I was a bit taken aback when a teenager shares with me something in the coaching session. He was sharing with me about the circumstances he is in and the fact that he has just one friend and that he cannot trust him. It was quite shocking. In the session, I asked him a question. “Why is it that you do not have friends”? The reply just threw me away. He said that his father has been constantly telling him ever since he was a kid “It is a very competitive world out there”… “You need to study hard”…. “Do not trust anybody only yourself”? “People cannot be trusted”. His father used to share whenever he faltered in studies or got less marks or when he was with his friend. According to him this used to happen quite frequently. And over the years, he has reached a state where he simply does not trust anybody. An coupled with it a few instances with his friends reinforced the fact that others cannot be trusted.
Few learning for parents
- Mind the sentences: Children are in a state where the state of mind and value systems are very fluid. Constantly reinforcing the situation through statements establishes the neural pathway in the mind.
- Reframe the situation. There are other ways of communicating your thought and beliefs to children. Can the statements be reframed in a manner that force the children to think and develop perspectives. Can it be reframed in a manner that it helps build curiosity in their minds.
- Observe behavioural patterns. As parents we need to keep an eye on the behavioural patterns of our children with an open mind. Keep asking self, ”What is happening” “Why so few friends”? “Why is he not socializing?” “Why is he faring the way he in social and academic life”
We may not have realized it. They have picked up on what we have communicated and communicated. And in the long terms it impacts them.