Parenting: Understanding Compassion

Do you Really Love your child?

Ask this question and you will find an anonymous answer –Yes.

But, when you observe parent’s behaviour, it is not the same. Till the child is in the infant stage, the child becomes a Toy for Joy. The whole family is cuddling the baby and gets amused by the child’s behaviour.

Toy for Joy

First birthday over, the child starts moving around. Picking up anything that he/she can get hold of and dropping it the moment another attractive object is in his/her way. Alas! Your favourite crystal ware has met its end in such an accidental manner, that you had never thought of and then comes the first blow. You start scolding and yelling at your child.

The poor baby who had been observing otherwise a smiling face for all the activities he/she has been doing, gets perturbed and learns a new behaviour. The child may start crying, as this behaviour is not acceptable to him/her. Each and every child has an element of Godliness- to forgive and forget. After a while the child may come close to the respective parent and give a tight hug.

What our behaviour should be when a child breaks a costly crystal ware or a ceramic?

Once I went for a stress and anger management course. We were being taught how to release the suppressed anger that has been with us since ages. I observed that most of the youth were angry on their parents and teachers. They were hitting the ground with the yoga mats, hitting the wall as punching bag and yelling and shouting abusive words. The process continued for more than an hour and it was seen that one of the strong young person who was very aggressive and was hitting the wall constantly became exhausted and fell down. The guiding authorities had kept a mattress on the wall so as to cushion the area so that the person doesn’t get hurt. The moment the person fell on the ground as a chopped giant tree, the mattress was removed. It was seen that there was a hole created in the wall as the wall was of plywood and the Plaster of Paris had come off.

Reprimanding the Child

Everybody was worried saying that such an expensive resort it is and he has smashed the wall! He will have to pay a huge fine now. Or will the organizer exempt him from the fine? When I came back to my room, I got a call from my son asking how my day went. When I narrated the whole incident, he inquired did that person get hurt? I was touched .Why didn’t that occur to me?

When I told him thanks for being so compassionate. He said that he was reminded of an incident of when he was nine years old, when he was asked to keep the used coffee mugs in the sink and dropped the tray by mistake. Though he got terrified as guests were at home, but my reaction brought peace to his mind. I had inquired whether he had got hurt by the pieces of the broken ceramics. Yes, if we love our kids, we have to be compassionate. We may buy new coffee mugs but if the child gets hurt physically or psychologically as we tend to reprimand immediately, the hurt is deep and the loss is irreparable.

Remember, Children Mirror us.

Children learn through mirroring. That’s why a healthy environment is required. A healthy environment is created by the person, objects and the surroundings around a person. One learns more through the nonverbal communication that one is exposed to as compared to the words one hears.

As per Albert Mehrabian’s Rule, a person learns lot more through non-verbal communication as compared to verbal communication. In communication, one observes and perceives a lot. Albert Mehrabian said-words have 7% affect, tone, pitch and volume cover 38% and the body language contributes 55% in our communication.

All parents know this by default. Though they may not be knowing it percentage wise, but they know that the moment they look at their child with dilated pupils, the child knows that it’s the time to check his/her behaviour or face the consequences. Whatever behaviour we project is copied by the child.

Mirroring

How many times did we feel while communicating through phone that the child’s voice sounds like his/her parent. See, even the accent is copied. So, when we start complaining about our teenage child’s behaviour, who is actually to be blamed? Whose behaviour needs to be checked right from the beginning?

If we truly love our child, we will be compassionate, understanding, and empathetic and check our behaviour instead of cribbing and finding fault in our loved one’s behaviour, irrespective of their age, that is, whether they are in their first seven years or in their teens.


We become parents as we really want a child, but when we face the reality, we are perplexed regarding how to guide the child or how should we behave so that the child feels that he is loved and respected in the family.

I will be writing more on parenting and soft skills that parents need to develop. Be in touch and express your views on this article by commenting below. If you think that this article is helpful please share with your social circle.

Nilakshi Chattopadhyay is a Special Educator, Parent-student guide, Soft Skills trainer and an Image Consultant.