Lesson 72: Question to Think in Educating Your Child

Many people would think that handling kids are quite challenging. Kids run around and make noises like nobody else is there, they do whatever they like without obeying your rules, and they throw tantrum, very bad tantrum. 

If they do it often, it isn’t a mistake, it’s just their behaviors (Dr. Steve Maraboli). You may like or dislike kids but these are their inborn behaviors which you cannot force them to change overnight. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes it turns worse. Sometimes they remember what you have said and follow it, sometimes they just could not help but forget about it. Sometimes mood swings up and down, especially for teenagers. It is normal.

However, it is quite frustrating when the kids do not behave well. Many educators including myself had experienced it. “He has problem concentrating in the lesson.”; “She has problem mingled around with the other kids”; “He has problem in his studies.” We used to mention this problem or that problem that the kids are having, we complained to their parents, and most probably we nagged the kids repeatedly when they showed the same problem again. It happened to us as well. Some of the coaches used to say, “The kids refused to listen. They are reluctant to complete the activities. They showed bad attitude. What should I do?” Some other coaches used to tell us that, “The class was out of control. They played around and fought with each other. That was so terrible! I don’t really know what could I do.” Some of them just sighed. 

Many parents did that as well. “My child often stick to the computer games.”; “My child does not listen to my advice.”; “My child was very rude to me.” There are so many problems that we have seen from our children, that we wish the children can get rid of, and learn the right way to behave. So, when we meet other parents, we complain about our kids. When we meet the teachers, we complain again. When we look at our children, we complain again. Feeling down, frustrated, and may be hopeless, we continue expressing our dissatisfaction about our kids. 

Well, are we going to give up on our children? 

If not, what should we do to save our children?

We used to seek for answers by focusing on the problem itself. That is the reason some of us asked, “Why does this problem occur? Why the kids just won’t listen? Why can’t my child stop computer games? Why?” We also tend to obsess ourselves with all the problems that we have seen. Sometimes, we even blame the problem for causing so much problem. 

However, how could we know the answer if we are looking only at the problems? 

If you think, the answer will come. (Joshua J)

Now some of you may ask, “How could I know the answer? I am not the expert, not a behaviorist or not even a professional child psychologist. It’s not my field.”

If you think that way, you might need to reconsider. You do not have to spend too much efforts on this matter, you just have to have the right questions in order to know the answers. Instead of focusing on “why”, we shall put our thoughts on the other sides, which is, “what” and “how”.  Instead of “why is my child having this problem?”, you may want to think on “what can I do to help my child?”. Instead of “why couldn’t he understand after I repeat myself so many times?”, you may want to find out “how can I make him understand better?”.

I used to experience the same thing. I know how it feels. When I first started teaching, the classes often went chaotic. Students often interrupted my lessons, ran around in the classroom and even blaming me for being unfair. I still remembered that boy who lost in the game, was yelling at me, and throwing tantrum so severely. I was stunned and did not manage to do anything at all. All I managed to do was just asking him to calm down. After the class, I felt so defeated. I was inexperience, hoping to have a good class but ended up with great disappointment of myself. Every time before I entered the classes, I felt worried thinking about the possible problems that might arise. Thinking about the problems did not make the situations better, instead they became worse especially the negative emotional impact on myself.  

I found that all my doubts were unhelpful so I started to think, “How could I do differently?” I started to go on websites to seek for professional’s suggestions and advises from my trainer. After some times when I finally broke through my negativity, I realized that I could do better if only I asked myself the right questions. I was focusing too much on the problems, causing me falling into a trap of ‘problems’, and was unable to have a clear mind on how to solve the problems. 

Thus, try to think on “how to teach my child so that he can learn, understand and apply the knowledge which he had learned”. You are the one who can teach your child, not the others. You are the hope for your child and the leader to lead them into a better path. Do not worry if you are not sure whether your ideas are appropriate for teaching your child. We can always refer to the websites. The most important action, is to think. It will help you to find the answer, the solutions and a better way to do things, not only in educating children but many other areas in your life.

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