#AtoZ Parenting

The Role of Confession in Good Parenting.

“Confession Is The Beginning Of Good Work,” said someone wise.

What is this Confession?  It is about sharing with someone about a mistake or a failure of about what you did wrong. It portrays guilt and an urge to make amends.

Let us start with an example.

Do you know the father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi also teaches us a lesson in confession.

When Gandhiji was young, he was convinced to eat meat by his friend. Gandhiji belonged to a pure-vegetarian family. Hence, Gandhiji and his friend started eating meat outside. So, whenever he came back home, he rarely had dinner at home. The only thing he used to say that he is not hungry.

In that company, he started smoking too. When he fell short of money, he stole money from the servant’s pocket. The addiction to smoking also forced him to steal a golden bracelet from his house. He needed money to clear the debts so he stole that bracelet.

But what happened next symbolizes why he is known as Mahatma today.

His heart was filled with the guilt of lying and stealing. This guilt forced him to write a confession note to his father. And he promised not to steal and lie again. The tears rolled down from the eyes of his father.

And what did his father do?

Without uttering the word, he tore up the paper. Gandhiji, at that time, understood the power of truth. He loved his father even more from that day.

That is a power of confession and telling the truth.

How to teach children to confess?

We as parents always worry if our children are telling the truth and aren’t hiding anything from us. But, how do we teach them or how do we inculcate this power of confession and truth in them?

  1. Be gentle with them – What makes children comfortable? Would they share everything with you when you shout at them or would they easily open up when you are gentle with them? So the answer is to be gentle with them. Keep your tone softer when you ask them if they lied to you or did something wrong. The harsh tone will only scare them off and discourage them from sharing. Hence, the first thing first you must do is, to be polite to them when you ask them.
  2. Show them some Respect- Yes, you read that right. They also deserve a respect. Your harsh tone and insulting words will only depress them further when they are already with a heart full of guilt. When you show them the respect, they respect you too.
  3. Create a connection with them – How strong is your connection with your kid? Are they comfortable enough with you to share anything and everything? If the answer is YES, You are a WOW Parent. But if the answer is NO, you might have to try a little hard. Bring in some fun activities at home or eat as a family. For example, make a rule at home that the entire family must have at least one meal together in a day. We all know this saying, ‘Family that eats together, stays together’.
  4. Parents must confess too – You also, as a parent, must confess what you did right or wrong in a day. And the best time to do it can be when you are having a meal together. This is when children will also learn about confessions. Share your experiences and the actions that you took after you realized that you made a mistake. It will give them a confidence that even they can share about their guilt. They may get a hope that sharing will give them answers to heal the mistakes.
  5. Help them with secure touch– Well, when they share what they did wrong, just go and hug them. Remember, when the child is happy, they need a hug, but when they are sad or when they have committed a mistake, they need a tighter and longer hug. This act will definitely make them feel secure and belonged.
  6. Appreciate that they confessed – Do not shout at them when they share about their mistake. Rather, hug them and appreciate that they confessed. Your actions and words of appreciation can do miracles.

How it affects the parenting?

  1. Trust Building- Trust is the most important factor that a child should have on their parents. Following the above steps will not just help the child confess, but it will be a great trust-building as a family. Child’s feeling of belongingness to the family will be promoted.
  2. Free of Guilt- Confession, releases the burden of guilt. If the child is loaded with regrets, it will reflect in their behavior. They may feel a lack of concentration in studies as well. So, help them confess so that they will be free and will get the most out of their childhood.
  3. Overcome the Mistake- When a child talks about his mistakes, he will also learn to overcome it. When they share their guilt, parents can give suggestions and help them overcome it. Also, you can ask them not to repeat the same mistake again.    
  4. Not afraid of parents- Reports states that many children are scared of their parents. But is it the right thing? The best way to parent a happy child is to remove the fear about the parents. And guess which is the best practice that can give you great results? It is Confessions. They will think about the parents more as a friend than that of a parent that scolds them all the time. Agree don’t you?
  5. Improves their understanding of good and bad things- When you are sharing a dining table, and when you are sharing your mistakes, children automatically get to know about the rights and wrongs. So when they will come across the similar situation, they will know that they are doing wrong and they should not do it.

The confession comes with the all positive sides to it. Teach it to your children and see noticeable changes in them. You will find them happier and you’ll be a WOW Parent too.

The Author

Manasi Kulkarni-Kutwal

Manasi Kulkarni-Kutwal

1 Comment

  1. Milind Mehta
    October 11, 2018 at 4:46 pm — Reply

    Awesome clarity of thought .Loved the example of Mahatma Gandhi .

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