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The Human within the Child - Five Practical Tips

Saira (7 yr old daughter) - I don't want to read a book.

Dad - Why don't you want to? How will you learn?

Saira - I don't feel like.

Dad - You will not learn anything in life.

Saira - I don't want to. I don't want to.

Dad - Do whatever you want to. I have work to do.


Mom - I will make rice today.

Rohan (11 yr old son) - No, can we have something else today.

Mom - What else? You always demand something else.

Rohan - I feel like eating something else.

Mom - Eat or not, that's what I am going to make.


Ok, then, so conversations above. Do they sound familiar? When was the last time you went through something like this with your 5-year-old son or 11-year-old daughter? I know, I know. Your first reaction might be that this never happens with me but when you look deep within, I am sure there will be a couple of instances where this might have happened.

We as parents - adults who believe we know best, in many situations end up arguing with our children. The argument typically ends up in us implementing our authority over them or maybe a tantrum by the child. An outcome that we won't rate ideal or want to be in the middle of.

But why does it happen? What do we miss in the conversation? Let's go back to the conversation! Which one - let's choose the Saira and her dad's conversation. It's a bit more closer to home! ;)

Saira (7 yr old daughter) - I don't want to read a book.

When Saira said this, the dad could have asked, 'What do you want to do instead? And maybe you should try and you will enjoy it.'

Saira - I don't feel like.

This is when as a parent, you need to identify the word she used - 'FEEL' - it means she is feeling something. Maybe a disliking towards reading books - once we see the grown-up in the child who has feelings, emotions and thoughts, we will be able to respond in the right way. A way that will get the message across and also a behavior that is positive for both the child and the parent.

Dad - I understand, Saira. And then what do you feel like? Let's do this, we start with a few pages and if you are enjoying it, you continue, else you can put the book down and do what you want to do. So what do you want to read - Alice in Wonderland or The Space Guy.

Saira - Let's read 'The Space Guy' today!

Dad - Sure, why don't we take turns in reading the pages!

That's it - as simple as that. So here is a summary of the top 'FIVE' things you need to keep in mind -

  1. See the grown-up within the child.

  2. Every child can feel emotions, has thoughts and is ready to listen, if you use the right words.

  3. Give them options. They are smart so let them choose.

  4. Work with them to get to a win-win outcome.

  5. It is not us vs. them - we are both on the same side.

Try these things and share your thoughts in the comments or reach out to me! I would love to hear from you, learn more and share what I have learned.


Utkarsh Narang is the Founder of IgnitedNeurons. He is a Certified Happiness Coach and an Internationally (ICF) Certified Life & Business Coach. He leads workshops with corporates and executives on Well Being, Growth Mindset and more. His mission is to inspire & ignite the unique spark within every individual.

You can reach out to him at 

You can follow him on LinkedIn. 

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