Welcome back to The Literate Child Podcast!
This week’s episode is about protecting our children from the potentially detrimental consequences of judgement.
Rebecca Laffar-Smith and Nanci Nott talk about their various strategies for responding to judgement directed toward their children as people, and themselves as parents.
It can be uncomfortable to have to remind other adults not to disrespect your children, but Rebecca and Nanci chat about why it’s so important to stand up for your child’s needs in these situations, regardless of the opinions of others.
Some of the trickiest situations can involve immediate family, or close friends, whose intentions are good, but whose interference can still be detrimental. You probably respect the fact that your loved ones have the right to their own opinions, but is there a way to balance this with the emotional needs of your child?
The sad truth is, even though we can act as a buffer between our children and the world, we can’t (and shouldn’t) completely shelter them. We do, however, have a responsibility to protect our kids, so they can grow up to be happy, healthy, confident adults.
One way to protect our kids from potentially damaging judgement might be to model the skills they need in order to be true to themselves, regardless of what is occurring around them, this is also a powerful way to help preserve their self-confidence.
But what happens when the person who is judging your child is their classroom teacher, or another adult who spends a significant amount of time with your child? What impact can this have, and how can we help?
Are children devalued in our society? Rebecca makes a point that certain attitudes are so ingrained in us by our culture, that many people are completely unaware of the ways in which they behave. Rebecca believes we need to be focusing on where children are going, on their future ultimate possibility of potential, as opposed to focusing on their current ‘deficits’.
Nanci talks about the importance of freely admitting our own mistakes as people, and as parents, in order to analyse and improve our own patterns of behaviour. She also explains why she believes it is vital to be open and honest with our children, in a very real way, even if it feels uncomfortable at the time. We can show our children that making mistakes is normal, and that mistakes are a great opportunity for learning and growth.
Rebecca and Nanci discuss why they feel it is important for children to be given the opportunity to practise empathy, understanding the feelings of others, and having compassion, and how these attributes can enhance self-awareness, without shame or embarrassment. Rebecca explains how modelling these behaviours for her children strengthened her whole family.
Rebecca and Nanci also talk about how encouraging respect and compassion in our children can actually help our kids protect themselves from potential future damage incurred by well-meaning, but misinformed, people.