Thursday 7 October 2010

What Could Your Child Be Trying To Tell You?

I know I am guilty of saying 'just one minute', 'hang on JJ', 'yes be with you soon', 'just let me finish peeling the potatoes' or doing the hoovering or a number of other totally unimportant tasks! Are you? I expect so. I think most of us Mums hear the word Mummy so much that it is hard to instantly respond every time and we should not have to, right? We do not want to end up with pampered and spoilt kids, used to us being at their beck and call.

But are there times when we really ought to stop and listen to our kids? Not only listen but hear and see what they are saying? Most definitely.

When a child tries to talk to you a number of times and you always fob them off, what will they learn? They will learn that Mummy does not have time to chat with them and inadvertently they may form the opinion that Mummy does not love them enough to take that time. So why bother? If the answer is always the same,'in a minute'then why would they keep bothering?

So why am I harping on about this? Yes it is an important lesson for me and one I will do well to remember but the trigger was Waterloo Road last night. The drama that is shown on BBC1. Have you seen it? (For those who have not or the non Brits it is a drama based on a gritty Northern secondary school and it tackles real life issues. I think I have heard that real teachers cringe at it but I enjoy it!).

The story line last night made me so sad. A little lad was being bullied (I assume he is supposed to be about 12) and he kept trying to talk to people and they kept brushing him off. So what did he do - he stuffed his face and made himself sick. This small boy already had full blown Bulimia. Making himself sick 4 or 5 times a day. His immature little brain told him that if you are hurting and don't like your emotions then the answer is to stuff your face and to sooth the pain. I know that feeling very well. Luckily I am old enough to realise this now and I am trying to do something about it. I have never been down the bulimia route but all eating disorders share similarities in the fact that we all turn to food instead of dealing with the emotion or pain we should actually be feeling.

So yet again I urge you, listen to your child. Stop cooking and take 5 minutes to really concentrate on what they are saying. They might be trying to tell you they are being bullied or they feel angry. Help them to learn to deal with their emotions. In my opinion one of the greatest lessons we can teach a child is how to deal with their own anger in a positive manner and not to just brush it under the carpet.

I am very pleased to see awareness being raised - bulimia is a very real problem, even in male teenagers but I worry about it being on at 8pm at night and passing ideas to impressionable young adolescents.

There is so much to worry about as a parent. We can not protect our kids from everything but we can give them some love and attention and try to help them grow up to be well-rounded adults.

Have I given you some food for thought?

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