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Violent behaviour & addiction in children; Parents need to pay attention

Nithin A. F, Consultant Psychologist, SUT Hospital, Pattom

Today, from Medias it is clear that teenagers and children under the age of 18 can be seen as very violent and addicted in many ways. Due to Covid-19 pandemic they were isolated inside house for the past two years. It is understood that this situation has increased violence and addiction in children.

Proper parenting is essential for maintaining our society and culture. The biggest problem with child development is that current parents do not have a clear idea of ​​how to raise their children successfully. Current demographics refer to children between 1980 and 1997 as ‘millennial’. Children born after 1997 are also known as ‘post-millennial’.

Comparing the children born on both these period, we can see a lot of difference. Family members of Millennial have always valued and supported the development of personality, discipline and character formation in children. They can learn from their family to lead a moral life. Same importance was given for the education and financial security of the children.

But in the case of post-millennial, the emphasis is on children’s education and financial security. There was a decline in importance of cultivating children’s life values in post-millennial. Children misunderstood that ‘the outcome is more important than the way’. If we think in a realistic sense, we can understand the importance of the way to reach a goal.

A parent should focus on being a good person rather than actually succeeding in life. There are 7 principles to raise the children properly:-

1. The age group of 2 – 4 years is most suitable for the character formation in children.

The lifelong behaviour of children depends on how they were raised during this age group. It is considered almost impossible to change the behavioural problems that children show after the age of four.

2. Do not accept the stubbornness shown by children.

Nowadays false parenthood is seen by accepting the demands of the children. Especially buying things whatever they asked to buy and allows doing whatever they want. In a situation where you have to say ‘no’, it is imperative to say it and to inculcate that habit in children. In practical life not everything is possible or achievable so when an unfavourable situation arises they are unable to cope with and are more likely to have aggressive behaviour, anger and suicidal tendencies. It becomes an important factor in shaping the behaviour of children.

3. Identify the ‘Needs’ and ‘Wants’ for children.

‘Needs’ can be given 100%, but ‘Wants’ can only be given 25% importance. That is, ‘milk’ is in the ‘Needs’ category for children, ‘Ice cream’ is in the ‘Wants’ category. Then the demand for ‘milk’ has to meet 100%. ‘Ice cream’ can be given, only when children ask for the fourth time. As a result, children learn discipline and self-control very well. It is imperative that parents identify ‘Needs’ and ‘Wants’ and respond accordingly.

4. Teach children to do household work.

Incorporating them into the chores we do at home, such as cooking, cleaning, gardening, and small-scale farming, leads to positive character formation and positively influence their lives. Behaviour formation is more important than textbook learning.

5. Be honest parents.

Children live in a time where it is difficult to find a role model for them. In this situation, a word or deed should not cause any direct or indirect action against honesty under any circumstances. It paves the way for them to get a wrong message and may influence their life negatively. So parents should try to be an example for their children.

6. Convince children that ‘suffering’, ‘evil’ and ‘death’ are a part of our lives.

It is important for children to understand that these things can happen in any situation in our lives. It helps them to accept and face adverse situations in life with courage.

7. Teach children that the path is as important as the goal.

Rather than enquiring the marks for an exam parents should make sure that they scored because they learn and not copying from others. And also help them to distinguish between the moral values ​​hidden in those two methods. Every parent should realize that this is an incentive for them to form their character and helps to lead a content life.

Let us remember that following these seven principles not only shapes the character of a child, but also give rise to a best generation.