Thursday, August 28, 2008

Brat Kids!

Sometime ago, I came across a parent who wanted to enroll her kid to my Library and she labelled her child as 'Bratatouille' - She almost bitterly blurred out words of hidden anger and frustration as she even considered herself 'Unlucky' to have such a kid. She wanted me to counsel her child and help her out in teaching him right manners.

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Well, as the child takes the first steps, parents often are thrilled with the experience of the little gestures and smiles of the baby. They pamper around and call nick names. As he grows up to understanding age of 4-12 years, the child becomes a brat as like a monster, shouts and screams, giggles at guests or never leave you alone. So, what went wrong? Why do they act this way? Ever wonder about their attitudes and you come closer to the answer "Why my child acts the way I don't like'. Some reasons can be:

1. The child needs your attention. Maybe you are a working mom or too busy in your life with other things to do, the child is often neglected. Especially, when you don't have time to listen to his sweet, silly talks. Here's when he finds challenging to draw your attention.

2. Today's kids are savvy. They know the tricks of the trade to appear angelic and they tell all kinds of tales to make believe. Let them feel you are much clever and can see their tricks. Do not get into arguments but nevertheless allow them to over-rule you.

3. Jealousy is always have deep roots especially siblings which turn them nasty. A child feels that the other is the apple of the eye of the parent. So, treat both equal. Do not praise much or criticize in front of the other. Pay equal attention, give equal pocket money or favor them equally. Don't let them feel down or lower.

4. In social gatherings, don't just ignore the child or else, he is sure to create tension while he tries to draw your attention. When guests turn up, the child may bang on the music loud or play the games on their PS2 to irritate you. Hence, occupy them in their interest and teach the right manners.

5. Kids with no activities often get bored. Books, television, friends or games - all often get them distracted after some time. Keep them busy as bored equals naughty equals brats.

6. Do not React too far. Avoid their uncomfortable questions and keep your cool. Silence and tact brings in results of good behavior.

7. Don't complain - to your family members, teachers or their friends about their mis-behavior. Every child is different and needs love and understanding. Reacting adds to hurt self esteem and further disturbs his and your peace of mind.

8. Introvert kids are often the result of neglect. Reason out and convince that you have your own job and friends just as he has his friends and school.

We don't call children brats but it's good parenting without guilt. Render discipline without anger and reward for good behavior. Always do not overschedule yourself nor your child's work. Have play time and outings together. A friendly and loving attitude establish better relationships. Enjoy.

- ilaxi patel
Author of Guardian of Angels: A practical guide to Joyful Parenting

Editor for
Newspaper for kids