How to Parent a Child – Understanding their Psychological Need

Case #1:  Sam follows the same routine day after day. He goes to work in the morning and returns home in the evening. He watches the same television program every day and goes to bed after eating dinner with his family at the same time every day.

On weekends, he lies in front of the television like a log of wood and returns to his regular routine every Monday. His job doesn’t excite him; it never did since the day he joined it. But the thought of doing something else has never even crossed his mind. He took to playing golf once, but gave it up after two weeks. His ‘golf set’ just lies inside the cupboard in his bedroom now. He has no hobbies to speak of and doesn’t have the drive to put any of his ideas into practice. Essentially he has stopped thinking up any new ideas.

Case #2:  John is an energetic and driven sort of person who dreamed up an exciting business idea when he was just 25. Before anyone realized, he had already gotten one of the top venture capitalists to fund his business.

Today, his business rakes in tons of money each year and John couldn’t be happier with what he does. He enjoys horseback riding over the weekends with his wife and kids and also plays chess regularly.

Parenting Style Shapes a Child’s Personality

Which one of the two personalities would you like your child to grow up to be like? Sam or John?

It might sound surprising but it is your actions—the way that you answer the question of how to parent a child—that really determine the outcome. You have an acute influence on the way his or her personality gets shaped. Research in the field of neuroscience and the human brain has proven this fact beyond any doubt. One’s life is but a reflection of one’s brain and one’s personality, so the importance of how you shape your child’s personality can’t be stressed enough.

Children have a psychological hunger for stimulation which if not met, makes them cranky, irritable and in extreme cases, even aggressive. If you, as a parent, do a good job with satisfying this particular psychological hunger in your child, your chances of having a happy, content, active, smart and driven sort of child increase manifold.

If, on the other hand, you discipline your child into being quiet and well-behaved so he/she doesn’t bother you with their stimulation hunger, your chances of molding your child into a Sam-like personality increase manifold.

Fulfilling your Child’s Need for Stimulation

So, how can you fulfill your child’s psychological need for stimulation? The answer lies in being interested and in being creative.

Give your child new, interesting and stimulating toys to play with.

Make them watch new and interesting television programs like those aired on Discovery channel or Animal planet in which they get to learn about the world they live in.

It would be good for you to be with the child as they watch these interesting shows and talk to them about what they are watching. Talking to your child about interesting and new things is another great way of nurturing their need to know.

A lot of parents don’t talk to their children as they are too busy in their own lives. They can’t think of anything intelligent to say to their children since they feel the child won’t be able to understand what they say. This is not the case, however. Your child’s brain development is as much your responsibility as their nutrition and physical well-being.

Final thoughts on how to parent a child

There are endless answers to the question of ‘how to parent a child,’ just as there are endless ways of keeping your child stimulated. Once you start to take interest and feed this hunger instead of trying to suppress it, you will be able to think up lots of ideas on your own. The only thing to remember is that curiosity needs to be nurtured and promoted, not suppressed.

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About the Author

Richa is a writer and a life skills coach with seven years of work experience in training corporate professionals. She has trained employees in Soft skills, Sales and Business English.

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