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My son is 2 now and ever since he is born, I am continuously reading in many of the books, articles, and blogs that parents can make mistakes and it's absolutely okay to be wrong at times. If we are able to find out what made us be wrong in some places, we can prevent it happening further. A few days back I made a mistake and when I got some "Me" time, I realized it.
Last week we had a family friends' gathering and I expected my son to be friendly with a family member he barely knew. He started crying seeing the person and my bad I took him in front of that person again and again. Forcing kids to display affection to “strangers” is really bad and I made this mistake that day.
We parents often want other people know that our kids are so smart. So we force our kids to sing or dance in front of people they might not know well. I am totally against kids to give hugs and kisses to complete strangers. But, I didn’t realize that I was contradicting myself when I told my son to sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.." in front of people he barely met once or twice before. I never thought that he would be uncomfortable in doing so. As a toddler he is learning lots of things every day; stories, poems, alphabets, numbers and even Bollywood songs. And he never misses a chance to tell his parents that he has learned these things. But he might not want to let other people know his growing abilities. My tot is a social bee and he goes to my neighbors every day. He spends a good amount of time among people who are not his family. But he still can have stranger anxiety seeing unknown faces. And I was wrong when I wanted him to be cordial with people whom he has seen very few times.
Everyone makes mistakes and I admit, I made one. The most important thing is that we learn from them. I realized that my son wasn’t comfortable giving smile to unfamiliar family members, and now I allow him to make that decision on his own. I take him to a different room for a while, where he can get relief from those awkward feelings which he gets after seeing a stranger. I slowly tell him about the stranger who is also his family member.
However, can we as parents always prevent mistakes from happening? The answer is not always so easy. But, one way we can avoid them is to think before we speak or act. Parenting is a tough business but it's not a rocket science. We can for sure raise happy, healthy, well-behaved kids with a little awareness and lots of love.