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HANDLING EMBARRASSMENT - Mrs. Brinda Jaisingh

 
There are times when your child just says the most embarrassing things at the wrong time, the wrong occasion and to the wrong people. How exactly does one deal with these situations????
Abilities in children
Children from the age of about 3-6 have an amazing capacity to store information, which may be necessary, or not. Their minds are sharp and alert and they do not forget anything very easily.

Be it an argument or abusive language, a fight or remark, an exclamation or a funny incident, they never ever forget. Also at this age, they are very curious and it is this keen sense of observation of theirs that often leads to embarrassing moments. For example if a child is at a departmental stores with his mother and he sees a lady who is very fat, he will immediately say, "Look Ma, that lady is so fat." Instead of waiting for a later stage to point out his observation, he will voice aloud his feelings. When parents are fighting or are in a heated discussion which is being overheard by their child, the parents should be well aware of the fact that the child's mind has registered every word of what is going on and those very words are sure to be repeated by the child at a later stage either to an outsider or the parents themselves.


What does one do in such situations ..... ?
If your child in public makes an embarrassing statement to an outsider like, " My mommy hates you," or other things to the same effect, the parents must not call the child a liar. By calling your child a liar, you are only intensifying his feelings and at that time, the best o-tin is to escape from the scene. If physically escaping from the scene is not possible; you must immediately talk about something else to the child in order to distract him so that he does not bring up the same topic again. It is no use trying to explain to your child that what he said was wrong, because the child's mind is innocent and he will not understand why he is wrong.


Taking Precautions
When your spouse and you are in a heated discussion or argument is sure to be out of hearing of your little child just as a preventive measure. At this age, children love to talk with others and share their feelings. They just say what comes to their mind without thinking. So if your spouse and you say things to each other in jest or in the midst of a heated argument, your child will not understand that the remark was just made in jest. Your child will take what has just been said seriously and at times it may even hurt him, resulting in his talking to someone else and repeating the conversation.


Finally

Eventually there are times, when you cannot provide your child with a valid explanation as to why certain things happen like why are some people fat and some thin, why are some bald and some not bald. The best thing is to explain to your child that people are different and things like that just happen. Be gentle in what you say and make sure that your child understands you and does not misunderstand what you have said even further. You must also teach him that making personal remarks about others in public is not very polite and if he would like to say something about his observations, to tell his mother or father alone in private. As the child gets older, they will understand the process of communication even better and save you from many such embarrassing moments.

 

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