It was a really cool and relaxing evening which most families ought to be enjoying, but for Azman and his wife, Siti, there was nothing at all relaxing or enjoyable about the evening as they were busily mulled over the bills for the month. They had been disagreeing over the list of expenses when their five-year old son, Shah, suddenly came running downstairs with a scared look on his face.

The little boy had noticed a stranger outside staring at him through the bedroom window. Amzan and Siti ignored their son’s silent panic and went on with their discussion until he could contain himself no longer and frantically pulled at his mom’s skirt.

“For goodness sakes, Shah, what’s wrong with you? Siti snapped. “Can’t you see we’re in the middle of something serious? Go back to your room and stop your whining. You hear me?”

Now even more confused and frightened, the boy stood motionless not sure what to do at the moment other than to whimper to himself. “Bu…Bu……I……..”

Azman slammed his hands on the table, “Damn it, Shah! Why can’t you just listen to your mother for once? Go to your room now.”

Shah’s mouth trembled as tears rolled from his eyes. He turned back towards his room. Husband and wife stared at each other and immediately felt the unmistakable regret of their over-reaction. Their poor son through no fault of his son had borne the brunt of their miserable discontent.They both sighed and decided to leave everything for the moment to go upstairs and comfort their son.

As parents we all lose our temper and lash out at our closest relations during times of extreme stress especially over financial concerns. That anger is toxic and left uncontrolled can cause the deepest of injuries. It’s the parents responsibility to stay in control of their emotions in all contact with children. Children absolutely depend on their parents for support and encouragement and to stay positive no matter what. 

The best response for any parent during moments of stress is to take a deep breath (yes, really do it: it works wonders to restore your frayed nerves), and then get down to the child’s level instead of taking the high-and-might posture and distancing yourself. Apologize for losing your cool and saying the awful things you just did. 

To be a more positive role model for our kids, here are a few helpful reminders to keep in mind when communicating with children:

1. It’s never too late to make a change.
2. Believe in yourself and your abilities.
3. No matter what, we shall always be one big happy family with you.
4. When an adult speaks, listen carefully.
5. You have already started, give it your best shot.
6. Do not be afraid to fail, but always be prepared to do better than before.
7. Not everyone will like you, and that is okay.
8. Regardless of what people say, you shall always be my best gift.
9. You are not a mistake because you are very special.
10. Don’t ever try to be like somebody else. You are special and cool because you have been created to be unique.
11. I’ll always love you.
12. Your ideas are great.
13. It is never too late to make a difference.
14. Know that I am always proud to have you as my girl or boy.
15. No matter what, I will always believe in you. So go ahead and give it your best.
16. There is nothing wrong in being scared.
17. Whatever is on your mind, always know daddy or mommy is here for you.
18. Always finish what you started because you are the owner of the success, nobody else.
19. Tell me about your day.
20. Hope school was fun.
21. Let us go on a picnic and have fun.
22. Here let me help you with that.
23. Go on. You are almost there.

There are many positive words just like there are negative, but in the end what matters are the ones we utter as a parent to our children each day. Never hesitate to lift your child up with words of encouragement and support. Doing this will ensure a well-behaved child with a positive outlook on life. Your display of goodwill will spread from him to others which will linger to influence your child as they become parents themselves with their own family. The seeds of positivity can easily spread just like those of negativity. We need to remember that we are doing our families and others good when we spread praise others whenever we can.