We are mirrors for our children.
We know that our way of communication affect a child and influence what he or she will become. Children are our mirrors, they look into these mirrors and they see the self into your way of being, they do precisely as we do, so if we want them different, we have to be aware of how we do as parents.
Our Iranian way of talking to a child has many colors, indeed a rainbow of hidden words, gestures, metaphors. We talk to our children in verbal and non- verbal terms. We teach them from day one how to act, what values to hold on to, what to think, and how to be. Children do what we do and think what we think. I am not suggesting that we are different than any other parents in the world, yet our cultural way of parenting is the topic we want to discuss.
Some of us are more encouraging than others, some more blaming and shaming the child more than others. There is nothing more hurtful to a child than make him or her feel guilty for not doing things that we ask them to do. We gave them birth, but we cannot force them to let go of their free will. However at times we Iranian parent do blame our children for what a big job we did to give them birth! It was not their choice to be born, we have to understand.
We have to know that raising a child is the most difficult job in the world. We cannot bring children into this world and then make them feel guilty for having done that.
Many Iranian parents who are immigrating, they blame children for being the reason for coming to Canada: I came here because of you, so now you have to do what I say to do Children cannot carry this heavy load, they did not choose to come here, we dragged them elsewhere with us and we promised them a better life.
Now, if you as parent fail in your personal or interpersonal relationships (divorce, unemployment, financial problems or more):
PLEASE DO NOT PUT THAT ON YOUR CHILD OR YOUR CHILDREN, this will make things only WORSE.
Children learn to learn from us. If you wish to give your child a healthy, happy, and positive childhood with lots of learning opportunities, this is the way to go:
Exchange of appropriate information about your life situation, let your child know what is happening.
If you have problem do not hide it, say you have hard time right now, but you will be able to figure things out as you are an adult.
Create meaning for your child; family life, school work and positive rituals at home would give successful learning opportunities.
Reward your child for every little positive work.
Give your child self-confidence and self-esteem.
Be part of your child life, tell your child about your feelings for the child, your life, and others.
Many of our fellow Iranian people, may think that if we tell our children how much we love them they may become spoiled or porru, while we tend to show the children what
we do not like about them.
Many family problems are because of poor communication style among family members:
Lack of information giving to our children about changes or events that our happening in our life No shared meaning, or shared value
Child is upset about something and we do not ask why
Negative rewards for a child who is seen as failure
Name calling, blaming, making child to feel guilty, making the child to be scared of devil or other scary figures
Lying to a child to make him or her do what we want
Giving a child mix messages; dad says yes- mom says no
Not being able to explain things properly
Allowing a child be pressed in the middle of divorce and all the adult problems
Letting the child be witness violence, inappropriate language, and anger
Referring the child to others and much more¦
These points are only a few examples of how we do collectively and individually. There is of course much more to this……………….
May 7, 2007