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New Straits Times
Saturday, Apr 12, 2014

Asian Opinions

Smart parenting: Reactive is not attractive

New Straits Times | Zaid Mohamad | Saturday, Apr 12, 2014

Do you know anyone who likes to react to anything, usually negatively? How do you find their behaviour? I have one such Facebook friend. His postings are mostly negative reactions to news, events and stories.

It's not pleasurable to read his negative comments. I also can't help but think what kind of parent he is and if his children feel the way I do.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines reactive as actions "done in response to a problem or situation; reacting to problems when they occur instead of doing something to prevent them." The is opposed to proactive defined by the same dictionary as "controlling a situation by making things happen or by preparing for possible future problems."

Going by the definition, I could feel which behaviour is more attractive and which one is not.

REACTIVE PARENTING

As humans, parents can flit between proactive and reactive at any given day. It all depends on the situation. According to Christie Burnett, editor of the blog Childhood101.com, typically parents become more reactive when we are tired, angry, frustrated or distracted. While it's okay to be reactive once in a while, it's not good to continue on the negative path for long.

Reactive parents are not very attractive to their kids. The negative energy is the fastest way to drive kids away. After all, who would want to listen to all the whining and complaining? I sure don't.

"It is when we find ourselves falling into a reactive position which is becoming all too familiar and achieving little, that we need to stop, take stock and make a conscious decision to change our reaction, our response, to try something new and to become more proactive in the situation," according to Christie.

BECOMING MORE PROACTIVE

But how can we be more in control of a situation and become a more proactive parent? It's about anticipating, understanding, taking action and preventing drama and problem at home.

Anticipating and understanding our kids' needs and issues go a long way towards creating a more harmonious home. They are innocent creatures and it's not that hard to anticipate and understand them. Provide all those needs before they come asking and you will find them to be easy to manage. See the world from their perspective and you will understand why they behave the way they do.

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