What is the most important element in a strong, healthy, transparent , thriving relationship? To me, it is acceptance. Acceptance is the foundation on which other important elements in a relationship grow, namely, respect, communication, understanding, trust, even love. When we accept a person, we embrace them with their awesome and the not-so -awesome traits … throughly and completely… By accepting a person without reservations we convey the powerful message that they are wonderful just the way they are. Acceptance is the most precious gift for our child, a very crucial component in the parent-child relationship. The gift of acceptance inspires and empowers , helping little children grow into happy, confident, complete adults , well-equipped to attain their fullest potential.
Child’s perception of himself depends on the parent’s perception of him. Children look up to their parents for approval and validation. Therefore, by giving them the invaluable gift of acceptance , we plant seeds of positive self-esteem, confidence and optimism , paving way for their successful future (both personal and professional).Acceptance by people who matter the most to him, would help the child develop love for self and share that love with others,laying the groundwork for healthy relationships. Unconditional acceptance itself is a big motivation for the child to confidently face life’s challenges and various puzzles handed out by life , as he grows up .Better problem-solving skills also makes him more resilient. When we , as parents, accept and react positively to temporary setbacks in his life, we build him up beyond words. “I know you are sad about that “B” in Maths test. But, don’t worry, with consistent efforts you would be back to your usual “A” in the next test” is a way more effective approach than “ so, you didn’t study hard this time, is it? I see that in your report card”. Acceptance and the resulting positive reassurance , builds children up from within , making them more positive . Conversely, a punitive approach replete with negativity fuels negative feelings in the child , detrimental to his self-image preventing a healthy emotional development.
When we accept our child for their unique specific traits , we communicate the message that we honour their essence,their spirit. Honouring his spirit also means that we respect him for who and what he is. It is futile to compare our pre-schooler’s reading or writing skills with that of his classmate’s slightly advanced reading skills. Instead, by accepting and respecting his individual pace , while helping him to practise more , we set the stage for a positive, productive progress.Some children are good in Maths, some others in Literature. Likewise, some children have a knack for music, some others may have talents in fine arts and some are exceptionally athletic – the perfect sports material. The underlined point being the uniqueness of each child. Not everyone has the aptitude or inclination to be a scientist or a doctor. Some children may have an aptitude for social sciences. Likewise, a child with a flair for writing may not be exceptional in sports. We have to recognise their unique gifts and accept them with open arms, inspiring them to excel in what they are good at, in the process. Comparing and shaming children is at best counter-productive to the child’s psychological development and at worst fatal to the parent-child relationship. When we compare our child to someone else with a different set of gifts and skills, we silently tell him” you are not good enough’, undermining his spirits and sowing seeds of self-doubt in our child.
Acceptance helps the child to unhesitatingly open up to his parents about his feelings and emotions . This openness enhances communication between the parent and child, helping them to connect and bond like good friends. The gift of acceptance fills the child with faith in his parents as his strongest allies. The knowledge that he is loved and appreciated for who he is makes the parent-child relationship one of co-operatiion, compassion and trust rather than that based upon domination and fear. Acceptance strengthens hope, trust, respect, love in the child, for, children learn best from their role-models and emulate their behaviour The optimistic attitude and self-confidence fostered by acceptance facilitates a positive personality development and all-round growth in the child – the best gift ever, indeed.
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