These gifts we are going to be discussing here are our children. We may have very young ones, or older ones who can talk or walk on their own. At times they annoy us and we are left staring at them not knowing how to handle them.

To start, we need to first understand why children make mistakes. Most of them do not know that they are making mistakes and at times do it out of curiosity. Children are very experimental by nature. By the age of 6 years, I loved helping out in many kitchen chores. I remember washing 5kgs of rice for my mother so that she would only cook the rice without washing it. This was pretty annoying as most of the rice ended up fermenting and we had to throw it away. My mum being very understanding only talked to me and made me understand that what I had done was wrong, instead of beating the “hell” out of me as anyone else would have thought of doing.

Children also do not worry or care very much about the consequences of their actions as we adults do, so let’s say they make most of their mistakes not thinking of what would follow later on.

In addition, children also make mistakes by copying some of the things that we adults do. They may also take from their other schoolmates, and so before we punish them we should also consider the environment that they are exposed to. When we look carefully into some of the insults that children use in our houses, we may learn that most of them are borrowed from the children they study with back at school, or from the ones they live with in the neighborhood.

I am not a local expert, but there are a few tips that I would give when it comes to handling our children when they are wrong:

(a)Be Firm

When correcting a child, be very firm wen making your points. Make the child sit and make sure that as you speak to them, they understand every single word that you are saying. Correcting children and making it a very light matter leads to redundancy of the same mistake and its always going to be worse as they do not take you seriously.

(b)Do not make fun of their mistake

When correcting one of your children, ensure that neither you nor the other siblings make fun of the child. When you ridicule the children you annoy them and they might sink into depression. Name calling by you or the other siblings eg “thief” might create self-harming thoughts in the child.

(c) Grade your disciplinary strategies.

Every action has a reaction, and all actions do not call for similar reactions . You should come up with your own kinds of ways to discipline your own children according to the mistakes that they make. An example is when a child is being naughty and is not taking instructions when sent. Maybe you should consider denying them a few privileges like taking them to the mall or their favorite weekend pie. If they are not doing their homework maybe you should consider having them miss their favorite cartoon show. That way, if you vary your ways of giving them discipline, they will understand the weight of their different mistakes and that way their discernment will be improved.

(d)Give them realistic examples

It is important to give examples of people who have made right and wrong decisions in their life so that they can relate to a real case scenario that they know of. This way they will know the projected effects of their decisions. This also varies with the child’s age as you would not give a 5 year old an example of a bank robber.

A case scenario:

You notice that your youngest daughter has been shoplifting from the supermarket every time you go shopping. What would you do?

Your first instinct might be to beat up the child and hope that they do not do that again, trust me they will do it again. The next time they will carry out a whole fridge from the supermarket.

The best thing to do would be to first ask the child to tell you why they have been doing that. Is it because you are not purchasing the items for them or they enjoy the thrill of sneaking out without being caught? After they explain to you, let them understand that what they have been doing is wrong. The final and most important step is to take the items that they have shoplifted and make them destroy them themselves completely. An example is a stolen box of chewing gum, take the child to your washroom, have them open the box and spill the contents into the toilet themselves. This ensures that the reality of their actions sinks in completely. That way they will understand your disapproval  and will not do it again.
I hope that my tips inspire you.

Lots of Love from me,

Ruguru Kimani.

Talk to me on

Facebook:- Exciting Parenting.