Development Psychology

Magic Formula for Behaviour Change

We all have wished one time or another that there was a magic wand which we could wave and make all our problems disappear. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one. Wave it over the spouse and see the anger evaporate. Wave it over the children and they become perfect embodiment of calm and respect and endowed with new skills or maybe children could wave it upon themselves and become your dream child.

Sad truth is there is no such magic wand. If a child appears for the examination without any preparation we know he will not succeed. But we expect our children to improve their behaviour as soon as it is pointed out to them. Why? What is the preparation given to them? How much effort and time has been put into it? Parents of all children especially young ones know how much effort it takes to prepare the children for any activity let alone examinations. Most parents say that if left on their own their children would perform poorly. Parents go to lengths to optimize the environment for academics but are we doing the same for their behaviour.

We send them off to examination hall which unfortunately is daily, without preparing them and then chastise them for failing and worse still label them as failures. How fair are we in doing that? Any one who has undertaken to correct any of their character/personality defects will know how difficult a task it is. Anger or impatience doesn’t just evaporate as soon as one realizes they are not desirable. It takes time, effort and techniques. And then one needs to persevere. When one is making the effort, recognition of the same and every little praise act as motivators.

The training of an athlete doesn’t just comprise of running but exercises that develop muscle strength, core strength, foot work, mental adaptability, right eating, right thinking and much more so that he/she can do well in the competitive event. For those few seconds on the track field an athlete undergoes rigorous training for years. What kind of a coach would take their student directly to the track field event and expect them to win gold medal just because he said it could be done. None.

A sportsperson knows the importance of a coach, those who prepare for competitive exams know how important coaching institutes are. People always want to train under the best. Why? Not only because they can teach you great skills/techniques but also because they can see your highest potential and have the magnetism to transfer that vision to you. The magnetism and attitude of the coach affects the pupil. The magnetism and attitude of the parent affects the child. It is the silent ingredient that holds great power.

Work with your child like a great coach would. Don’t expect your child to develop unshakeable self control, over generous heart or good hand writing or …………. , fill in the blank for yourself. Don’t belittle them for not being able to correct their faults without any support and worst of all amidst shaming. Don’t expect it to happen overnight sometimes it can take months or years.

Model for them the right attitude and behaviour. Do role plays. Accept them as they are. Teach them through stories. Learn some techniques that will help and practice together if you can. In your thoughts project virtues on them. Appreciate little things and improvements. Show faith and understanding. Give them another chance with love and care. Give yourself another chance. If world pulls your child down, be the one to beam them with smile and hope. These can make the magic wand which slowly and gradually will wield its magic and bring change.

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About Dr. Mona Choudhary

I,Dr. Mona {Psychiatrist(M.B.B.S., MD) am a strong advocate of holistic health, meditate regularly, have tried different models of education like homeschooling, alternate school etc. for my super energetic son. I focus on basics and use my medical training and over a decade of experience in psychiatry to give practical advice on difficult parenting issues via individual consultation, workshops and this blog so that parents can become their best versions uplifting the child in the process.
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