I told you that we also teach the parents among our staff members how to educate their children without violence. It is not easy for them, especially because they just didn’t know, until coming here, that this was an option at all! This inability to think of other ways is however not only something I have experienced with members of our staff but in general with Indian parents who may understand that it would be nice without violence but who don’t know how else to teach their children what to do and what not to do. That’s why I thought it may be helpful if I write down a few of the basics here.
1. Give your child the time and attention he or she needs.
This is the very first and most important point! I see so often that a mother has a son who just always walks next to her without her talking to him. He plays next to her while she works or sits next to her in a somehow uninvolved way even when she takes a break.
There is no talk, no game and no communication in between the two. As long as her son doesn’t scream, do nonsense or get in danger, the mother doesn’t interact with him. The boy only gets attention when he something that he should not do. Guess what he does most?
Children need your attention and they will take it. If you don’t give it to them when they behave well, they will make you pay attention by doing something that you have to react to. That’s why it is so, so important to be with your child and only pay attention on him or her. Read to your son, play with your daughter, tell stories or show them the world!
You will notice how this quality time together will strengthen your connection. On top of it, it will give you a respect that you can never earn if you only tell your child ‘No!’
And that’s how we already get to the next point:
2. Talk to your Child and do it calmly, happily and peacefully
Your child is constantly learning. Especially in the first few years of a child’s life, the brain grows at an immense speed and the more information and input you give to your child, the better. Your daughter learns to speak, hears how she is supposed to talk, imitates your words and makes her own sentences.
You wonder what this has to do with non-violence? While you are talking, your child doesn’t only hear you speaking but she also listens to your words, to the sense, the expression and the emotion! Talk of beautiful things, tell nice stories of how people peacefully play with each other and how the whole world is happy, laughing and enjoying.
Give your child those impressions of happiness instead of a constant violent environment. If you only ever open your mouth to reprehend or even shout at your child, your child will simply get used to it and not pay much attention on you getting angry – because you do it anyway all the time!
If you usually speak calmly and joyfully with your daughter and not only let her hear threats and shouts, she will listen to you if you get serious. You won’t even need to get loud most of the times.
As there are several more tips that I would like to write down, I will continue with this topic tomorrow.