There is a wide gap between perception and reality. We all want our kids to be happy. We want their future to hold amazing things for them. And in the pursuit of this happiness, we do whatever we think that our children want. But did we ever think about what our children really want?
There is often a difference between these two things. Now, I know we all think the world of our children. And we want to do everything in our power for them. But, we will be surprised by the things that they want in reality. You don’t believe me? Read further.
To feel good about themselves.
The age of the internet has come with its own flaws. It leaves all who are entranced by it feeling inadequate. It is what is happening with our children.
Our children feel that they are not ‘good enough.’ They feel like everyone else has a wonderful life, and there is nothing in their life that could be considered ‘nice’ by today’s high standards. The harsh reality is, the more you try and become ‘good,’ the more you are sucked into the vicious cycle.
Our children need to start understanding that everyone has something in their life that they can be proud of, and something that is challenging for them. They need to feel happy about being themselves. When they are looking at themselves in this color, everything around them is demotivating for them.
The problem is, most of the children know this, but what they do not know is how to exactly do it. They are clueless and baffled, just waiting for someone who could just be their rock of a support for this.
Whatever our children are, strengths and weaknesses combined they need to be accepted. What they want from you, as their parents, is understanding. They want you to understand them.
We cannot make our children into something that they are not. So, we need to acknowledge that. Moreover, we do not have to change or remake them. Their flaws and their qualities are what make them unique.
Your actions and your words, both have to portray this. You may think that your children won’t notice it. But, let me tell you, children are very smart and intuitive. They can sense the slightest shift in your behavior. And when it is so positive, it will immediately reflect in their confidence. You will definitely see your child flourish.
Love and support
There is an entire world that is ready to belittle your children. They need someone who would shower them with love. They need to know that there are people here for whom they mean a lot. And this is one thing they should be independent of their behaviour or performance. Parents feel that if they show their displeasure or get angry with them, kids will improve. It definitely works but only temporarily. In the long run, it does more harm than good.
Your kids should not have to grovel for your love and support. Whatever step that they are taking for themselves, they want you to be on their side rooting for them the whole time. And, just thinking it in your mind won’t do the trick.
It wouldn’t hurt if you say, “I love you” to your kids. That is all they want. These three words from you are enough for them to soar high in the sky.
Your quality time.
Children do not need expensive gifts or materialistic things. They just need some time from you. Time that is not used to lecture them or teach them life lessons. They want the time where they can just have fun with you and they can cherish in their life.
Your children want you to play with them, or cozy up with you and watch your favorite movies, or even just talk about something fun with you. They just want to bond. It gives them great joy whenever they do these things with you. It is the little things that matter the most. If you ask them what are some of your most memorable moments in life, it is going to be something that has touched their heart, something which was simple, yet thoughtful.
A constant friend.
You always need a friend in life with whom you can share everything. Your children also need a person like this. Today, most of the kids have hundreds of ‘friends’ on social media, but they crave for someone who could fill up the ‘permanent’ position. These virtual connections are alright, but your children need those one or two close people, with whom they could share all their secrets.
Now, it is written nowhere that your kids cannot have a best friend in their parents. If you can give your child that kind of companionship, then there is nothing like it.
No one likes it when someone is constantly criticizing them for something or other. The same goes for your children. They do not like it one bit when you are constantly on their backs, judging them all the time.
Now, what we do is not done in the intention of annoying our children or frustrating them, we do it out of care and concern. But, that is not the message that the child gets. What your kid sees is that their parents are always pointing out their mistakes and that you never see the good in them.
We do not have to activate the ‘corrective mode’ all the time. We need to think about the long term goals we have for our children, and then work on our priorities to achieve them. Everything else that does not come in the way of this can and should be let to slide.
To be able to accept themselves.
We have to be at peace with ourself. If we are not happy with oneself, how can we expect to find joy anywhere else? And here is where the youth struggles.
Our children want it. They want to be able to embrace their flaws and move ahead with them.
To be able to make their own decisions.
Children want to live their life in a way that they see fit for their future. When they are not given a chance to make decisions for themselves, there is a lot of negativity building inside them.
Our children want to take charge of their lives, but many times they are restricted by us. Now, we think it is ‘for their own good.’ But that is not true. It is their life, they should be able to take charge of their lives and do what they think is best for them. If we keep doing it for them, they will never learn.
This is what our kids actually want. These are the things that are going to help them achieve their goal in life, which was our primary aim. When we think about it, these things are not that hard to give, are they?