The world can be a difficult place. Thus as a parent, we always try to prepare our kids with skills to face the adversities like a pro. Children learn quickly and should be taught at a very early stage to adapt to the situations and develop certain morals and traits that would help them in all the years to come. The process can get quite tricky since they will not understand the heavy morals and words that you shoot at them and thus, should be taught from situations in day to day life. They learn not only when trained but also by observing. It is thus important for parents to demonstrate the traits themselves so that the child can pick it from them easily.
Here are seven important behavioral traits that you should develop in your child to make them ready for the days to come.
1. Empathy: Empathy means to understand, acknowledge and reciprocate to the feelings of others in an appropriate manner. I remember the time my mother used to take me to the temples and on our way out he would make it a point to give alms to the needy sitting at the entrance of the temple. And every time, he would hand me over the coins to give it to them. Curiously I would ask my dad why we give them the coins. He would say they do not have as much as we have. And so as fellow beings we should be helping them with whatever we have. At times we would hand them over the food and eatables and then he would state that we give them something to eat. So it’s not just money that we can help people with, but whatever is in our hands. It is only through actions and practice that children learn. Empathy does not only mean reacting to someone’s feeling but also refraining from doing something that may hurt the sentiments of others. Start training your kid the non-verbal communication that is associated with expressions. When you supervise them during their television time, label the emotions, why someone felt the way they are feeling etcetera. Empathetic children not only grow up to be responsible individuals but find it easy to adapt to situations.
2. Emotional Resilience: The ability to come back easily from stress or any failure is an important trait that people learn either by themselves or through experience. Similar is the case with children. While some kids may face failure and get back to normalcy and try again, others may find it difficult to cope and need some guidance and supervision to accept the stress and failure and not give up. This requires effort from parents and should be a demotivating factor for parents if the child lacks the trait. They can be trained through problem-solving skills. You can start off by giving them board games which are played through turns. If they fail, encourage them to try once again. Highlight their strengths and motivate them to try again with optimism.
3. Resourcefulness: There are certain situations in life where we come out of a crisis situation through the use of resources or solve our problems with the available things at hand. Children learn this trait through visual lessons. Think of the days where our school dedicated an hour every week for creative work. We all were encouraged to use scrap materials to come up with something productive. Encourage your kid to brainstorm new ideas. Simple actions like using the newspaper as a hand-fan will give them an understanding how to use the available resources around him during the time of need.
4. Assertiveness: A child should be trained to be assertive. This means he should be able to put forward his opinions and points clearly without affecting the sentiments of others. This takes enough time and effort on the part of the parents. Encourage your child to be participative in role plays, elocution, and modeling.
5. Integrity: Integrity is when you do the right thing even when no one is watching. It is an important trait to develop in a child right from the beginning to nurture him to grow up to be a responsible and moral individual. Since it will be quite difficult for the parents to explain integrity to children, parents must exemplify the importance of positive behavior and the effect it has on others and self. Cite out examples and read out moral stories to your kid to inculcate the trait of integrity, teach them not to lie, and accept and apologize when they go wrong.
6. Curiosity: Curiosity is very important and required to gain professional and academic success. A child’s mind is ever curious. Develop the same in your kid by throwing out open questions to your child every time you read a story to them as to how they think the story would end or a certain character would act. Once he starts going to school, you may even perform small scientific experiments in your house or explain the science behind the activities you do while carrying out your daily chores. For example, if you are doing the laundry, let your child help you out and explain how a detergent helps you clean the clothes.
7. Optimism: To have a positive view on life and overcome every failure, optimism is a prime trait that any human should have. ‘Every dark cloud has a silver lining’ and moral stories on similar lines will help your child to look beyond the failures and strive for betterment. Again, children need to be demonstrated to learn these traits. Involve them in activities which help them learn problem solving skills.
Developing behavioral traits need time and perseverance on the part of parents. But with a little patience, supervision, carefully planned activities and regular practice will help the child develop the skills at an early age.