6 Things You Should NEVER Force Your Child to Do
Singaporean parents sometimes say “parents know best" but let us tell you the things you should never force your child to do.
1. To pretend to be someone else
We, as parents, should always encourage our kids to be who they are– even if it’s not someone we expect them to be. If you wanted your kid to be a scientist but he has likes the Arts, you should still (however reluctantly) nurture that creativity.
Always ensure that your child feels loved for being exactly the way he or she is. It’s never a good idea to force your dreams and ideals on them. Perhaps your parents forced their ideals on you? Then you know that the result is usually resentment.
2. To fabricate a story, fib-or basically tell a lie
This is probably the first on the list of things you should never force your child to do. It does not matter how small or insignificant it may seem, a seemingly innocuous white lie is still a lie.
Grey areas are never good for a child. Your boundaries must be clearly defined from an early age. Don’t forget, if your child thinks he can lie to other people, it means he can lie to you too.
This also means you should not lie in front of your kid if you ever do it of course. You are your child’s best role model.
3. To diet
Some kids may need to ease off those pounds they have been packing on unwittingly. But you should never force your child to go on a diet. The more restrictions you place on his food intake, the more resistance you will encounter.
It’s only natural. So instead of forbidding your kid from stuffing his face with chips and chocolates from your pantry, perhaps you should consider NOT buying those items. Stock up with healthier alternatives such as fruits and nuts instead.
4. To say sorry when they don’t know what wrong they did
Does this sound familiar: "Go say you’re sorry, now!" Then you’ll see the kid walk over and apologise even if they are clueless as to the crime they committed.
To help the situation, take a minute or two to explain the 'crime' before he/she does the 'time'.
5. To eat when they are not up for it
Your mother may insist that your kids absolutely need 3 full meals, or snacks with five smaller portions a day. But every kid is unique in his/her eating and hunger patterns or habits.
Think about it, almost every child we know of would make it very clear that he/she is hungry—may it be by grumbling, rumbling or whining.
If you force-feed your kids, they learn that eating even when not hungry is normal. You then run the risk that your child might develop long-term eating issues in some way, shape or form.
6. To do stuff that they are not good at
We’re not saying that you should encourage your kid to be a quitter at everything he tries. But if your girl, who has no sense of balance and loves to dress like a tomboy, totally hates her ballet classes and is flunking out after months and months of gruelling lessons…then maybe its time to accept that ballet is not her cup of tea.
You should know that it sucks to be forced to do something you’re not good at. So help them play to their strengths.
Having to repeatedly do something they have no natural inclination towards lowers their self-esteem. Talk to them regularly about their activities and really listen without interrupting.