My nephew gets asked this question at least 5-10 times a day. And he is not alone. It is common practice in any household to repeatedly tell a child that they are a good boy or girl based on what their care-giver wants them to be doing at that particular moment.
Good boys finish their food. Good boys don’t scream in frustration. Good boys don’t pull their daddy’s nose. Good boys study hard. It’s simply amazing the number of scenarios in which we use these two simple words.
And, what if they don’t obey? Well, as adults we just don’t think any more. However when we constantly chant this statement, subconsciously for the child we are sending the message that if they don’t follow your commands then they must be bad. According to me, it also allows no room for consideration of the child’s feelings in such situations.
I read an interesting article lately that talks about how once our kids begin to walk and talk we somehow forget that they are still tiny beings.
When they dawdle and play with the flowers we think they are doing it purposely to make us late. When they spit out the carefully prepared vegetables you made we think it must because they hate our cooking. And, when they don’t clear up their toys at end of day’s play it must be to spite your OCD tendencies.
Not a good boy/girl, right? But, since when did their behavior become more about us than about them?
Perhaps the child wants to play with the flowers because the bright colours stand out for him and he anyways has no clear concept of time. Perhaps he spat out the vegetables because he was too full, the same reason why you skipped dinner last night. And, perhaps he didn’t want to clear his toys because he is too proud of the Lego castle he built and would hate to see it destroyed just because of your need to have a clean space.
I am as guilty of this behaviour as the next person so I am not preaching here. Simply saying that when our kids are being kids we should appreciate all their tiny minds and bodies are trying to accomplish rather than pushing them to be a good boy/girl.
After all, are you a good boy/girl all the time?
This post is a part of the #AtoZChallenge .To read more posts in this series do follow the hashtag!