’s Well-being Rather Than Obedience
Instead of trying to prove who the boss is, spend more time discussing your child’s feelings while acknowledging that these are valid for him. It takes good critical thinking skills and empathy to make this work. “In the same light, you cannot expect kids to know what is right for them, so you’re not showing respect if you will simply agree with everything they say, or by giving them free reign to make all their own choices or decisions,” Buluran continues. Respect his feelings, ideas, temperament, body, and personal space.
Photo from sxc.hu
• Editha Buluran, early childhood educator and owner, Kinder Garten’s Learning Center, Malolos, Bulacan
• Infant and Toddler Development, by Kay Albrecht and Linda Miller