Updated: May 14, 2020
Many a times, while conducting counselling sessions with children and their parents, I come across a common statement made by every parent and that is the whole and sole problem for which they ask solution, “bachcha sunta nahi hain, bas ye baat maan le humari to koi pareshani nahi hai”..every parent in a whole session of 30- 45 minutes mentions this atleast10 times.
Me: So, which is the most important reason for enrolling into my session, is it poor academic performance, behaviour issues, emotional issues or is it just “they don’t listen to you”?
Me: Does he have hearing impairment?
Parents:”No I mean, he doesn’t follow what we say”
Me: oh..ok. so you just want him to follow whatever you say? But what if you are not around? Whom should he listen to or ask what to do what not to?
Dear Parents, to learn what to do what not to in your absence, they need reasoning, logic, ability to think & decide for themselves. We, as parents are expecting that he listens to us; and in turn he will develop the habit of somebody telling him, instructing him always. Parenting means “to bring forth” i.e. you can guide them, support them by sharing your experiences, giving them choices, by discussing pros and cons of every choice they make, let them be responsible for it. You cannot accompany them throughout the journey of their life; you hold their hand when they learn to stand on their own feet and once they start walking by them self you leave their hand. They learn to take responsibility, while they walk alone, they know they might fall or may hit something but they are ready to accept that challenge once you leave their hand. Assure them that you will always be there as a support, you will lend your hand when needed.
So focus on developing thinking patterns, by stimulating his brain, have family discussions, count his opinion on various matters, give them choices (ask them, don’t tell them), let them explore and learn.
A famous Lebanese-American writer Khalil Gibran wrote a beautiful poem “Children”:
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.