The hand that holds the 'failed' child...

MATERNAL GUIDANCE You may reward their successes, but it is more important to hold their hand through failures. Just like you helped them stand up an

The hand that holds the 'failed' child...

Mothers, undoubtedly, play an important and indispensable role in the upbringing of a child. Social and emotional development of the child happens through a mother. In today’s competitive world, everyone is running the rat race and kids, sadly, are no exception.

They are framed, tuned and pushed to succeed in everything they do. Though everyone in the system encourages this phenomenon, it is mainly the parents and especially mothers, who want their children to outperform their peers in all fields of life.

While the intention may be nobel, as a mother, you need to teach the child to accept failures. Because they are a part and parcel of life. Every year when the results of board exams come out, we see and hear of children unable to handle the pressure. It’s a pity that we are nurturing kids in such an environment.

After all, if you don’t win, it doesn’t mean you are not successful. The right attitude can make all the difference.Watch those expectationsParents, especially mothers, have high expectations from their children. They want them to succeed in all aspects of life. It’s good to prepare the child for the difficulties in life. But expectations, when not met, should not cause problems. Parental guidance and optimum pressure are what a child requires to excel in any field. Also, most mothers want to see children fulfilling their ambitions.
For instance, if a mother wanted to become an artist, and she couldn’t, she will want her child to become an artist. Please don’t force your idea or impose your will on your child. Let the child choose the field that he/she is interested in.

Every child has a different capability and capacity. If your child is studying only for a few hours and someone else’s child is studying throughout the day, don’t instil fear in the child that his/her preparation is not enough. Unhealthy comparisons can mar his/her development and confidence in the long run.

Stepping stones, really
A child can also have bad days and mood swings. And this can happen at a crucial time, like during an examination. Do not judge the child based on one day’s performance. As a mother, you should try to make your child strong and brave. The best strategy is to attack the problem and not the person.

Mothers tend to panic easily and worry about failures. Instead, be proactive and understand the situation, learn what went wrong and move on. Failures should be considered a part of the learning curve. Don’t bring in social pressure on the child, because you live for yourself and not for others. When Thomas Alva Edison was asked why it took so long to glow the bulb, he replied, “It only took 1,000 steps.” So, never give up.

All said and done, it is difficult to deal with failures. Especially for children. As a mother, you need to equip them with the strength to manage failures. Teach them acceptance, to take home valuable lessons from the experience and the inspiration to do better the next time.

Need of the hour
There should be an open environment at home, where the child feels comfortable to talk about his/her failures. If there’s too much parental pressure to excel, chances are that the child will be too afraid to have an honest conversation about failures.

And this will impact his/her confidence in doing well in the future. If the child cannot express feelings at home, where can he/she do that?

The need of the hour is to raise street smart, inquisitive, playful and healthy children. If you are too protective or over-ambitious regarding your child’s future, you may turn the child  either into an insecure individual or mar his/her overall development.

Make it a point to inculcate hobbies, like reading - not just academic books - to broaden their horizons. One additional sport will also divert and clear the mind. Also, it will help them understand that winning and losing are two sides of the same coin. Both experiences are important.

As parents, we often tend to counsel children with the “when I was a child” retrospection. Don’t compare your child with yourself. Your times and struggles were different from what it is in today’s world. If at all you wish to share your experiences, talk of failures and how you managed to cope with them. It will help reassure the child and set realistic expectations from life.

And it is the mother, who must form the strong support system. Because, I strongly believe, if a mother can handle the failures of her little one, the child definitely can.

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