Does your stomach drop before entering a classroom or as your children walk through the door?
Some of you may laugh at the question, others would silently nod and ask how I know, while a few might say no and suggest otherwise.
Children do not instill fear, it may be their actions or behavior that can instill fear in adults. In addition fear is very encompassing. A teacher might be afraid that her students will not behave and listen to her lesson while a mom might have a fear that when the child walks in the whole house disrupts.
There are many different ways to deal with such a situation. However, as an educator and one who observes classrooms regularly as well as being a mom, the biggest and most harmful issue is when the child feels or knows that the adult is afraid or uncomfortable around them.
As adults we must instill in our children a feeling of security and strength. By showing that one is afraid of their child it ruins the stability and foundation that a child needs in order to blossom. Showing fear in face of adversity is different and not what is being discussed.
When parents are high strung before the child comes home and is seemingly irritated or when a teacher seems to be unsure of themselves and uncomfortable and lost in the classroom, it makes the children feel at unease and lost too.
When you show a child that you are afraid/ uncomfortable around them it indicates to the child that their caretaker is weak, and vulnerable and incapable of caring for them correctly. Thus they might feel compelled to take advantage of the situation and behave in the way you had feared; acting out, misbehavior, trouble and so on. Therefore it is extremely important that as a teacher, educator or parent you do not let your fear stand in the way of educating your child.
Fear of Children? Keep your feelings to yourself and deal with it head on:
How can you do so?
- Know that you are in charge- it is your house or classroom and the child cannot dictate how to act
- show confidence in what you say even if you do not feel it, stand straight and make eye contact
- stand to the ground and stick to it if you say something then follow through on your actions
- do not discipline without thinking it through and letting the child know the consequence of their actions
- review and revisit rules
- be proactive try to stop the behavior before it actually happens
When you show a child that you mean business and there is no fooling around with you, children realize they must comply with your wishes.
As long as your being reasonable, fair and taking the child’s needs into consideration you should know that you are doing the best to educate and discipline your child. Be confident!