Good child upbringing: Using practical examples to raise a good child

As a parent, one of your biggest concerns is raising a well-rounded child. To ensure you practice good child upbringing, you have to teach and show examples as a parent.

Child upbringing is one of the most important tasks a parent will ever take on in life. However, you have to be a practical example of who they could become

However, these have to be practical examples you want your kids to follow in the way they treat others and their general outlook on life.

For school-going teenagers, there's such a thing known as a circle which exists mostly in school and in the neighbourhood. Their circle is made up of kids they've agreed to associate with. For most of these teenagers, they take others into their circle based on their own standards of what makes them different. These standards are most commonly based on wealth, fashion, brilliance, beauty and much more. Therefore, they tend to make fun of others who do not meet their criteria.

But Cierra Brittany Forney would have none of that from her son. Cierra is a mother from Braselton in Georgia. Her son developed the habit of making fun of other kids because they didn't wear the same type of clothes he did. Because of this, he made fun of where they shopped for clothes. His mother proceeded to give him a quick attitude adjustment that would probably last him a lifetime. According to Cierra, her 13-year-old son had been acting a little entitled. Acting like he was too good to shop at Wal-Mart, making snarky comments about kids at school who bought clothes at the goodwill.

As punishment, she gave him $20.00 to go to the goodwill store and buy clothes to wear the entire week to school. Whatever he found at the goodwill, he would have to wear that. Expectedly, the boy wasn't happy. In his mother's words, he even shed a few tears. But his mother firmly believes in 15 years he will look back and laugh at the day his Mom made him shop at goodwill.

This mum is teaching her kid that money isn't everything.

Parenting has many sides to it. No parents can say that they mastered what parenting is all about before their kids arrived. A trick most people find important is to have an idea of the kind of kids they want to raise. This provides a base from which to work while allowing your kids the freedom to mess up and learn on their own.

In the case of Cierra, she didn't want to raise a son who feels entitled. Entitlement has a long term effect on children. It teaches them that they don't have to earn anything in life. Plus, they get to have anything they want when they want it. Naturally, as a parent, you want to give them everything. This isn't a bad thing at all. But you have to let them understand their privileges from time to time. Such a balance will help them go through life knowing that they're not different. That they have to work hard for something if they want it.

Entitlement behaviour shows up in different forms in kids. Here are a few things to watch out for.

  • Your kids never thank you for anything: This is a sign of entitlement. Model this in your behaviour. Always say thank you to the shop owner. To the nanny and the mechanic; and even your kids, when they run an errand for you.
  • They're always demanding: this is another sign. They are always asking, no matter how much you provide. If you're dealing with this kind of child, hand them the amount you think is okay for the week. Also, make it clear they're getting no kobo after that. You could also give them little tasks with incentives.
  • They always need you to rescue them: it's a problem if they're always asking you to do something they can do on their own. Remind them that they've grown, however, you're going to let them take more responsibility.
  • They think they're better than others: looking down on others because they don't have the same things they do is a problem. Take away that stuff and give them the thing they look down on. This reminds them of their privilege and helps them see that there is more to a person than what the person owns.

Child upbringing is a task that requires patience and more practice. It is also challenging, but you must remember that you're doing it for their good.

This article was first published on AfricaParent.com

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