When the Rapper/Actor Will Smith first came out with his song “Parents Just Don’t Understand”, I fell in love with it and it really spoke to me. As time passed and I became a parent, I understood why that song bothered my mother when she heard it because she would tell us that she understood more than we thought. After watching other parents operate and dealing with my two smaller children another realization appeared.
Was visiting my two youngest children yesterday and had a great time. After arriving back home, I got a phone call from my fiancée who was complaining about the two little sweet angels that I had just left were now running around with pitch-forks and a tail. While allowing her to vent, it occurred to me that some parents really don’t understand.
She asked me for my opinion about the situation and this was my advice to her. Many times parents look at children and something inside of them assume that the children should know what they know and that is just not possible. It took us some years to learn what we know and no child is born with this knowledge. Just be cause we know a stove is hot and tell our children does not mean that we should see it as defiant the first time that they touch it. As with anything, people have to learn and the only way that anyone will learn is to be educated when the need arises. As parents we can not sit our children down at any age and explain all that they will encounter in one seating. First, there is too much to cover and second, the lack of attention span on both ends would not allow it. Parents should be reminded that events dictate the lessons that should be taught. We should not hold the child responsible for not knowing what to do or how to act when it’s the first time that this certain event has occurred. After the first time, however, attention should be given if the same thing happens over and over again.
My suggestion is before you yell at your child for something that he/she has done, ask yourself if this is the first time that they have done it and have you ever spoke to them about this subject before. If this is the first time or a subject that you have not addressed with them before then it is not defiance. A non-defiant action does not require yelling but a calm and simple explanation as to why their actions can not be tolerated or is not a good/safe idea. No one should be expected to know about something that they have not been educated on, even adults. Just because we know does not mean all those that we come in contact with will know, especially the children.